Interns Learn the Value of a Museum in the Educational Process

These are such exciting days at the International Museum of Cultures. Everything is abuzz with interns from TCU and OCU, as well as a graduate from Iowa State. We also have high school students earning their Community Service hours, a graduation requirement for certain High School students here in Texas.

What is exciting about having these young interns is that they will experience, first hand, the value that a museum brings to the education process. As is stated in The Foundation’s post on Why Museums are Important, “Museums provide a unique interactive experience of getting up close to things we usually only see in books, newspapers or on the television.” These interns will see how incredibly important it is for young people to see and touch artifacts from different cultures that they have only been able to read about.International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

Bring the Museum to the Student

The International Museum of Cultures is able to bring those artifacts right to the student anywhere in the Continental United States so that the student can have a personal experience with tools, clothes, and instruments from far away lands. The student is then better able to understand different cultures without pre-judgement when encountered by a person of an unfamiliar culture.

These artifacts are shipped to the educational facility with a complete curriculum that fits into any Project Based Learning initiative.

The shipped artifacts to the educational facility is called a Discovery Box. Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection with a complete curriculum for the teacher. Students are be able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

Learn More about Discovery Boxes

If you would like to learn more about the Discovery Boxes from the International Museum of Cultures, please contact the Museum at (972) 572-0462

Why is Learning Through a Museum So Effective

We are reminded in the blog post called Memory and Storytelling, of an Indian proverb from a “stories-told” book, The Right Words at the RightTime by Marlo Thomas and Friends

“TELL ME A FACT: I’LL LEARN.
TELL ME A TRUTH: I’LL BELIEVE.
BUT TELL ME A STORY: IT WILL LIVE IN MY HEART–FOREVER.”

The artifacts in a museum all hold stories. And those stories are waiting to be released in a thunder within the minds of children that observe and, when possible, touch the artifact. This experiential effect stimulates further creative thinking leading to more questions and more answers.

A great example of an artifact that tells a story is the Talking Drum. The Talking Drum, called a nkul, is a wooden slit drum that reverberates at dawn around and through the trees and houses of the Ewondo people of Mekomba, Cameroon. When we think of drums being used to communicate, we often think of the drum as a musical instrument. Many cultures throughout history also used them to convey a signal. However, some native civilizations use drums as a speech surrogate. A Speech Surrogate replicates the tone and rhythm of oral speech, taking the ability of a drum to communicate to an entirely new level. Its these types of artifacts that take children to places they never imagined. (Refer to our previous post on Talking Drums where we highlight the book, the “People of the Drum of God – Come”.)

The Museum of International Cultures can bring this experiential learning to the classroom. The Student does not even need to travel to the museum. Some examples of the ways the Museum collaborates with educators are:

Discovery Boxes

Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from the museum’s collection. Students are be able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

Electronic Field Trip

The Electronic Field Trip is entirely online and is designed as an interactive learning tool.

  • A series of videos delivered over the Web that provide an entertaining tour of different sections of the museum. The tour focuses on the Peoples of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and Mexico
  • Curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, and math.

For more information on the educational tools from the International Museum of Cultures, call (972) 572-0462.

Entering a New Era in Education

Entering a new year, we reflect on the changes that we have seen in the past to predict the future that is before us. There is one primary purpose for this activity. That is to prepare ourselves to be the most effective in an ever evolving world.

Museum of International Cultures, Dallas, Texas

Museum of International Cultures, Dallas, Texas

As a museum with a mission of educating others on diverse cultures, we understand how quickly social and cultural changes can occur. An example is the change occurring in our educational system in the United States. We are entering a new era in education.

This new era is spurring conversation and, consequently, partnerships. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills professes that the key for success in the United States educational system is to fuse the traditional 3Rs with the 4Cs.

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving,
  2. Communication,
  3. Collaboration, and
  4. Creativity and innovation.

As the Center for the Future of Museums in their blog states: “…museums are pre-adapted to be major players in the next era of education.” The Center depict the new era of education to be:

  • Lifelong Learning
  • Beyond institutions
  • Software-mediated
  • Teacher as facilitator

Museums provide a means to personally interact with the subject to be learned. This experiential effect can stimulate further creative thinking leading to more questions and more answers. When learning in a museum setting, discovery can also create a desire to share the experience generating further collaboration and communication.

The International Museum of Cultures offers the following Educational Tools for this new era of education. These tools are specifically designed to address the new means of learning while also assisted the smaller school budgets of the new year.

Electronic Field Trip

The Electronic Field Trip is entirely online and is designed as an interactive learning tool.

  • A series of videos delivered over the Web that provide an entertaining tour of different sections of the museum. The tour focuses on the Peoples of Africa, South America, Papua New Guinea, Asia, and Mexico
  • Curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, and math.

Discovery Boxes

Discovery Boxes allow students to experience cultures around the world in a unique and interactive way. Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of genuine artifacts from our museum’s collection. Students will be able to touch and examine the artifacts while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them to think critically about the world around them using Project Based Learning (PBL) methods.

Boxes include:

  • a teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

For more information on the educational tools from the International Museum of Cultures, call 972-708-7406.

Electronic Field Trip Demonstrated at the MPMA 2012 Annual Conference

The Mountain-Plains Museum Association had a successful conference in Corpus Christi October 1st through the 5th. The International Museum of Cultures (IMC) had the opportunity to explore the purpose of Electronic Field Trips with the attendees during a conference session. This was an excellent opportunity to also present the decision process IMC followed in developing its Electronic Field Trip (IMC Rocks!) and related Project Based Learning transportable artifacts (Discovery Boxes).

 

The IMC recognized the increased role that museums are taking in education. An important reason for this increased role is because learning during a visit to a museum is from personal discovery and individual experience.

 

When a student personally discovers new information, further thought is stimulated creating new questions and the need for more answers. The process of learning through discovery stimulates critical thinking in our young people – a capability that is incredibly valuable for success in this technically connected world.

 

Individual experience occurs when a student is able to actually touch artifacts that are not part of their immediate environment or culture. There is a great movement in Project Based Learning (PBL)  in the classroom because of the advantages of learning through personal experience. The IMC developed transportable artifacts (called Discovery Boxes) to provide this personal experience.

 

International Museum of Cultures Music Discovery Box

World Music Discovery Box

 

The IMC wanted to provide a means for students, which did not have travel budgets to visit the museum, to still learn about indigenous cultures from around the world. The IMC developed an Electronic Field Trip to accomplish this.

 

Electronic Field Trip at the International Museum of Cultures

 

The eField Trip is accompanied with a complete curriculum. The Discover Boxes come with projects for learning. These tools become an excellent way to transport students into the museum without actually traveling to the museum.
The cuts in school budgets throughout the country have created an increased need for eField Trips and transportable artifacts, so, students can still have the benefits of museums.

 

For further information about the Electronic Field Trip and Discovery Boxes contact the International Museum of Cultures.

Anthroplogy Museum Supports Our Teachers Doing Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning

Project Based Learning (PBL,)  is a method of education that provides the student personal involvement in the learning process.

The student does not merely hear and read the information, but, actually takes part in the learning process with personal experience. The Student generally participates in PBL as a team member. The team can dynamically change the path of the process to obtain the expected result. Often, the expected result is beyond the original expectation because the students are free to spontaneously use their creativity. This freedom promotes the development of strategic problem solving that is greatly needed to perform well in this dynamic world.

Students at the Museum of Cultures Dallas Fort Worth Texas

The International Museum of Cultures has taken steps to assist our teachers by offering two educational tools below that fit well into the Project Based Learning model:

  • Discovery Boxes: Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of objects from our museum’s collection. Students will be able to touch and examine the objects while completing activities and worksheets that encourage them think critically about the world around them.
  • e-Field Trip: A Virtual Tour of the International Museum of Cultures that occurs without the need to travel to the museum. The videos come with related Curricula.

As Edutopia’s Page called “Project-Based Learning: A Short History” states: “…(John) Dewey challenged the traditional view of the student as a passive recipient of knowledge (and the teacher as the transmitter of a static body of facts). He argued instead for active experiences that prepare students for ongoing learning about a dynamic world. As Dewey pointed out, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

For more information about the Discovery Boxes and Virtual Museum Tour provided by the International Museum of Cultures, contact us at (972) 708-7406.

Discovery Boxes

The Discovery Box

Discovery Boxes allow your students to experience cultures around the world in a completely different way! Discovery boxes come in 12 different themes and include a variety of objects from our museum’s collection. Your students will be able to touch and examine the objects while completing included activities and worksheets that encourage them think critically about the world around them.

For more information, contact us at the International Museum of Cultures

Artifact Discovery box

Boxes include:

  • Teacher’s guide with detailed object descriptions
  • Curricula covering TEKS for K-12 science, social studies, English language arts, fine arts, and math
  • Eye-opening activities that guide your students through understanding the objects

 A Day in the Life of Other Cultures

Help your students to better understand how people around the world live everyday.  Although the objects in this Discovery Box may seem mundane, they are all cleverly made tools that reflect what kinds of environments the peoples live in, what kinds of houses they live in, what they eat, and even how they may look! Your students’ job is to try to discovery what each people group is like by the objects that they use.

Discovery Boxes Contain

Our Discovery Boxes compile objects used mostly by indigenous peoples around the world. Each box focuses on a theme common to people everywhere, and corresponding curricula appropriate for multiple grade levels provide information and activities about the objects from an anthropological perspective. The guided activities help students ask important questions about both their own and others’ lives.

Box includes 13 items from Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, and the Philippines.

Humans of all cultures admire and create beauty. We’ve gathered some of the most stunning examples of how people adorn themselves with what they consider to be beautiful. This box includes necklaces, belts, headdresses, and several other types of adornments, and the meanings associated with the objects are particularly important. Students are encouraged to focus on and appreciate the details of the objects, how they are used, and what they mean to the people that wear them.

Students are encouraged to touch the objects, giving them a much more interactive and personalized experience than a traditional field trip to a museum. Give your students a truly eye-opening and hands-on lesson unlike anything they’ve experienced!

Suitable for

  • K-3 General Social Studies
  • 6th World History
  • 9th World Geography
  • 10th World History

For more information, call us at 972-572-0462 or email us at info@internationalmuseumofcultures.org

We also have museum virtual tours (efield trips).