I am a lifelong learner and know I learn from a variety of people I meet on a daily basis. As most people who read my blog know, my focus and research is education, at-risk youth, online learning and blended learning.
However, I have always enjoyed history and museums and every place I have traveled, I like to find the local museum to check it out. I guess over the years, some of this has rubbed off on my daughter who is now working on her Masters Degree in Museum Studies. She can now tell any one about museums from around the world. In her studies, she has shared with me about the types of museums, how museums include or exclude people, and about the concept of participatory museums.
When I moved back to the Santa Cruz, Ca area (note that the image in my blog is of the Santa Cruz Harbor) a few years back, I figured I should check out the local Santa Cruz Museum or Art and History – affectionately called the MAH (Twitter @SantaCruzMah). Turns out one of the leaders in the participatory museum movement is Nina Simon, the Executive Director of the MAH here in Santa Cruz and my daughter had to read her book in one of her first Museum Studies classes. (You can read her book about this concept of participatory museums she published a few years back). After visiting the museum, I enjoyed all of the exhibitions at the time and in particular, the exhibit about the history of the Santa Cruz area because I actually lived through some of that history!
Now, I am going to be attending the Santa Cruz MAH Museum Camp which begins this week. The focus is on “social impact” so I will enjoy learning how education and social impact can intersect and impact the culture of a place like Santa Cruz. I am one of about 100 people attending the Museum Camp and we have been on a a private group Facebook sharing thoughts and ideas for several months. I think I will be the “museum rookie” because there are people coming to this Museum Camp from across the world – with one person traveling from Finland, one from Australia and others from across the U.S. I’m looking forward to learning lots in the days ahead from the Museum Camp experience.
In one of the articles we read in preparation (2011. Korza & Bacon), the author shares the diagrams I am sharing below in an effort to help evaluation and measure social impact. As I look at the diagram below, I can’t help but think about how narrow our evaluation in education is (generally, end of the year standardized tests), and how some of these areas may be good to consider in measuring the impact of education in the future. I think about substituting the question, “What difference does education make?” Some food for thought. (You’ll have to read the article).
More museum and social impact learning later this week (#santacruzmah).