I have just now ordered two copies of my thesis from Lulu, a self publishing service. In honor of that occasion, I thought I would post my abstract here:
Based on personal experience working with teachers and following research done in the areas of museum education theory, object and inquiry based learning, and interdisciplinary and integrated studies; this thesis document explores the ways in which art objects can be used in the history classroom beyond simple illustration of the time period. On the cusp of an era of educational reform, effectively using object and inquiry based learning can bring the classroom curriculum away from test based fact memorization to experiential learning. Through a rigorous use of museum objects in history classrooms, Rhode Island teachers can engage students in the types of learning outlined by the state grade span expectations and begin to teach students skills deemed necessary for participation in a 21st century society. Alongside an examination of art as documents, close looking at objects, and questioning strategies for discussion, I present objects from the collection of the RISD Museum of Art as an example of the relevance of art in a history context.
It has been an intense and very quick year, but I’m happy with how my book has turned out.