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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Preservice Teaching in a Children's Museum: Reflecting On the Past, Impacting the Future

Linda H. Cox.

Preservice teachers need to be aware of community resources, both materials and people. They need to know how to find and use these resources. They need to know how to work with multi-aged children of diverse backgrounds and cultures.
For the past eight semesters, this Social Studies methods class has been taught in a children’s museum. Preservice teachers must collaborate with peers and with community leaders as they work with children from public and private schools; from a children’s facility; and children who are being home schooled. In addition to preparing for and teaching these elementary students, the preservice teachers are encouraged to use the resources of the community museum.
Some of the most popular environments are the Pioneer Room, the Native American Room and the People of the World Room. Since this is a hands-on museum, children go inside the teepee, grind corn, discover how pioneers made birthday cakes, and determine just how much could be packed in a covered wagon. They learn about customs celebrations enjoyed by children around the world as they dress in authentic costumes of the country and use a floor map and a globe to determine locations.
Preservice teachers learn that teaching Social Studies is more than reading a textbook. It is becoming involved in the community and knowing how to respond to a variety of situations. They reflect on they past by making history come alive for children, as they look ahead at what they can do in their future classrooms.


Linda H. Cox  (United States)
Senior Lecturer
Faculty Department of Curriculum and Instruction School of Education
Baylor University

Linda Cox is a senior lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Baylor University. She teaches methods courses in social studies, language arts, and children’s literature. She also works with professional development schools as a liaison at Provident Heights Elementary in Waco, Texas. She and her husband, also a professor, are parents of three grown sons. They enjoy reading, fishing, watching movies, and traveling.

  • Preservice teachers
  • Children's museum
  • Elementary social studies

(30 min Conference Paper, English)