Audience listening to a panel on early learning in museums in Hirshhorn's Lerner Room.

Conferences and Publications

SEEC believes in the importance of early learning. It’s faculty and staff routinely engages in work that will improve and expand on our understanding of  early childhood education. Our work explores several themes including:

  • Community and object-based learning
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility
  • Play
  • Inquiry and Curiosity
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Learning as a family
  • Practical teaching strategies for early childhood and museum educators

Recent Conferences

Association of Children’s Museums InterActivity 2020 – May 2020 – Principals into Practice: Empowering Young Learners in Museums

Young Child Expo and Conference – April 2020 – Full STEAM Ahead

NAEYC Professional Learning Institute – June 2019 – Never Too Young: Museums as Ideal Learning Environments for Young Children

American Alliance of Museums Annual Conference – May 2019 – Museum Professionals at Play: Inviting Play at All Museums and for All Ages

Project Zero: Artful Thinking & Learning: Creative Inquiry Across the Disciplines – April 2019 – Young Children Closely Investigate Art to Tell Stories and Take Perspectives

Project Zero: Understanding for a Complex World – October 2018 – Children are Capable: Guiding Young Children’s Understanding of Complex Concepts in Museums and the Community

SI Affiliates Conference – October 2017 The Power of Play

SXSWedu –March 2017 – Out of the Box: Early Learning in the Community

Project Zero Perspectives: Learning Together, Leading Together – October 2016 – Playful and Creative Ways to Teach STEAM in the Early Years

Visitor Experience Conference – October 2016 – Culture for All Ages: Early Learning at the Smithsonian

American Alliance of Museums Conference – June 2016 – Culture for All Ages: Early Learning at the Smithsonian

Publications and Resources

Growing Gardens, Growing Minds Lesson Plans

Strategies to Engage Young Children in Museum Objects and Artworks by Meredith Osborne & Brooke Shoemaker on the Smithsonian Learning Lab Blog

Why Museums Should Care About Young Children by members of the Smithsonian Early Learning Collaborative on the American Alliance of Museums Blog

Inviting Children In: Valuing the Youngest Museum Visitors by members of the Smithsonian Early Learning Collaborative on the American Alliance of Museums Blog

Using Museums, the Community and Playfulness to Bring STEM Concepts to Life by Brooke Shoemaker on the National Science Teachers Association Blog

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