Recognizing the Power of Museums - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

Recognizing the Power of Museums

Every year since 1977, May 18 has been recognized as International Museum Day. On this day, participating museums plan creative events and activities related to the International Museum Day theme, engage with their public, and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.

The most visited museum in the world is the Louvre. Other museums with millions of visitors a year include the National Museum of China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Vatican Museums in Vatican City, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and the British Museum in London. The country with the highest number of museums per capita in the world is Israel.

This year’s theme for International Museum Day is “The Power of Museums,” highlighting all the ways that museums are bringing positive change to their communities through contributing to achieving sustainability, innovating in digitalization and accessibility, and building communities through education.

Are you looking for a few ideas for how you might celebrate International Museum Day?

  • Find museums that offer virtual tours online. The Library of Congress offers many of their exhibits online.
  • Learn about some unique museums including the Tobacco & Salt Museum in Tokyo, the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, and the Postal Museum in Prague.
  • Commit to visiting at least one museum every time you go to a new city.
  • Watch a movie with a museum scene, such as National Treasure, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Wonder Woman 1984, and Ghostbusters.
  • Create a museum exhibit in your school or community.

As educators, do we capitalize on museums as a resource for teaching and learning? How can we incorporate all that museums have to offer into our classrooms?

Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in new ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!

It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.