2019 Museum Education Preconference

March 13, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Boston, MA

2019 Museum Education Preconference

Ways of Knowing and Art Museum Education

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Boston, MA

The annual Museum Education Division Preconference will take place at The Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A reception will be held at the Gardner Museum 6:00 - 7:30 PM.

Registration cost: NAEA Members $99; Non-Members $149; Students $75

Building on the 2017 and 2018 Museum Education Preconferences in which we explored diversity, inclusion, and equity, we will continue to examine these issues with attention to multiple ways of knowing.

Most art museums center on and perpetuate dominant White, Western culture that values written documentation, academic research/methodology, and individual accomplishments as ways of knowing. These ways are therefore given priority over Indigenous knowledge, information communicated orally, through bodily experiences, by emotional understanding, and more.

We will spend the day exploring the overt and hidden ways that art museums reinforce their values, and how museum educators can work to include and celebrate more varied ways of knowing in the galleries.

Guiding questions for the day:

  • What ways of knowing have art museums perpetuated?
  • What ways of knowing are absent from or lacking in art museums?
  • How can museum educators expand the ways of knowing represented and celebrated in art museums?

Keynote Speaker Jaclyn Roessel will present Indigenous Knowledge Systems as Pathways for Equity in Museums.

As museums move to answer calls to #honorNativeland, we, as museum educators, have many ways through which we can begin to center Indigenous knowledge systems as we seek practices of understanding other cultures and communities in the work we do. Jaclyn Roessel will share examples of Indigenous ways of knowing and relate these not as “alternative views” but as proven systems of knowledge that inherently hold lessons of inclusion and other best practices sought by museum professionals today through decolonization and community engagement principles.

Roessel was born and raised in the Navajo Nation. As a museum professional for over a decade, she has confirmed her belief in the power of utilizing cultural learning to engage and build stronger Native communities. Roessel is the president of Grownup Navajo, a company dedicated to sharing Native American teachings and values as tools to build greater cultural equity and competency in society. She most recently served as director of decolonizing initiatives at the San Diego Museum of Man.

After Roessel’s presentation, participants will split into smaller groups for further reflection on dominant and non-dominant systems of knowledge and knowing, and how those appear in museum education work.

In the afternoon, we will examine ways to engage specialized audiences in museums. Museum Educators understand the importance of tailoring a program to an audience’s needs, learning styles, and physical/emotional abilities. We’ll have the opportunity to learn more about and experience first-hand what various museums are doing to adapt to the needs and wants of our visitors and collaborators.

We’ll round out the day with a gallery teaching experience, so we can each engage in constructing our own knowledge while engaging with visual art.

Click here to read more about the schedule and breakout session options.

Please note that there are two options for Preconference registration:

  • If you will be attending the NAEA National Convention AND the Museum Education Preconference, please register for both here.

  • If you will only attend the Museum Education Preconference, please register here.

Please register early. Space is limited to 300 participants. Early registration allows you first choice of breakout sessions in early 2019.

Registration cost: NAEA Members $99; Non-Members $149; Students $75

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