All posts by mmadden2013

About mmadden2013

I am director of education for the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka, Kansas, and teach Public Museum Education at the University of Kansas.

Five Standards, Three Birds, and One Great Lesson

Travis Hardenburger is a seventh grade Kansas history and geography teacher at Wamego Middle School.  He is working on a great presentation for the Kansas Council for History Education’s annual meeting on November 10 and 11 at Derby High School.  You are already registered, right?

I don’t want to steal his thunder (he ok’d that I share this) but he developed a creative way to kill a lot of birds with one stone.  Don’t turn me in to PETA. Continue reading Five Standards, Three Birds, and One Great Lesson

Why I Hate Museums

As a teacher, do you ever feel this way? Are you disappointed when you take a field trip with your students? That the effort is not worth the return? You aren’t alone. This was the title of a recent article published August 22 on the CNN Travel website. In this case, the author was describing museums as places were curators “collect and cage” artifacts and then expect the visitor to be as excited about the item but with only a minimum of information. Continue reading Why I Hate Museums

HGSS + KCCRS = Integrated Lessons

I spent last Friday at a workshop in Salina with a group of fifty dedicated teachers learning how to implement the new History, Government, and Social Studies standards in their districts. It was “training the trainers” as districts look at writing curriculum and implementing best practices, literacy expectations, standards and benchmarks. Continue reading HGSS + KCCRS = Integrated Lessons

Teaching with Artifacts

I am a museum geek. I grew up going to museums in Chicago, part of our annual trip to see my grandparents. That, plus my love of American history, led me to the museum field and teaching with artifacts. Nothing can bring history to life like the things left behind.

Don’t believe me?

Check out the German U-boat, the U505, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Or examine the pike at the Kansas Museum of History, one of the actual pikes John Brown purchased and shipped to Harper’s Ferry to start a slave insurrection. Looking at the pike you can’t help but ask yourself

Who used it? What happened to that person? Why did he buy pikes and not rifles? Why did the revolt fail?

This is why I love artifacts. Continue reading Teaching with Artifacts