As a social studies instructor in the education department at the Pink Palace Museum, I had the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a museum, specifically in the realm of museum education. My responsibilities included developing and presenting various programs related to regional history. I presented these programs in labs, classrooms, and the education theatre to groups ranging from 10-100 students and teachers. Developing a program consisted of researching background information, assigning curriculum standards that meet the teachers’ needs and testing the methods used in the program.
The programs included in this portfolio are “Native Americans of the Mid-South” and “Life on the Tennessee Frontier.” The programs I developed for the Pink Palace Museum are very hands on, which gives the students an experience they cannot get in the classroom. By touching and seeing real artifacts, students gain a better understanding of the past. Programs and explanations of those programs are included in this packet.
In addition, as an education department employee, I was responsible for developing and presenting interpretive programming in the changing and permanent exhibit galleries. This included utilizing artifacts and other manipulatives, enhancing the museum experience by orienting groups and individuals to the exhibits, directing traffic flow, and providing interpretation. An example includes scavenger hunts used in our changing exhibits and permanent collections. I also participated in Discovery Days within the permanent galleries. One day a month the education staff held 10-minute lessons on such topics as Predator/Prey and Dinosaurs, with hands on components to the lesson.
During months when traffic through the education department was slower, I helped with the development and implementation of suitcase exhibits, which are offered, to the Memphis City and Shelby County schools free of charge. This included ordering items to place in the suitcases, reformatting teacher manual, research, and organization of artifacts within those suitcases. Included within this packet are my contributions to the Civil War suitcase. These included formatting, graphic design, and adding and revising activities as well as a teacher’s information packet about the Civil War.