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Internships have become a vital part of museum training, the premier way to gain field experience, and a service often required of perspective museum professionals (Danilov, 1994). One of the museum field's top organizations AAM (1978) wrote a collection of minimum standards for internship training programs; however a study conducted by Spanard (1983) established those minimum standards were not yet being met. In a field where internships are being used extensively for museum training we do not know what these programs consist of other than through our own individual experiences or anecdotal passages. The components, intent, and practices of internship coordinators in AAM-accredited academic art museums were collected through a national survey to develop evidence-based literature on the curriculum of internship programs using Van den Akker's Spiderweb Model (2003) and AAM's (1978) internship minimum standards as a model. The majority of museums are not meeting the AAM minimum standards but many are meeting or exceeding curriculum components. This study encourages the museum community to consider its own practices and re-evaluate the current minimum standards set forth by AAM. Examining current practices in the field has revealed the need for self-evaluation and further development of socialization methods through formalization of internship program curriculum. Including evaluation methods will also provide the museum with evidence they can showcase to their host university and thereby reach their cited purpose: to increase their value, visibility, and perceived worth to the university while also expanding insight into their primary audience (students).
curriculum design, experiential learning, internship, museum training
Date of Defense
April 30, 2015.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Art Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Pat Villeneuve, Professor Directing Dissertation; Lisa Waxman, University Representative; Tom Anderson, Committee Member; Antonio Cuyler, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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