School in the Park is an innovative museum-based educational effort to engage students in their community during the school day. Since 1999 several hundred students have been educated each year in museums and the zoo in San Diego. This is more than a field trip, it is changing the way that education is provided.
Challenging the Classroom Standard Through Museum-Based Education: School in the Park presents the experience of School in the Park from the perspective of different disciplines--oral language, reading, writing, social studies, math, science, and the arts--to determine how students are learning content within museums and the zoo. It provides a number of examples, case studies, references, scenarios, and recommendations for teaching and learning outside of the traditional classroom. The perspectives of teachers, museum educators, and students are represented. Importantly, this book offers ideas that readers can use in their own communities, ranging from long-term partnering with cultural institutions to one-day trips, to ensure that students have authentic experiences with the curriculum.
With the current increased focus on accountability and achievement, less attention and importance is given to community-based learning experiences. This book demonstrates the viability of merging formal and informal learning and using community venues as an extension of the classroom. All those interested in and charged with educating children will find this book useful in exploring powerful learning experiences that occur outside traditional classroom settings.
Creating Optimal Conditions for Learning. D. Lapp, J. Flood, Talking in Museums: When Vices Turn Into Virtues, Exploring Oral Language Development. N. Frey, Reading in the Park. L. Fearn, N. Farnan, An Authentic Context for Writing to Learn and Teaching Writing Intentionally. N.L. McDonald, Arts as a Centerpiece for Integrated Learning. K. Masarik, Where Is the Mathematics? Everywhere! D. Ross, The Opportunity to Learn Science Like Scientists: Museums Are a Good Idea. E.M. Schell, Engaging Students in Social Studies Through Exploration, Documentation, and Analysis: Museums and Field Studies Can Bring Social Studies to Life.
"This is a timely volume, given the shortage of funding for the arts and the general impetus, particularly in urban areas, to look at community partnerships as a primary, if not sole, means of providing quality arts education. It is also compelling, in that it takes the now familiar concept of 'arts integration' a step further--describing an integration of places for learning that is much more authentic than 'field trips.'"
Florida Atlantic University