Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Museum Project

- What is a collection? What kinds of things do people collect – and why?
- What does a museum collect?
- Why are museums important?

Throughout the school year, the Addison’s Education Department will be working with the Kindergarten Prep class at the Children’s Place, a Bright Horizons child care and early education center located on the campus of Phillips Academy, to explore these ideas. In addition to learning about the Addison Gallery, the students and parents of Kindergarten Prep will be visiting the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, The Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology at Phillips Academy, and the Andover Historical Society, in order to connect an understanding of the value of museums to the cultural value of their own collections and to learn how to communicate these values to others through display and interpretation.

The Kindergarten Prep class started off their year with an exploration of trucks and construction. After reading books about construction and exploring photographs of the Addison’s construction site, it was time to kick off our Museum Project by visiting the Addison’s museum-in-progress. On a Friday morning in September, we ventured with Kindergarten Prep students, teachers, and parents to the Addison Gallery construction site, noticing the construction signs and a backhoe along the way.

We stood in the Addison driveway watching the workers create clouds of billowing dust from sawing new counter tops. We peered through the green fencing along the front of the museum and discussed why it was there. The students noticed that if you stood far enough back, you could see more than you could when you’re standing close, so we experimented with the views from different distances. We discussed the building materials we could see and how the newly constructed metal and glass section compares to the original brick building.

Back in the classroom, the students have turned their block area and their sand table into construction zones, complete with a fence to keep everyone safe! They will soon be sharing their own collections from home that they are documenting with their parents.

Other classes have expressed interest in joining in on the exciting and educational exploration of collections and museums – also the theme of our fall professional development workshops with teachers.

Stay tuned for updates as the classroom projects and Addison building progresses.

For more information about the Addison’s FREE education programs, click here or contact Jamie Kaplowitz at jkaplowitz@andover.edu or 978-749-4037.

For more information about the Addison building project, click here.

Posted by:

Jamie Kaplowitz
Education Fellow

No comments: