Bridging Neuroscience and Education Through Museum-School Partnerships
The connections among neuroscience, educational research, and teaching practice have historically been tenuous (Cameron and Chudler 2003; Devonshire and Dommett 2010). This is particularly true in public schools, where so many issues are competing for attention—state testing, school politics, financial constraints, lack of time, and demands from parents and the surrounding community. Teachers and administrators often struggle to make use of advances in educational research to impact teaching and learning (Hardiman and Denckla 2009; Devonshire and Dommett 2010). At the Franklin Institute, we have developed a model that integrates expertise in understanding and communicating research with teaching practice, supported by relevant science content and museum exhibits, to provide rich professional development (PD) opportunities for K–12 educators across disciplines. These programs help educators of all disciplines understand the key ideas and recommendations for enhanced teaching practices based on new research from the field of neuroscience. Evaluation results show that educators find high value in evidence-based information, strategies, and informal hands-on experiences that can be broadly applied to teaching across multiple subject areas and ages.