Teaching and Learning with Museum Exhibitions is an innovative project that seeks to develop new best practices in exhibition-based pedagogy across the disciplines and to integrate them into the curricula of four collaborating institutions: Colgate University, Hamilton College, Skidmore College, and the University at Albany, State University of New York. It is taking place over the course of three academic years (Fall 2016 – Spring 2019), beginning with a pedagogical development program for faculty and culminating in a public symposium and a publication.
In Spring 2018, the four institutions will share the exhibition This Place, an exploration of the complexity of Israel and the West Bank as seen through the eyes of twelve photographers. Faculty and students will engage the material in a wide range of ways, including interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations. This will provide a unique occasion for documenting and assessing the rich pedagogical potential of a single exhibition.
The project’s premise is that when museums and galleries are able to function as spaces for creative, rigorous, interdisciplinary inquiry, they can be active transformers of higher education. The project offers faculty an opportunity to explore how teaching and learning with exhibitions can cultivate a wide range of student abilities, from an understanding of specific socio-political or scientific issues to skills such as visual literacy, critical thinking, teamwork, and written or oral communication. Such abilities are highly transferable, relevant to many academic, professional, and community contexts and essential for a lifetime of engaged citizenship.