Portland Children’s Museum

The Portland Children’s Museum, and the pre-school and charter school it houses, is the only one in the U.S. that integrates a children's museum with an actual school.

Students in this Capstone learn about Reggio Theory (a unique in the way it allows the children to direct the curriculum), and about art-based curriculum and how the arts encourage deep, personal learning. There is also an educational research project that uses what is learned to inform the organization and exhibits in the museum. Teachers watch the students as they explore the year's theme and plan curriculum day by day to support where the student interest has gone that day.

The class discussion around diversity focuses on who has access to the Children's Museum and to art-based education. The class brainstorms and writes an additional paper making recommendations to the museum for expanding their outreach and access to the more diverse neighborhoods of Portland that are a greater distance from the museum. In the past, one team wrote to support an outreach program to rural Oregon.