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Do you know an inspirational museum educator worthy of broader recognition? Have you developed an exceptional, tested program or published resource that is innovative and effective at reaching target audiences? Consider nominating someone for one of EdCom’s annual Awards of Excellence.

Since 1983, EdCom has recognized outstanding contributions to museum education by individual practitioners, by museums offering distinguished programs and publications, and by those individuals demonstrating leadership within the entire museum community and beyond.

Nominations are due by February 10, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Questions should be directed to Hassan Najjar at hnajjar@museumcenter.org. Nominated individuals and/or institutions must be individual and/or institutional members of the American Alliance of Museums. Award winners will be honored at the 2014 AAM Annual Meeting in Seattle. 

Ready to nominate? Select one of the categories below: 


Excellence in Practice: This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exemplary service to the public through the practice of education in a museum.  The person’s contributions may be through teaching, program development, community organizing, writing, research and/or professional activities.  Awardees meet, establish, and promote the highest professional standards and are recognized as leaders in their field. Eligible nominees will be knowledgeable, demonstrate creativity, and succeed in stretching the boundaries defining the parameters of good practice.

Excellence in Programming: This award recognizes exemplary creativity and innovation in museum educational programming.  To be eligible, the program must have clearly articulated goals, be designed to achieve the goals with the intended audiences, have concrete evidence of success, have been presented three consecutive years, and reflect institutional commitment.  Programs that clearly address one or more of the principles outlined in the AAM’s policy statement on public education, Excellence and Practice, will be given special consideration.

Excellence in Resources: This award recognizes outstanding resources in print, online, and/or multimedia formats. The criteria for the awards are:

  1. Audience Research – Who is the intended audience and how does the product serve them? How does it reflect meaningful research and evaluation results? Were audience members involved in the creation of the product?
  2. Best Practices in Education Theory – How have staff and designer worked together to ensure learning takes place? Was the piece successful? Is it pertinent to the institution’s mission?
  3. Creativity and Design – Is the product well designed and visually appealing? Is it unique and original? Is it easy to use? 

John Cotton Dana Leadership Award: This award recognizes an individual, other than someone working directly with museum education programs, for efforts on behalf of public education and community service.  The AAM Education Committee established the award in 1991 in tribute to John Cotton Dana, Founder and Director of the Newark Museum.  During his life, he worked incessantly to make the museum a center of community service whose chief function was to be educational and interpretive.