About "Inquiry in the Museum, in the Classroom, and on the Web"|
A Museum-Teacher Partnership at The Franklin Institute
During the course of the 2002-2003 school year, a group of inquiry-oriented K-8 teachers set out to link inquiry in their classrooms with exploration in The Franklin Institute Science Museum. Based on their own curricular goals, they planned and conducted science units that integrated Museum experiences with ongoing learning activities in their classrooms. Their experiences and reflections are documented in online to be shared with other educators.
These teachers were participants in a unique professional development experience called "Inquiry in the Museum, in the Classroom, and on the Web," a mini-course conducted by staff of The Franklin Institute's Harcourt Teacher Leadership Center to support teacher leadership and enhance student inquiry and active science learning.
The course design grew from the realization that while informal institutions such as science museums have a great deal to offer as field trip destinations, realizing their full potential requires connecting experiences in the Museum with learning in the classroom. By providing a framework for teachers to develop and try out their own ideas, the program also collected examples of effective strategies for using Museum resources to enrich school-based learning.
Through after-school and Saturday workshop sessions, the Museum staff offered an orientation to learning in informal science institutions, instruction and practice in using online technology, and technical, editorial, and planning assitance. Participants also received mini-grants to support the their projects, and free class visits to the Museum.
The teachers brought to the program their knowledge of curriculum and students, their myriad professional skills, new perspectives and insights for other educators in the Museum and in schoolsand the time, energy, and work of carrying out the project.
THE HARCOURT EDUCATOR SERIES NATIONWIDE
"Inquiry in the Museum, in the Classroom, and on the Web" is one of six programs conducted by science centers hosting Harcourt Teacher Leadership Centers (TLCs), established with grants from the Harcourt General Chaitable Foundation. Each "Harcourt Educator Series" program is unique, designed to reach from 10-25 participants and address educational topics important to local teachers. The Educator Series was supported by grants from the Chestnut Hill Foundation.
Generous founding support for the Harcourt Teacher Leadership Center and the Harcourt Learning Labs was provided by the Harcourt General Charitable Foundation on behalf of Harcourt, Inc.