Sam is an advocate for accessible, interdisciplinary educational opportunities in museums and the greater learning landscape. Her background in history, American studies, and museum education as well as her experience as a science educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum provides RK&A with a broad experience. She has studied the nuances of museum facilitation and collaborated with several institutions to explore learning in museums. As an insatiably curious learner, Sam seeks answers to questions to illuminate the value of museums as places of learning and meaning-making.
“Constructing Knowledge Together: Collaborating with and Understanding Young Adults with Autism.”
Journal of Museum Education, 2018.
By Sam Theriault and Beth Redmond-Jones
In 2017, the San Diego Natural History Museum piloted SPECTRUM: Social Stories Project; the museum hosted 10 young adults with ASD who, in partnership, created pre-visit tools for other autistic museum visitors to Balboa Park. Supported with RK&A’s evaluation findings, including interviews with the young adults and museum professionals, and three naturalistic observations, this article explores the reciprocal museum learning between program young adults with ASD and museum staff, who deepened their understanding of ASD because of social interaction in a museum setting.