Education Vision

The Museum seeks to better serve its community by providing a comprehensive suite of educational programs. We aspire to supplement the local school system with high quality skill development programs tied to our unique content, talented staff and volunteers.

The Museum’s newly adopted Education Vision guides us to:

Targeting skill development

Personalizing the field trip experience 

Building college aspirations and skills 

Leveraging our world-class collection 

Developing Digital Classrooms


Currently the Museum offers 13 standards-based elementary and middle school programs designed to enhance student understanding of their shared heritage, cultural diversity, local history, ecology and marine science. All programs are certified to address Massachusetts Department of Education Curriculum/ Common Core Frameworks and National Science Standards.

The Museum’s High School Apprenticeship Program is designed to help economically disadvantaged New Bedford students graduate from high school and go on to college, a trade school, or the military while providing valuable life skills and work experience. Of the 36 students who have completed the program since its inception in 2010, 100% graduated high school and 100% were accepted into college. The program has continued to evolve since 2010 and will expand in the next year to increase the Museum’s impact on local youth.

The Museum has delivered educational services to the Greater New Bedford region since 1903. One hundred forty volunteers, including 80 Docents, support a staff of 28, working under the direction of a diverse community-based Board of Trustees of 30. Evolving from traditional museum exhibits to curriculum-correlated field trips, to interactive online learning experiences, the Museum’s education offerings increase their impact on students and on the teaching in local schools each year.

New and redesigned educational initiatives allow the Museum to fulfill its goal of improving outcomes from elementary and middle school programs. These improvements will help the Museum better serve students and teachers in the New Bedford region, and beyond who currently participate in our programs, and also attract new school groups.

The recommendations for change came out of deep conversations with and feedback from community partners, teachers and educators from across the region, administrators in the New Bedford Public School system and civic leaders. As State and Federal education reform efforts focus on core reading and math skills, the role of third party education providers like the Museum is changing. The Museum has increased its commitment to providing deeper learning: research, writing and digital media creation skill development and teacher training, to supplement the more focused school programs.


Last modified: October 4, 2018

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