Monday, November 7, 2011

Addison Education Program Back in Full Swing

The Addison education department has hit the ground running this fall! Almost as soon as the museum opened, classes from Phillips Academy, Andover, and Lawrence have been zipping in and out, visiting all six of the fall exhibitions

The entire eighth grade class from the Wetherbee School in Lawrence, MA made their first of two visits, focusing on museum practice. Teachers Lisa Stott, Liz McCleary, and Mike Walsh are leading their students on a collections project journey inspired by Keri Smith’s How to Be An Explorer of the World. Their Addison visit was part of their investigation into how and why collections happen, and what they can tell us about a people, community, or group. 

Students explored the current exhibitions with Addison educators Julie Bernson, Jamie Kaplowitz, and Katherine Ziskin considering the collecting and display practices of the museum. After focusing on the strategies behind selecting and sequencing, the Wetherbee eighth graders wrote their own wall text for objects in the exhibitions, often working to tell alternative stories to those told by the curators. Wetherbee students will be visiting again for a curating workshop in the Addison’s Museum Learning Center before they begin to design and install an exhibition from their collections in the Wetherbee School’s Media Center.

The Addison Education Department is collaborating on another project inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibitions and by Keri Smith’s book! Andover’s High Plain Elementary art teacher Bette Jean Krieger and Katherine Ziskin, Addison Education Fellow, have embarked on a project with the entire High Plain fourth grade. The first leg of the project took place in October with a true “field trip” to the A.V.I.S. trail behind the school. Connecting with the fourth grade curriculum on regions of the United States including climate, geography, and natural resources, Ms. Krieger and Ms. Ziskin created a project based on exploring the “field” of the student’s own backyard. Students hiked the A.V.I.S. trail, collecting materials, photographing observations, mapping the terrain, and writing about the landscape that they encountered. 

Next, High Plain fourth graders will visit the Addison’s current exhibitions to investigate how artists across time have represented the land as the students prepare to create an exhibition about the Andover landscape using their interpretations of their field notes and photographs.
As the students are pouring in, so, too, are teachers who are attending t the Fall Teacher Workshop, How do Images inform Memory?, on November 16, 4:00pm-6:30pm. To request the Fall Teacher Guide or more information on the Addison’s education programs, please contact Kait Ziskin.

- Katherine Ziskin, Education Fellow for School & Community Collaborations


Ann Moore said...

To education fellow Ziskin: This sounds awesome and just what I might be interested in participating in. I have some wonderful nature photographs; ocean, water, trees,etc. and would like to put together an addition to a cirriculum using the photos as a method of teaching. Can you direct me to someone at Addison regarding my idea. Thank you. Sincerely, Ann Moore

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