Even as school administrators were cutting the unique feature of museum Educators from the school district budget, museum directors in Philadelphia were calling teaching through objects, 'lightning in a bottle.’ Educating through objects that have been crafted by talented artisans, owned by famous people, cherished by their association with loved ones, or inanimate witnesses to important historical moments is a recognized and immediate path to learning in the arts. In the search for the authentic, while simultaneously embracing the virtual, Americans participate in shaping a broad understanding of popular culture and accumulated history. Americans are having a love affair with bric-a-brac, yard sales, estate sales, and flea markets. A parallel development can be seen in the advent of genealogy as a hobby in diagramming family trees. Learning from actual objects fuses the critical processes of observation, analysis and evaluation with an appreciation of technical and design skills. Object learning is a type of cultural mirror.


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