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Medium 9781442267589

Guest Editor’s Foreword

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Over the past half century the conservation field has focused on research and analysis that have resulted in an impressive and increasingly complex knowledge base. Yet degrees of uncertainty remain, despite the scientific and scholarly work. Unfortunately, in the effort to present research and uncertainty to an audience beyond ourselves, conservators have sometimes glossed over both, and implied that the preservation of cultural property relies on a zero-tolerance approach to meeting a set of specific criteria. The all too obvious corollary is that if the criteria are patently impossible or untenable, there really is no reason to attempt to meet them. In creating what might be called a “conservation mythology” we have often stymied compromise and unwittingly stifled new ideas that could help conservators and other museum professionals work toward sound collection care.

A museum can make no better case for wasting resources than any other institution. The belief that museums cannot protect collections unless they operate energy-inefficient systems is a myth that has driven many heritage properties to near bankruptcy. The utility bills for governmental institutions are passed along to taxpayers, however; the majority of collecting institutions in the United States are private, not-for-profits. Privately funded museums are constantly confronted with energy costs that are unlikely to be covered by grants or donations, and consume an increasingly large portion of gate receipts or other income. It takes effort to adopt new ideas and to adapt those ideas to old problems. Roberta Faul-Zeitler has long championed the concept of sustainable design in preservation. Her article, “Green Museum Design: Is it Good for Collections?,” effectively argues the benefits of “green” concepts for museum buildings. Some museums have accepted the challenge of adopting and adapting sustainable design for new construction or renovation of old systems and structures. Among these is the Field Museum, which is striving for LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for its new Collections Resource Center. Sustainable design projects also are underway in historic structures around the country. This is a movement that can bring lasting benefits to the environment, to the custodians of cultural property, and to our collected heritage.

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Medium 9781475811933

Professional Development for School Improvement: The Case of Indiana

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Drawing on data collected during an evaluation of Indiana schools receiving Title I 1003(g) School Improvement Fund grants in the 2008–2009 school year, this article explores how professional development can be used to support school improvement efforts. This article upholds the conclusion that when activities support the development of a collaborative community of educators and the effective use of data, professional development can be a vital element of school improvement efforts. By engaging teachers as leaders and learners, professional development can help to ensure that school improvement efforts are embraced by all staff and to prevent teachers from feeling isolated during the school improvement process.

Teacher quality is widely believed to affect student learning and achievement; therefore, school improvement efforts aimed at increasing student achievement naturally include supporting excellence in teaching through professional development opportunities. The Title I 1003(g) School Improvement Fund—a federal fund developed to support high-poverty schools engaged in the school improvement process—emphasizes the impact that professional development can have on the capacity of teachers to take active roles in improvement efforts and help students succeed. However, not all professional development is equally effective in supporting teachers and contributing to school improvement. To yield improvements in student performance and develop teachers’ capacity to teach effectively, professional development plans must include teacher input, take actual classroom conditions into account, and be supported by key stakeholders, including principals and district officials.

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Medium 9781442267756

From the Editor

Collections Altamira Press ePub

This issue is brimming with a range of topics designed to pique your curiosity: a case study of an Historical Administration graduate program geared toward integrating knowledge and skills necessary for future museum and archive professionals; a new digital technology aimed to engage curious visitors to a music collection who wonder how a clavichord sounds; an overview of object theatre and a case study of its use; a case study of an alternative contemporary arts center; and disclosure of the ways in which medical history collections may pose risks to collections and the staff who care for them. To begin, Terry A. Barnhart, Debra A. Reid, and Linda Norbut Suits share their efforts at integrating knowledge and skill while marrying theory and praxis through the courses taught in the Historical Administration program at Eastern Illinois University. Andrew Lamb walks us through the Bate Collection of musical instruments from the mid-baroque to the contemporary era, informing us of an exciting new audio guide technology that enables visitors to listen to the instruments on view. Tisha Carper Long discusses object theatre and explores, as a case study, her execution of an exhibit focused on an antique Irish harp. Using Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center as a case study, Karen Walton Morse acknowledges a lack of understanding within the wider community about the role and importance of alternative arts organizations, giving evidence of the importance of documenting and archiving histories. S. Victor Fleischer points out the health and safety hazards of medical history displays like the one pictured on this cover while also identifying the possible harm of amputation kits, sphygmomanometers, transformers, medicine kits and other materials to staff, visitors, the environment and other collection materials.

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Medium 9781475811391

Guest Editors’ Introduction: The Final Closet: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Educational Leaders



There aren’t any, are there??!

—A colleague, fall 1997

Educational administration and leadership may very well be the final unrecognized and unexamined closet for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgendered (LGBT). Over the past 20 years, an explosion of research has emerged examining almost every aspect of the LGBT experience, and this includes public schooling. However, whenever LGBT issues are discussed as they relate to education the underlying assumption is that all public school administrators are heterosexual (e.g., Harbeck, 1997). Furthermore, public school administrators are perceived (oftentimes correctly) as being hostile to the well-being of LGBT youth and teachers (Kissen, 1996). As a result, most educational researchers conducting research in this area have focused on LGBT youth and teachers and their experiences within public school settings. For all of the social and legal changes over the past few decades, and with the growth of “gay/lesbian studies” in universities and colleges, there remains a striking lack of research or basic awareness that LGBT school administrators even exist. A colleague’s assertion that “there aren’t any” is indicative of just how invisible LGBT educational leaders have been.

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Medium 9781538104118

Silent Legacy: The Story of Vasily Konovalenko’s Gem-Carving Sculptures

Juilee Decker Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Silent Legacy

The Story of Vasily Konovalenko’s Gem-Carving Sculptures

Stephen E. Nash

Curator of Archaeology and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO;

Frances Alley Kruger

Senior Exhibit Developer, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO,

Abstract  During a career that spanned four decades, Russian artist Vasily Konovalenko (1929–1989) produced more than 70 sculptures carved from gems, minerals, and other raw materials. As unorthodox, compelling, and masterful as Konovalenko’s sculptures are, they had been poorly published and poorly known. They are on permanent display at only two museums in the world: the small and obscure State Gems Museum (Samotsvety) in Moscow, Russia, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS), a major natural history museum in Colorado, the United States. This article examines Konovalenko’s life and work, as well as the unusual circumstances that led to the two exhibitions, their role in Konovalenko’s relative obscurity, and a recent resurgence of interest.

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