At the museum our education program is four-pronged and includes the archaeology, Native American history, Homesteader history, and natural sciences of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. We believe that history should be experienced first-hand at every opportunity. By using student-led research, creative exploration, and critical thinking we aim to immerse students in the rich history of the region. Our teaching methodology incorporates multiple disciplines and draws heavily on place-based education theory, and STEAM content. In addition to our traditional classes we are always expanding our offerings to meet the needs and interests of our diverse community. We now offer a variety of digital and downloadable resources in addition to a growing-body of ESL curricula.
What is Place-Based Education?
David Sobel defines Place-Based Education as “the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum… emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences” (Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities, p. 11).
While this method has been traditionally used for teaching earth and natural sciences, our staff has adapted this method for teaching cultural-history and archaeology. The benefits of place-based education are widely documented and include improvement in critical thinking and interpretation skills, greater regional and local awareness, high levels of stewardship and community engagement, and a deeper sense of place and the interconnection between people and nature.