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Role of museums in managing design education: a case study

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This essay is the result of a case study that I conducted at a National Design Museum in the USA. Specifically, I reviewed collaboration between this museum and the public educational system intended to enhance K-12 students' understanding of design and improve overall quality of art education. The focus is on identification of educational practice specifically geared toward maximizing the effectiveness of education in design in a design museum. It is significant to note that design museums help to engender appreciation of ordinary objects and enhance understanding of how both they and mass-produced images have been used to effect social, political and technological change. This case study analyses a summer institute programme at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and explores the role and importance of design-based learning. The finding overall was that design education is useful for K-12 students in terms of developing thinking processes. When they engage in the process of designing, they learn to observe, identify needs, seek and frame problems, work collaboratively, explore solutions, weigh alternatives and communicate their ideas verbally and visually. The design process offers opportunities for self-assessment, critiquing work in progress, revision and reflection.
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Keywords: case study; design; education; museums; schools

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Art Centre, College of Design, Pasadena, USA.

Publication date: 2009-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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