Research main content.



Research about the teaching and learning of science at AMNH. We have hypotheses about how Museum initiatives, programs, and products are used in formal and informal learning environments. In order to evaluate these hypotheses, researchers collect evidence and analyze data. Then researchers anchor this research in other theories, gradually develop our own theories of learning, implement them in our own programs, and disseminate them. This research informs researchers' understanding of the kinds of learning that can happen, when museums and colleges collaborate, and guides ongoing efforts and new initiatives.


These efforts also help us keep abreast of developments in science education, pilot teaching tools and technologies, and forge partnerships.

Research initiatives at the Museum occur in three general contexts:

  • partnerships with other institutions. For example, the Museum has an NSF-funded research partnership with Michigan State University to study how science teachers learn to analyze data in the context of the Urban Advantage professional development program.
  • collaborative teacher education. This work develops evidence-based practices that emerge when teacher education programs infuse experiences and academic content from science-rich institutions in a systematic and measurable manner.
  • doctoral dissertations. Several museum programs have been the subject of doctoral dissertations by educators. Published dissertations build knowledge of how museums influence teaching and learning, and locate Museum programs in the literature.

Publications related to AMNH research initiatives include:

Research Staying in Science: Examining the Pathways of Underrepresented Youth in Mentored Research This NSF-funded longitudinal research study will contribute to a broader understanding of the pathways of STEM-interested high school...   Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model A project to design, field-test, and study an eight-week middle school ecosystems unit and professional development. Research Developing a Research Agenda Aimed at Understanding the Teaching and Learning of Science at a Natural History Museum This article describes the Museum's efforts in developing an educational research agenda on their capacity for engaging in long-term... Research What does it take to sustain a productive partnership in education? In this article, we share the history of the partnership, and describe the features of the partnership of eight different cultural... Research How Can Museums Help Teachers with the Next Generation Science Standards? This article focuses on the role of museums in supporting schools and teachers as they address the demands of the Next Generation...   Evaluation of Urban Advantage by the NYU Institute of Educational and Social Policy This study by researchers at New York University reports the findings of an evaluation of Urban Advantage (UA), a partnership program... Research To Infinity and Beyond: Museum-School Partnerships Beyond the Field Trip This masters thesis explores four partnerships between schools and informal institutions around the country, including the Urban... Research New Educator articles These articles from a "Special Issue on Teacher Education and Cultural Science Institutions" from the New Educator Journal... Research Bringing the Real World of Science to Children This article in the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks describes a partnership model designed to improve the ways in which... Research A Collaborative Diagonal Learning Network: The Role Of Formal And Informal Professional Development In Elementary Science Reform This doctoral dissertation focused on elementary school teachers receiving professional development at an informal education institution... Research Teaching and learning Science in a Museum: Examining the Role of Attitudes towards Science, Knowledge of Science, and Participatory Learning in an... This doctoral dissertation is an investigation of a museum-based astronomy internship for high school students. Research Using Museum Resources to Enrich Urban Science Education: Teacher Agency, Identity Transformation, and Creolized Sciences This doctoral dissertation is an ethnography that documents the experience with seven Lead Teachers in the Museum's Urban Advantage...