For the past two years, thanks to a grant from the Kress Foundation, a small cohort of academic museums/universities explored a new approach to museum training. Museum professionals joined with museum studies/art history faculty to draft competencies for three positions — curator, collections manager/registrar, and director of education. Then, based on their institutional structures, they revised museum studies courses, internships, and other approaches that would combine teaching and praxis aimed at graduate and post-graduate certificates/degrees. We then added assessment forms that could be used by students and professionals who were able to pursue these strategies. Among our goals for the project were to give museums and museum professionals a greater role in training future generations of museum professionals and explore the possibility of a national set of competencies for museum positions such that those who graduated from these programs would be well trained (to benefit museums and the world) and highly competitive in the job market.
We learned so much throughout the grant process, particularly about the difficulties of curricular changes and approvals and the academic stigma of applied learning. As a result, although competencies can be defined and agreed upon (as the first step toward a national curriculum), the implementation of any teaching/training program must adjust to the realities of what’s possible within academia.
Below is access to the draft documents.
We shared these findings with this community so that we could garner feedback and suggestions with which to move forward. A feedback survey was open until Friday, April 30th and is currently closed for feedback to be incorporated into future iterations. We wanted to allow for the documents to still be accessible by our community.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to aacademicmg[at]gmail[dot]com.