View the 2014 – 2015 School Program Brochure HERE >>
Education is at the core of the Fairfield Museum’s mission and our education programs inspire diverse learners to make history personal and meaningful through engaging and innovative programs.
For more information on education programs, call the Education Department at 203-259-1598 or submit a request online.
Coming this Fall, 2014:
Accused: Fairfield’s Witchcraft Trials:
September 25, 2014 – January 5, 2015
In 17th century New England religious beliefs and folk tradition instilled deep fears of magic, evil, and supernatural powers. How else to explain unnatural events, misfortune and the sudden convulsions and fits of local townspeople?
In this exhibition, the fascinating history of Connecticut’s witchcraft trials is illuminated by author and illustrator Jakob Crane. In graphic novel form, powerful depictions of the events and characters are reimagined through storylines and pen and ink drawings.
Witchcraft in Connecticut
with CT State Historian Walter Woodward
Thursday, October 9, 4:00pm – 6:30pm $25 per person.
To register, contact Christine Jewell, director of education at 203-259-1598
or register online here >>
Scholarships are available for Bridgeport and Norwalk teachers upon request.
Learn more about the Fairfield Museum’s new education programs and participate in a re-enactment of the 1669 CT trial of Katherine Harrison of Wethersfield. Come prepared to be witness, jury, judge or – the suspected witch herself!
Education Programs (Grades 7 – 12)
The goals of the Education Programs aim to place students and visitors within the context of 17th century Puritan New England society. It is difficult to dispel previous knowledge, assumptions as well as popular culture and imagery associated with the facts and fiction of witchcraft trials. The Salem craze was atypical of what happened throughout New England and the Connecticut stories paint a different picture. As we study these trials, the sequence of events, the evidence and the people involved, we can learn from the past, inform the present and create a better understanding for the future.
Gallery Tour + Activity: The Gallery Tour + Activity will give an overview of the Connecticut witchcraft trials, exploring the roles of the accuser, the accused, witnesses, the legal process and how the community responded. Utilizing the artwork of Jakob Crane, students will analyze imagery, symbolism and intent and how an artist can influence the interpretation of history. Contemporary issues on the subject, such as tolerance, influence, the individual vs. the common good will also be discussed, including modern witch-hunts that occur today throughout the world.
In The Witchcraft Debate, students learn about the witch trials in Fairfield County and the importance of religion in Puritan New England. Students are assigned different roles, including the prosecution and the defense, utilizing actual accusations from the 1692 trials in Fairfield, augmented by testimony from Salem. Whose side will you be on?
An extended day program can accommodate up to 3 classes for a field trip, with a rotation of learning activities including the Gallery Tour + Activity, The Witchcraft Debate and a Town Green Walking Tour.
For more information and to book an education program, call the Education Department at 203-259-1598 or submit a request online.
An Educator Guide will be available for download before September 25. The Guide includes reproductions of Jakob Crane’s illustrations from the exhibition, background information and student activities. The guide was developed in partnership with regional educators at a Summer Teacher Institute in July and co-sponsored by the Fairfield Public Library.
Now on View:
Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past is an ambitious exhibition that engages visitors with the past through dynamic and interactive activities. The exhibition is an essential step toward realizing the Fairfield Museum’s educational vision to use history to strengthen community and shape its future.
Creating Community covers nearly 375 years of regional history, using the town of Fairfield as a model for a changing community. Fairfield, established in 1639, rapidly expanded in the 17th century and included parts of Redding, Weston, Easton, Westport, Greens Farms and the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Through success and failure, loss and prestige, Fairfield emerged as a model suburban enclave within the major New York metropolitan area.
The exhibit complements social studies and Common Core curriculum with themes on the Colonial America/Native Americans, the American Revolution, Westward Expansion, Immigration, the Gilded Age, World War II and the 1950s.