Workshop: Creating Programs for Teachers and Students

Workshop Description

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum education and programming needed to create engaging, educational, and successful educational programming for students and teachers. Learn how to craft on site and outreach programming that is meaningful to the education community. This workshop was formerly called "Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students."

Topics include:

  • Learning Theory
  • Onsite Programming
  • Outreach Programming
  • Working with Educators
  • Advocating for Education at Your Organization

 

Details

FORMAT: In-person group workshop

LENGTH: Two days (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)

DATE: June 24 – 25, 2019

LOCATION: The Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701

MATERIALS: Workshop materials will be provided upon registration and in-person at the event.

COST: $230 AASLH members/$345 nonmembers

** Save $40 when you register by May 24, 2019 and use promo code EARLYBIRD19 at checkout! **

REGISTER

Scholarships

Participants of this workshop may be eligible for an AASLH Workshop Scholarship. Each year AASLH offers scholarships to four individuals in the history field to attend an AASLH onsite workshop. Recipients of the New Professional Workshop Scholarship and Diversity Workshop Fellowship receive registration fee reimbursement for one AASLH workshop and one year Individual Membership in AASLH. Registration for 2019 Workshop scholarships is now open. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2019.

APPLY

 

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

 

Instructors

Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

 

Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.


Workshop: Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming.

Register

Date: June 22-23, 2017

Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers
*Get $40 off registration if you book by May 18, 2017!*

Location: George Mason's Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA

Register

Description:

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming. Learn how to craft programming that is meaningful to the education community.

Topics include learning styles, presentation strategies, audience types, planning strategies, program assessment, research, and staff training.

Who Should Attend:
This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

Register

About the Faculty:

07acd61Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

 

aaeaaqaaaaaaaak2aaaajgjmyzrlzty1lwy1mzctnde0zc05mjy5ltq4njkxywm0nda2mq

 

Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.

 

 

 

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Creative Learning Factory at the Ohio History Connection.

Register

AASLH Welcomes First 30 Academic Program Members

Diverse Students Studying with Their Professor

In April 2016, AASLH launched a brand new membership type for Academic Programs. Designed specifically to meet the needs of faculty and students in history, public history, and museum studies programs, the Academic Program Membership offers a unique benefits package for only $310 a year. Most importantly, students of the Academic Program Members get free membership as long as they are enrolled.

The response has exceeded our initial expectations, and we are excited to welcome these thirty departments/programs and their students to the AASLH community:

For more information on the Academic Program Membership, check out our membership page, browse the APM Handbook, or contact Hannah Hethmon (hethmon@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203).


Improving the Emerging Professional Experience at the AASLH Annual Meeting

Are you an emerging history professional who plans to attend AASLH's 2016 annual meeting in the Motor City (Detroit)? If so, the AASLH Emerging History Professionals (EHP) Affinity Community has three initiatives that may interest you. Read on to learn how the EHP committee is working to enhance the experience of AASLH's EHP members at this year's annual meeting.

First, if you're looking for a conference roommate or ride share buddy, check out our new room and ride share forum before you make your travel and hotel arrangements. We're launching it in the next couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for an announcement from AASLH. On the forum, you'll be able to connect with other AASLH members looking for conference hotel roommates, as well as people looking for travel companions or carpool buddies. If you live in or around Detroit, you can also use the forum to offer an extra room or comfortable couch to a fellow AASLH member.

Detroit Cadillac Square btw 1910 and 1920
Detroit’s Cadillac Square between 1910 and 1920. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In addition, the EHP committee will provide an EHP guide to the annual meeting. The EHP guide will highlight meeting sessions and activities that focus on issues or projects with particular significance to the EHP community. Ask for it at the registration desk when you pick up your badge or peruse it on our blog from your smartphone. For your planning purposes, we'll post the guide to our blog in advance of the annual meeting.

The number one do-not-miss event on the EHP annual meeting guide will be the EHP mentoring session. Designed and run by us, your EHP committee, this session will provide EHPs with a chance to speak with seasoned professionals working in a range of fields related to state and local history, as well as a space in which to meet and connect with fellow EHPs. Have a professional goal but aren't sure how to meet it? Want to know more about a particular field and how to break into it? Feel free to ask these and other questions at the EHP mentoring session.

We're excited to share the EHP guide and mentoring session with you, and we hope you can use the forum to reduce conference-related costs. Be sure to check our blog and Twitter account between now and September for news and updates. See you in Detroit!


Call for Posters 2015

This year the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is holding our annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 16-19. We are proud to be working with NCPH who is sponsoring the poster session at our meeting for the third year running. This presents an excellent opportunity for students in particular to share their work with fellow public historians and to discover the work their peers are doing, and we want to make sure that you do not miss the opportunity to participate.

poster session

The poster session format is an excellent forum for sharing visual or material evidence, engaging in one-on-one discussions about your project, and soliciting feedback about works-in-progress. It’s also a great, low-pressure way to participate in a conference for the first time.

The Annual Meeting theme is “The Power of Possibility,” and the poster session will be at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on Friday, September 18. Proposals are due June 8.  Poster session proposals must be submitted electronically in one PDF document and must include your contact information, a short abstract describing your project, a one-page C.V., and a mock-up of your proposed poster. For more details about the submission process and requirements, please carefully review the Call for Posters at http://ncph.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/CALL-FOR-NCPH-POSTERS-2015.pdf.

Whether you’re finishing up a project and want to share your conclusions or you’re partway through and looking for thoughts on where to go from here, the NCPH-sponsored poster session is an ideal format for students who want to get on the program at AASLH. We encourage you to submit a proposal by June 8.


Going Postal: Postcards as Local History

As a student, it isn’t very often that your projects go beyond the classroom and into the community. However, this is one aspect of my Historical Administration M.A. Program at Eastern Illinois University that I have enjoyed deeply. As part of the coursework in two of my classes (Research Methods in American Local History and Introduction to Archival Methods), I had the opportunity to develop a project that allowed me to strengthen my research skills, develop collections management skills, and practice digital methods. You may ask yourself: what project would lend itself to developing these skills?

It all started with the purchase of a few postcards from a local antique store last fall. A colleague of mine at a local museum had never seen these postcards of Lilacia Park in Lombard, Illinois before, so I decided to pick them up.  At the time I was also looking for a project for my methods course. The sources appeared in the form of the postcards, so I considered this as a potential project.

What began as 2 postcards turned into a growing personal collection and a partnership with the DuPage County Historical Museum. Postcards like these can show how a place has changed over time and provide numerous views of the same place much like a photograph. (c. 1951, author's collection.)
What began as two postcards has turned into a growing personal collection and a partnership with the DuPage County Historical Museum. Postcards like these can show how a place has changed over time and provide numerous views of the same place, much like  photographs. (c. 1951, author's collection)

In the meantime, we began to read parts of Fay Metcalf and Matthew Downey’s Using Local History in the Classroom. The book, published by AASLH in 1982, analyzes a variety of resources that can be used to write local histories, including family, social, economic, and political history. Metcalf and Downey talk about a variety of sources, but they do not discuss postcards. By utilizing their framework in order to analyze postcards and discuss their importance as a form of historical evidence, I had found my niche and my project.

Every postcard tells a story through its image and its inscription. The inscription on the back of this postcard reads, “We had a swell trip to Chicago and no trouble, we’ve been busy ever since I got here going places. We went out to the airport yesterday morn and saw some of the big planes. I’ll write later.” (c. 1939, author's collection.)
Every postcard tells a story through its image and inscription. The message on the back of this postcard reads: “We had a swell trip to Chicago and no trouble, we've been busy ever since I got here going places. We went out to the airport yesterday morn and saw some of the big planes. I’ll write later.” (c. 1939, author's collection)

Rather than focus simply on postcards from Lombard, I contacted the DuPage County Historical Museum and found that they had a collection of approximately 600 postcards of nearly 24 towns within DuPage County. I set out to analyze these postcards and write a class paper that examined how postcards illustrate the four types of history covered by Metcalf and Downey in the book.

Each postcard conveys a story, whether it is through its materials, imagery, or inscription. Postcards teach us about our family, our community, and where we come from. (c. 1950, DuPage County Historical Museum, 87.4.3.1)
Each postcard conveys a story, and can teach us about our family, our community, and where we come from. (c. 1950, DuPage County Historical Museum, 87.4.3.1)

Over the course of the fall I developed a strong interest in postcards, and even applied for and received a Research/Creative Activity Award from the Graduate College at Eastern Illinois University. This award allowed us to purchase PastPerfect Online to make the catalog of these postcards digitally accessible. Inspired by Metcalf and Downey, I wanted to make these postcards available to the public in a way that they could be used for research and in the classroom.

The museum hopes to have the collection fully accessible to the public by the end of 2015. If you are interested in the research behind this project, check out the online guide "Using Postcards as Historical Evidence." Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about the project.

Brian Failing is an AASLH student member and Master’s candidate in the Historical Administration Program at Eastern Illinois University. Failing is a museum professional and aspiring public historian. He can be contacted at brian.failing92@gmail.com.


5 Questions I Love To Get From Kids

As we all know every group that comes in for educational programs are different.  Each one of them has its own personality and energy.  Some are wide eyed and eager while others seem more interested in when they get lunch.  Some sit quietly and listen while others engage actively in the programs.  Of course it is our job to make the experience fun, exciting, and educational for all of them, but, if you are like me, you feed off of their energy.  That is why I get so excited when I start to hear certain questions from groups.  These are some of my favorites.

 

Photo Courtesy of Indiana Historical Society
Photo Courtesy of Indiana Historical Society

 

5.  How would people have _____ back then?

This question lets me know that they are curious, but it goes beyond, "Hey, what is that?"  They aren't just curious about the unfamiliar items around them.  They want to know specifically about a time a specific thing.  This lets me know that they have probably been thinking about this for a while.  This question also allows me to turn over some of the control of the program to the kids.  They can now set the framework for how we are going to talk about a topic.

4.  Is that like when we _____?

Now the kids are making comparisons to their daily life.  That is something that is built into any historic programs that I do already.  I want to show how things have changed over time, but in order to get kids to understand something you have to put it in terms they are familiar with.  When students ask me this, they are making those connections on their own.  Now I know that the information they are getting is going to be that much more meaningful to them.

 

Photo courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks
Photo courtesy of Mackinac State Historic Parks

 

3.  If _____ then _____?

I am not a computer programmer, but I love if - then statements.  This question not only tells me that the kids understand what we are talking about, but they are then taking it further to some conclusion.  I always get excited when students start making these kinds of connections.  Even though they are usually making a connection that I was probably working towards anyway, sometimes this question can open up entire new directions to take the program.

2.  What if _____?

This question is a double edged sword.  On one hand, I love to hear the creative (and usually funny) things that kids will come up with during my programs.  Plus, as a fan of alternate history, a good what if question can lead to some very interesting places.  Sometimes kids will propose interesting situations or solutions that most adults would never think of.  But that is the first what if question.  If you aren't careful you find yourself fielding the 50th what if question and no where near the original topic of your program.

 

Photo courtesy of Conner Prairie
Photo courtesy of Conner Prairie

 

1.  Can I come back?

This simple question tells me everything I need to know about how I did as an interpreter.  If kids leave me wanting to come back then I did my job.

 

Do you have some particularly memorable questions from your audience?  Please share them in the comments section below.  Keep an eye out, in the future I may share my least favorite questions as well.


Why We Do What We Do

The other day I was sitting at my computer searching online for student engagement.  I was looking for any ideas or techniques that would be a good fit for our already existing programming.  While I was searching, I couldn't help but click on the images page for my search results.

Don't they look so excited by that computer.
Don't they look so excited by that computer?

For the most part, I saw the exact kinds of things that you would expect.  I'm sure most of you are even picturing the following right now:

  • students sitting attentively in desks
  • students sitting attentively on the floor
  • listening raptly to a lecture
  • working together on hands on projects
  • working on various forms of technology (computer, laptop, tablet, whatever Star Trek technology we make a reality next)
  • students raising their hands energetically
  • students smiling (lots and lots of smiling)

Of course no individual picture had all of these elements combined (or I would have included it with this post), but you can pick out the common themes.  The one thing that you could tell from each one of those pictures is that, for those kids, the thing they were doing at that moment was the only thing in the world.

That look is what we all strive for.  Whether it is through dramatic storytelling, hands-on projects, exhibit programs, or multimedia presentation, if those students are tuning out the rest of the world, then we are doing our jobs.  If you are like me, this doesn't happen to every student in every program, but you see it often enough to take it for granted.  When I have already done that program 4 times that day or, after 3 years of Civil War sesquicentennial, you are just tired of hearing about it, I forget to realize how impactful it can be for students.

I have already rambled on enough for now, so I am not going to talk about actual techniques for engaging students (I will do that in future posts).  Plus you can find plenty of helpful hints here, here, here, and here.  What I wanted to do with this post today was to remind myself, and maybe some of you as well, why I not only do this job but enjoy doing this job.  We have the ability to warp reality for a short time and make the world melt away for our visitors.  For the time we have them, nothing matters but the story, or activity, or program.


What happened to the Junior Membership program?

I was recently pouring through old minutes from the Detroit Historical Society to write a blog for AASLH’s 75th anniversary next year. As can be expected, the slate of programs offered in 1940 were traditional: lecture series, demonstrations of spinning and weaving, etc.

1950s brochure cover for the New York State Historical Association's Yorkers program.
1950s brochure cover for the New York State Historical Association's Yorkers program.

Then I stumbled upon a program I hadn’t known about. In August 1940, the Detroit Historical Society began “a project long desired by the membership” to create a junior membership program. It was described as such:

Purpose: To encourage historical study and to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of Detroit history, past and present.

To promote an opportunity for young people from various walks of life to meet in an informal social spirit for the discussions of problems vital to city life.

To build a unified group of future citizens, conscious of their opportunity and responsibility in connection with the future development of their city.

Membership: All capable young people of teen-age who are interested in this activity are eligible for membership. Dues: fifty cents a year.

I haven’t read further in the organization’s history to learn what became of the Detroit Historical Society “Juniors,” but it reminded me of another junior membership program that no longer exists: the New York State Historical Association's Yorkers program.

Also started in the 1940s, this junior membership program worked through membership chapters across the state. According to a mid-1950s brochure:

“A Yorker chapter may be formed by organizing five or more students with an adult sponsor. Each chapter member receives a subscription to THE YORKER, bi-monthly magazine of the junior historians, a membership card, a gay felt emblem reminding him he is one of an army of 7,000 students of the story of the Empire State. He may write for THE YORKER, may enter any of the Historical Association’s three museums free at any time, whether coming with a student group or individually.”

Yorker chapters (which included boys and girls) were encouraged to:

“go on pilgrimages; present assembly programs, plays, radio scripts; assemble collections of historic books and objects; participate in essay and other contests; make historical murals and sculpture; assist local historians and in historical celebrations.”

The chapters had regional and state officers and gathered each spring for a convention.

Yes, these junior membership programs were clearly a lot of work. And I know they folded for some very valid reasons, but I absolutely love the concept. For years I have been pondering how the junior membership program can be reinstated/reinvented.

Firstly, we are always quoting that statistic that says “If a person doesn’t visit a museum before age 12, they aren’t likely to become adult museum visitors.” Could a junior membership program encourage students to get involved and then become life-long patrons?

Secondly, we talk about the decline of social studies and history in public school curriculums. These junior programs had an extracurricular academic component. And better yet, they had the students out DOING history. For the Detroit Historical Society, at least, they saw historical study as a way to develop informed citizens and future leaders. Can a new junior membership program help us make history relevant in the lives of kids today?

I love that programs like National History Day have stepped in to fill the void, and my organization supports that year-long, school based program as a contest coordinator. But I still find myself wondering if individual museums and historical societies can create their own special program. If we created a new junior program, I’d be sure participation in National History Day would be included as an activity.

What are your thoughts?

Does anyone have a junior membership program? Please consider writing a blog about it!

Did you have one that didn’t work well? Please share your lessons learned.

Is anyone else out there as intrigued about this concept as me, or am I quickly becoming as antiquated as junior memberships themselves?


Call for Posters

The National Council for Public History will host a poster session on Friday, September 19 at the AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, MN. All history organizations, as well as students in history programs, are invited to submit proposals for the session. The deadline for submissions is June 1.

santi-and-poster

Posters give graduate students, small museum staff, and others a way to display and discuss their project-based work in a format that is interactive and collegial. Posters are also a perfect venue to show off the material and visual work of historians and public historians. In the sciences, posters are often a way to present preliminary data on a research topic and gather advice, and we understand that most posters for this conference will represent work that is complete, but we encourage presenters to present work as part of multi-year or ongoing projects so they can solicit advice and resources at the conference.

Download the Call for Posters Form and share your great program, research, or other new ideas with your colleagues at the AASLH Annual Meeting. Email Bethany Hawkins (hawkins@aaslh.org) if you have questions.