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Academic Programs

Museum Education: Childhood


  • Program Overview

    The Museum Education: Childhood program prepares you for two professional roles: that of a museum educator knowledgeable about children and schools and that of a classroom teacher skilled in integrating museums and museum teaching methods into the classroom.

    The program offers multiple opportunities for you to engage in:

    • The often hidden work of creating museum exhibits and their related programming
    • Teaching residencies in public and independent schools
    • Internships at local museums, cultural institutions, parks or zoos
    • Multiple ‘behind the scenes’ field trips to local museums, zoos and historic sites for courses and independent projects

    Our museum courses emphasize the educational role and mission of museums and schools in a pluralistic society while our education courses will provide you with the necessary content and pedagogy about teaching and learning. Faculty are drawn from both teaching and museum backgrounds and include working museum professionals.

    Through fieldwork and coursework, you will integrate theory and practice, building a sound foundation in human development, subject matter pedagogy, and the historical, philosophical and cultural contexts of contemporary education.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science in Education and requires 47 credits.

    Graduate students in a museum

    Museum Education students at the Noguchi Museum. Museum Education students routinely have opportunities to have exceptional/unique experiences in world renowned cultural institutions in support of their development in the Museum Education Program.

  • Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the main admissions criteria, there are additional requirements needed to apply for this program:

  • Coursework

  • Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

    Taken concurrently with coursework, supervised fieldwork is designed to foster the integration of theory and practice. Fieldwork is taken in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year in either the first or second year of the program. You will:

    • Student teach in the fall term, three days a week, in two different school settings
    • Spring Semester Internship
    • Faculty support and supervision as you engage with children, and other adults in your fieldwork settings.
    • Participate in a weekly seminar of 5-7 students
    • Individual meetings with your advisor twice monthly.

    New York State requires all graduate students in this program to have supervised fieldwork experiences in grades 1-3 and in grades 4-6, as well as in an under-resourced public or charter school/program. Note that this program is restricted to student teachers as all graduate students will need to spend the spring semester of their supervised fieldwork year in a museum setting.

  • Career Opportunities

    Your degree will provide you with a range of career opportunities:

    • Many graduates chose to work in museum settings or schools with an enriched approach to curriculum development embedded in their practice
    • Work in curriculum, exhibition, and media design firms.
    • Become a full-time teacher in public or independent schools
    • Become a fully certified elementary or if applicable, secondary school teacher
  • Faculty

  • Certification

    Upon graduation, you will be eligible for New York State certification in Childhood General Education, grades 1 through 6, provided you complete all other State certification requirements.

For my master's thesis, I created an original picture book for children, "Beatrice The Butterfly Visits the New York Public Library," which is now available at the Bank Street Library. [In my current role as the Coordinator of Youth & Family Programs at the Rubin Museum of Art], I infuse my teaching with creativity and art, and seek to inspire students to express themselves, look closely, imagine, wonder, and become curious lifelong learners.
Gail Goldspiel, GSE ’12