February 10, 2021
Early Learning in Museums with Sharon Shaffer
Children’s Concierge is proud to have known, worked with and learned from Dr. Sharon Shaffer for more than 20 years!
We have a collection of her published works and probably a few early works that were never submitted for publication. We frequently turn to these works for inspiration and for guidance in working with parents, teachers, museum professionals and, of course, for guidance in helping young learners curate their own studies as they explore the world with their families.
Our founder has even been mentioned in the newly published International Thinking on Children in Museums edited by Dr. Sharon E. Shaffer. (Sandra Dee Hoffman and Dr. Shaffer worked together at Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center!)
According to Routledge publishing (2021),
“Sharon Shaffer is recognized as a prominent national and international leader in early learning in museums. As an independent consultant, she collaborates with traditional museums, children’s museums, and schools in their efforts to imagine and reimagine meaningful ways to engage children in learning about their world and themselves. She draws on her many years of experience in the field, including her tenure as the Founding Director for the Smithsonian Institution’s model lab school in Washington, DC, where she established a signature program of learning for the Institution. In recognition of her pioneering work, Shaffer received The Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the Smithsonian – the only educator with this distinction – for creating a national model in museum-based learning for young children. Dr. Shaffer currently teaches for The University of Virginia and publishes regularly.”
We think you will find Dr. Shaffer’s ideas (and research) about the education of young children exciting, inspiring and hopeful for the very kind of learning experiences you would like your child to have!!
Other works by Dr. Shaffer:
- She was the guest editor for the Journal of Museum Education (Spring 2012), "Early Learning: A National Conversation"
- Her first book, Engaging Young Children in Museums (2015), has been translated into Chinese and Greek.
- Her second book, Object Lessons and Early Learning (2018), explores the power of objects in learning, children’s curiosity about the world, and their natural affinity to collect, and will soon be translated into Chinese.
- International Thinking on Children in Museums (2021) is Dr. Shaffer’s third published book.