cropped-2012-10-25-17-11-26-e13743537994961.jpgAs a translational scholar, I embrace the notions of public scholarship and civic engagement as orientations to my work that places me squarely in settings that address the needs and concerns of community partners. In my role as public scholar, I am an insider-outsider and it comes with privileges, opportunities, and drawbacks. As Boyte and Kari (1996) acknowledge, civic engagement and public action fall along a spectrum of activities ranging from the deliberative, to problem solving, to the insurgent. I find myself in all of these roles as public scholar constantly negotiating and translating within these complex ecologies of teaching and researching. Civic engagement and public scholarship means re-positioning and re-imagining of the social interactions between “community” and “university” (Bridger & Alter, 2006; Ellison & Eatman, 2008; Ostrander, 2004). The relationships built between public scholar and community organization are founded on both the intellectual and emotional characteristics of the faculty member as well as the overarching goals, mission and purpose of the institution (Colbert & Wharton-Michael, 2006). This synergy paves the way for more meaningful action, but it requires constant negotiation of interests, facilitation of dialogue, asking difficult questions and fostering continued participation on the behalf of all the players (Bridger & Alter). Fundamentally the work is about being in the group, and apart from the group, focusing on the cultural norms and realities that comprise the interactions of people, place, and purpose. References: Boyte, H. C., & Kari, N. N. (1996). Building America: The democratic promise of public work. Philadelphia:  Temple University Press.Bridger, J. C., and Alter, T. R. (2006). The engaged university, community development, and public scholarship. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. 11(1), 163-178. Colbeck, C.L., and Wharton- Michael, P. (2006). Individual and Organizational Influences on Faculty Members’ Engagement in Public Scholarship New Directions for Teaching and Learning,105, Spring DOI: 10.1002/tl.220. Ostrander, S. A. (2004). Democracy, civic participation, and the university: A comparative study of civic engagement on five campuses. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33(74),   DOI: 10.1177/0899764003260588


The following links are to published material, most of which is not open access. Where possible I’ve also included links to author pre-prints which I am free to share (and you are free to use). Feel free to email me if you have additional questions.

Museum Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building

  • Wood, E. Zemanek, A., Weiss, L., Carron, C. (in press). Developing a family learning object rating system. Submitted to Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archive Professionals.
  • Wood, E. (2015). Defining the scope of your evaluation. Journal of Museum Education. 40 (1) 17. (pre-print) (published version)
  • Wood, E. (2014). You don’t have to be married to your work. In L. Melber,(Ed.) Teaching the museum: Careers in museum education. Washington, D.C.: AAM press.
  • Wolf, B. & Wood, E., (2012). Integrating scaffolding experiences for the youngest visitors in museums. Journal of Museum Education 37(1), 29-38. (pre-print) (published version)
  • Wood, E. (2010). Museum Chaperones as Escort, Educator, or Parent? Visitor Studies 13(2), 160-174. (pre-print) (published version)
  • Wood, E. & Wolf, B. (2010). When Parents Step Back is it Still Family Learning? Museums and Social Issues 5(1). (pre-print) (published version)
  • Wood, E. & Wolf, B. (2008). Between the lines of engagement. Journal of Museum Education, 33(2), 121-130. (pre-print) (published version)
  • Wood, E., Crosslin, R., Schilten, M., Deeds, J. (2007). Curious Scientific Investigators Solve Museum Mysteries. In R. Yager & J. Falk, Eds. Exemplary Programs in Informal Science. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

 Museums and Civic Engagement

Object-Based Experiences



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