THESIS ABSTRACT 2005
Museum and School Collaborations: Moving Towards New Models and Definitions
Collaboration between art museums and schools has increased by 70% in the last 10 years. Collaborative models, however, in an attempt to prioritize all constituencies involved in these partnerships, have often failed to adequately serve one or more of the participating groups. The allocation of resources and structure of power between partnering institutions is an essential component of collaboration The State of the Art High School Program is one model for a collaborative partnership. This program will serve as a framework to explore the function of museum and school collaborations in the greater community. A comparative study of various models will examine affective strategies for fair use and exchange of resources and the politics of partnerships.
Within collaborations, various teaching and visual strategies are used to incorporate art into education. Experiential and multi-disciplinary teaching techniques practiced in collaborative models will be contrasted to the current trends in education. Finally, a consideration will be made of the social and cultural implications of the museum’s integrated role in public school curriculum development. This new function repositions the art museum as a public resource rather than a statement of collective ownership or exclusivity. The museum has historically influenced the development of cultural citizenship and policy in terms of access and equality to the arts. This affect must be mitigated when the same museum becomes a source for the development of public school curriculum. This research will provide educator, teachers, and administrators with a close examination of museum and school collaborations, its educational and cultural implications, and what still needs to be considered to continuing moving towards better models.
Sheetal Prajapati received her BA in History and Gender Studies from Northwestern University in 2002. Before pursuing graduate studies at SAIC, Sheetal worked as the head of education at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. She is currently the Coordinator of Public Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Thesis Advisor: Nicholas Lowe, Visiting Artist, Arts Administration
Thesis Reader: Wendy Woon, Beatrice Cummings Mayer Director of Education, Museum of Contemporary Art
Toby Miller, Chair, Film and Visual Culture Program; Professor, English/Sociology/Women’s Studies; University of California, Riverside