Successful Evolution of Adult Education Programs

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Evolving Phipps’ Adult Education Programs to Expand our Audience and Fulfill our Mission Image

Gabe Tilove Phipps Conservatory gtilove@phipps.conservatory.org :

Gabe Tilove Phipps Conservatory gtilove@phipps.conservatory.org ©Copyright 2013 American Public Gardens Association.  This presentation is intended for viewing only and should not be copied or re-distributed for further use.

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Evolution of Educational Programming at the Botanic Garden of Smith College Madelaine Zadik Manager of Education and Outreach

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Smith College: Small liberal arts college founded in 1871

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1891: The Botanic Garden of Smith College established to serve an adjunct to the botany department Smith College’s first president had a vision for “ combining the beautifying of the Campus with the formation of a scientifically arranged Botanic Garden”

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1893: Olmsted Landscape Plan

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1979 Botanic Garden Mission Statement The Botanic Garden of Smith College was founded by L. Clarke Seelye, the College's first president. President Seelye expressed his hope that the whole campus could be developed as a botanic garden so that it might be of "scientific as well as aesthetic" value. The spirit of this concept has persisted at Smith College since that time and remains basic to our purpose. The physical plan for the botanic garden was established by the landscape firm of F. L. Olmsted and by the first director, William Francis Ganong. This plan includes: - a greenhouse complex situated in the lower part of the campus, - an herbaceous garden adjacent to the greenhouse complex, - an arboretum of trees and shrubs encompassing the entire remainder of the grounds. Other garden areas have been added in the vicinity of the President's House, near Capen House, and elsewhere. The botanical value of the plant collections lies in their ability to provide a resource for teaching and research , which is useful both to students and to faculty in the Biological Sciences. The plant collections are intended to be broadly representative of the plant kingdom with specimens representing as many higher rank taxa as possible. Specialized collections required for research or teaching are also provided as needed. The aesthetic value of the botanic garden derives from the plant collection. Wherever possible, the beauty of the plant is considered as a criterion for selection along with its value for teaching and research. However, in certain situations either botanical interest or aesthetics may be secondary to the achievement of specific goals. The utilization of the botanic garden is primarily a function of the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition, whenever possible, the botanic garden staff promotes a more general use of the plant collections through display and other methods.

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Revised 2010 Mission Statement of the Botanic Garden: To foster education about the science, beauty, and importance of the plant kingdom through the use of outdoor and conservatory plant collections, gardens, displays, and exhibitions, and to preserve and maintain the historic Olmsted campus landscape.

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Adult Education As a college botanic garden we are somewhat different from the other institutions Broadly interpreting “adult education” While we do occasionally offer fee based programs, most what we do is “free”

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Evolution In How We Think About Education How we think about audience How we approach the subject matter Methods of delivery

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Audience #1 Smith Community: students, faculty, staff, alums, “Friends” Biology classes including horticulture Landscape Studies Other Smith classes and departments Volunteers Five College Community Local School Groups General Public Specialty Groups & Clubs

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Traditional Education and Interpretive Methods Botanical/Horticulture Lectures & Workshops Panel discussions Tours of our garden Tours to other gardens Basic signage These all targeted people who were already involved in one way or another with the botanic garden, and who were already interested in plants

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Moving beyond botany/horticulture — reach out to new audiences — and “catch” people who didn’t necessarily come looking to learn about plants Embedding ourselves in the core teaching mission of the college — focus more on broad academics, and not just biology Learning to think outside the box and becoming more dynamic and less stale Building constituencies Move into other areas :

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Transdisciplinary Research Multidisciplinary Research Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration in which exchanging information, altering discipline-specific approaches, sharing resources and integrating disciplines achieves a common scientific goal Researchers from a variety of disciplines work together at some point during a project, but have separate questions, separate conclusions, and disseminate in different journals. Researchers interact with the goal of transferring knowledge from one discipline to another. Allows researchers to inform each other’s work and compare individual findings. From: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis TREC Center Transdisciplinary

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Transdisciplinary means teamwork. We contribute our unique expertise and perspective Strive to understand the complexities of the whole project, rather than just one part of it. Allows us to transcend our own disciplines Inform one another’s work, capture complexity, and create new intellectual spaces. Transdisciplinary

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2001 Renovation of our facility gave us an Exhibition Gallery

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Primary Function of The Church Exhibition Gallery Education Deepen visitors’ understanding of the Botanic Garden’s mission and functions Collaborations Connect with other departments & programs Move beyond campus Develop an transdisciplinary approach Increase visibility both on campus & off

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Primary Function of The Church Exhibition Gallery Education Deepen visitors’ understanding of the Botanic Garden’s mission and functions Collaborations Connect with other departments & programs Move beyond campus Develop an transdisciplinary approach Increase visibility both on campus & off

Permanent Installation Woods of the World:

Permanent Installation Woods of the World

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Learning to think more outside the box, becoming more dynamic and less stale

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Intro to Architecture: Language & Craft

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Botanical Architecture Projects

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Summer workshop for science teachers using this model

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Working with art teachers Bringing students to both the art museum and the garden Make connections between the two institutions and focus on observation

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Foundations and Issues of Early Childhood Education

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Landscape Installations

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Site-specific Dance Composition Based on plant movement

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We have not given up on the traditional model

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Volunteer Training Program Started as a program teaching volunteers how to lead school g roup tours Now focus on them being interpreters, even when staffing our reception desk & engaging the general public.

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Self-guided Audio Tours

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Archaean

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Lower Middle Devonian

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Carboniferous

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No part of this presentation may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the American Public Gardens Association. Copyright © 2013 by the American Public Gardens Association. All rights reserved. The American Public Gardens Association V ision: A world where public gardens are indispensable APGA 2013 Garden Evolution Conference _______________________________________________

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