Karen l. Mulder, a guest columnist on The Daily Glean, was bemoaning the budget cuts that will affect the staffing, and, thus, the hours and maintenance of some of our national treasures: the parks, the hundreds of historic sites, and, more specifically, The Smithsonian.
She wrote: “What is it about a trip to D.C. that entices thousands of teachers and chaperones to spend a day herding cats and sugar lows? For one thing, interactive learning is regaining credence as the modus operandi of education’s future. After all, a ten-year-old with a smart phone has access within half a second to more historical facts than the most learned medieval and Renaissance scholars could hope to glean in a lifetime of erudition. Enticing our children to appreciate the value of historical knowledge, when it is so easily gained, is quite the challenge.”
An educated populace is, it is hoped, an open-minded populace. To me, the education of our populace is the last place for budget cuts. Yes, that ten-year-old has access to all that great information, but something has to pique his interest – and that’s where museums and parks and historic sites play their part. They’ve got to be kept open and running for as many hours as possible. They widen the scope of any lessons learned in school. They add a bit of “wow!” and “oh gee, look at that!” to the every-day stuff.
Saturday, September 28, is Museum Day. Go to the Smithsonian page, see what museums are participating in your area, and print yourself a ticket for two to the museum of your choice.