museums

Moving from passive learning to active exploration of the physical world


Scott EdwardsScott Edwards, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ)makes extensive use of the museum’s ornithology collections in his courses and brings specimens into his lecture sessions to engage students in close analysis during weekly three-hour labs. Edwards models “ways of making meaning” by looking to specimens as key evidence for testing claims and theories.

 

Engaging students via field trips, near and far


James Hanken, MCZJames Hanken, Professor of Biology and Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), increases student engagement by taking students out of the traditional classroom. Whether organizing his freshman seminar around weekly excursions to Harvard’s museums, or guiding a spring break field trip to Costa Rica for undergraduates enrolled in OEB 167 Herpetology, these immersive experiences “provide opportunities for students to see and understand things they simply won’t get in the classroom.”

Research: An Investigation of the Educational Power and Potential of the Harvard University Art Museums Study Centers

A collaborative investigation into the nature of visitor learning at the Harvard Art Museums revealed that museum study centers provide active learning opportunities not only through interaction with the objects, but also through engagement with the museum staff and other visitors, as well as...

Read more about Research: An Investigation of the Educational Power and Potential of the Harvard University Art Museums Study Centers

Framing the Material Past (ablConnect)

Online active learning database ablConnect includes examples of instructional use of museum collections, including curation of a Zeega online gallery of medieval artifacts.

Analyzing Andean Artifacts (ablConnect)

Online active learning database ablConnect includes examples of instructional use of museum collections, including examination of Andean artifacts at the Harvard Peabody Museum.

Harvard Art Museums teaching staff

The museums’ team of educators, curators, conservators, scientists, and technologists consult with faculty from all disciplines to explore how the collections might support their course goals.