News Archives - 2003
History students step out of the classroom…and into museums
In the spring of 2003 an experiential learning class called “Museums in Historical and Social Context,” sponsored by Augsburg’s History and Sociology Clubs took students to museums in the Twin Cities as well as Wisconsin and Chicago.
A group of Augsburg College students recently stepped outside of the classroom for a unique learning experience. This extra curricular study opportunity took them to museums in the Twin Cities as well as Wisconsin and Chicago. This was part of an experiential learning class called "Museums in Historical and Social Context", sponsored by Augsburg’s History and Sociology Clubs.
The purpose of this learning community was to study museums, not so much what is in them, but how what is in them reflects the historical context and sociological assumptions of the people who design the museums. The class explored this through readings, discussions and visits to museums. The 12 students and professors Phil Adamo, history, and Lars Christensen, sociology, visited the Minnesota Institute of Art; the Science Museum in St. Paul; the Walker in Minneapolis; the Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wis.; and The Field Museum, Art Institute and The Museum of Science and Industry all in Chicago.
"Most students probably see museums as mere repositories of cultural artifacts," Adamo said. "The goal of this Learning Community was to examine museums as cultural artifacts in and of themselves."
The students looked at the arrangement of the contents of the museums rather the contents themselves. They also looked at what a museum’s design tells about the society that created it, and how museums represent culture.
"The Museum Learning Community was a great experience for students and professors alike," Christensen said. "I’m certain that we al see museums in a new light now. Overall it was a fantastic experience."