Institutions spend significant funding to provide teacher education, but previous research was not suited to a systematic investigation that could result in field-wide recommendations. By using Q-Methodology, a research team of museum and education professionals was able to perform a quantitative analysis based on standards of teaching and learning to capture teachers’ perceptions on how attending an intensive workshop shifted their thinking and classroom practices.

What We've Learned

Leaving time during a program for teachers to reflect on content and connect it to their classroom needs helps make what they’ve learned stick with them.

Supporting teachers’ inquiry skills through discussion, primary source analysis, and hands-on learning encourages inquiry-driven learning in their classrooms.

The power of place makes professional development at sites and museums distinct from other programs—they want to be in the room where it happened!

Teachers are a unique audience, distinct from scholars, students, or visitors. Museum educators must work as teacher educators in order to meet their professional needs.

The Handbook

Together with teachers, teacher educators, and museum educators, Monticello has developed a handbook for facilitating effective teacher learning at historic sites and museums. This how-to guide is based on earlier IMLS-funded research and teachers and museum educators’ feedback on about what and how teachers learn from professional development programs at historic sites and museums. From Rowman & Littlefield, American Alliance of Museums series.

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