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ERIC Number: ED545443
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 270
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-5002-6
Practitioners and Practices in Museum Education: The Case of Three Jewish Museums
Moghadam, Yaara Shteinhart
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
As Jewish museums are witnessing a rapid numerical rise in the United States and beyond, the professional and academic literature on Jewish museum education lags behind. This dissertation is aimed to help narrow this gap by examining how the education departments of Jewish museums in the United States conceptualize, promote, and conduct programs for students in Jewish schools. To that end, I first survey the relevant literature of philosophers, social scientists, Jewish educators and educational researchers. My methodology combines ethnography and content analysis of mostly primary source material. Three leading Jewish museums in New York City are selected as the sample for this study. After examining the history and visions of these three museums, the study explores variations in a number of ways in which the ideology and philosophy of the museums' host institutions and founders manifest themselves. These variations include the practice of the museum educators; the way in which the curriculum is designed; and the process in which the museum education departments select their educators. The overarching finding of the dissertation is that the personal background of educators--especially religious observance, commitment to Judaism and its continuity, and "Jewish literacy"--directly affects the interaction between the three dimensions of the Jewish school visits: the museum educator, the Jewish student, and the object. I also conclude that Jewish museum educators are a crucial component in influencing the way that Jewish students experience the tour in the museum. In order to have a meaningful tour experience, therefore, Jewish museum educators should not only be well-versed in museum education practice but also display an adequate level of Jewish literacy, especially if their goal is to approach the students in a personal way. This study has important implications beyond the study of Jewish museums. It sheds new light and raises new questions on the ends, ways, and means by which Jewish educational organizations in general implement their mission statements using educators in the field. To tap into the Jewish students' experiences and expectation--a precondition for fulfilling the educators' mission as it is intended--Jewish educators must acquire fluency in "Jewish language". [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York