Open Forum

 View Only

Massive Docent Firing in Chicago

  • 1.  Massive Docent Firing in Chicago

    Posted 10-27-2021 10:26 AM
    I totally agree with all the posts about the desirability of the professionalizing museum education. However, the pay scale museums notoriously offer its educators really precludes finding professionals able to accept these positions. Educators at the American Museum of Natural History where I worked for many years used to be to unionized, but I believe that has been phased out (except for some "grandfathered" exceptions). The somewhat legendary Malcolm Arth, Director of education at AMNH for many years, famously lectured Bank Street College of Education museum studies students (of which I am a graduate), about how they would not be paid a living wage if they persevered in their choice of museum education instead of becoming a public school classroom teacher. If museums do not see value in professional educators--unlike curators, designers, archivists, etc.--they are forced to rely on volunteers to provide at least the appearance of educating their audiences.

    Ellen Giusti
    New York NY