Museum Education for Today's Audiences: Meeting Expectations with New Models (American Alliance of Museums) (Paperback)

Museum Education for Today's Audiences: Meeting Expectations with New Models (American Alliance of Museums) Cover Image
By Jason L. Porter (Editor), Mary Kay Cunningham (Editor)
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Today's museum educators are tackling urgent social issues, addressing historic inequalities of museum collections, innovating for accessibility, leveraging technology for new in-person and virtual learning experiences, and cultivating partnerships with schools, businesses, elders, scientists, and other social services to build relationships and be of service to their communities. Despite the physical distance the pandemic placed between museums and their visitors, museum educators have remained essential -- sustaining connections with the public through virtual or modified programming, content development, and conversations that they are uniquely qualified to execute. Educators require updated resources to guide their efforts in navigating these new challenges and building upon the opportunities presented by current events and changing audiences. This book and its accompanying on-line resource share lessons from innovators in the field to support ongoing professional development efforts with essays about current issues. Additionally, it provides new models and tools to guide individual or group reflection on how today's museum educators can adapt and thrive in a dynamic and ever-changing cultural sector. The additional resources include discussion prompts and adaptable templates to allow readers to customize the content based on current events, institutional discipline, size, budget, and staffing scenario of their organization. The book's essays are divided into three sections: ●Changing expectations of visitors - inclusion, participation, and technology ●Training and preparation for responsive, resourceful educators ●Models for the future While a book can share ideas in the hope of inspiring change, the accompanying online resource ( provides a more flexible and responsive forum for sharing ongoing and evolving resources to encourage professional development for museum educators as they respond to the changing needs of today's audiences.

About the Author

Jason L. Porter is the Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Engagement at Seattle Art Museum. Previously, he served as the director of education + Programs at MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture) in Seattle, as director of education and public engagement at the San Diego Museum of Man (now Museum of Us) and associate director of education at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. His work focuses on experiential education and public programs that serve community, school, family, and teacher audiences and on using the arts as a vehicle for personal transformation and social change. Prior to entering the museum field, he was a public school teacher. He received a B.A. in English from Tufts University, an M.A. in Education from Seattle University, and an Ed.D from UCLA. His dissertation examined charter schools meeting the needs of special education students. Professional development activities have included presentations at conferences including AAM, CAM, and WMA, serving as a mentor to emerging museum professionals and teaching as a guest lecturer in a number of museum studies programs. He has been a board member of AAM's Education Professional Network (EdCom) from 2014 through 2016, a jurist with the Excellence in Exhibitions competition in 2017 and 2018, a grants reviewer for IMLS in 2018, and a member of the peer review board of the Journal of Museum Education (JME) since 2016. In the last 25+ years, Mary Kay Cunningham has served over 35 different cultural institutions or attractions in the diverse roles of consultant, manager, museum educator, volunteer coordinator, and docent. She founded Dialogue Consulting in 2001 to support institutions improving their visitor experience through inclusive and collaborative interpretive planning, programming, and professional development. Her passion for facilitating group learning that brings together staff, volunteers, and communities to navigate institutional change is the hallmark of her work. Mary Kay is the author of The Interpreters Training Manual for Museums that guides front line staff in facilitating meaningful learning conversations with visitors. As a professed learning addict, she pursues and support professional development in the field by serving on the editorial board of The Journal of Museum Education since 2010, creating and instructing a graduate-level course on Visitor Experience design at the University of Victoria, B.C. since 2013, and presenting over 45 sessions or workshops in the last 20 years for professional meetings including AAM, APGA, ASTC, CAM, NAI, and WMA.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781538148600
ISBN-10: 1538148609
Publisher: American Alliance of Museums
Publication Date: February 15th, 2022
Pages: 314
Language: English
Series: American Alliance of Museums