I’m in Amsterdam with my colleague, John Nash, for the European League of Middle Level Education (ELMLE) conference. Yesterday I facilitated an all-day preconference with a small group of teachers and administrators on the topic of Preparing Students for What Is and Will Be. Our discussions were fabulous. Today John conducted an energetic Design Thinking workshop that was very well-received. Tomorrow I keynote the conference and also do a session on setting up a RSS reader and making it work for you as an educator. I’m greatly enjoying my interactions with these international school educators from all across Europe.

Rijks Museumphoto © 2007 Charles Hutchins | more info (via: Wylio)John and I are getting a chance to explore the city as well. In addition to spending a lot of time riding the trams, wandering around, people-watching, and general culture-absorbing, we also have hit a few museums and city hotspots.

The Van Gogh Museum was interesting but I liked the Rijks Museum even better. Imagine my ‘delight,’ however, to see scores of Dutch middle school children in the latter running from exhibit to exhibit, quickly jotting down 2– to 5–word answers in order to fill in blank spaces on worksheets given to them by their teachers. I know this is a common way to do museum field trips in the United States but until that instant I hadn’t given any thought to how universal this practice might be.

Is this a common way to do school-to-museum field trips across international locations?
Do students ever get much from this style of museum visitation?
How do you say ‘worksheet’ in Dutch?