No experience in the arts compares with viewing the primary source – original works of art. Textures and materials come to life when students see works of art firsthand. Original works of art connect students (and visitors) to the historical and cultural context in which these artworks are made; provide a forum to understand art as way of communicating and reflecting important ideas and serve as inspiration for self-reflection. Students carry these personal experiences with them as they grow and develop as human beings in our ever-changing, ever-demanding society.
Students who attend a field trip to an art museum experience an increase in critical thinking skills of 9 percent of a standard deviation, an increase in historical empathy of 6 percent of a standard deviation, and an improvement in tolerance of 7 percent of a standard deviation. Students from rural or high-poverty regions had even larger gains, of 18 percent of a standard deviation in critical thinking, 15 percent in historical empathy, and 13 percent in tolerance. – Results of a 2001 study titled “The Educational Value of Field Trips” by University of Arkansas researchers Jay Greene, Brian Kisida, and Daniel Bowen.
SAM hosts regulars visits from schools from our community and throughout our region. School visits are uniquely customized to make connections between our current exhibitions and the students’ existing curricular goals.
School visits include a tour of the museum and will focus at least one of the exhibitions on view. Generally, a guided tour will last 45-60 minutes, depending on the age, development or number of students visiting. However, the length of the visit is also adaptable to accommodate the schools’ schedule.
Guided tour and educational activity
In addition to a guided tour, visiting schools may request an educational activity in the education center. Educational activities will reflect a technique, style or concept that derives from the exhibition(s) visited. Educational activities are geared toward meeting the needs of the specific students visiting and may vary from other visits. School visits that include a tour and an educational activity range from 80 – 120 minutes.
If you are interested in scheduling a school visit to SAM, email Tina Sell, Director of Education at tsell@SusquehannaArtMuseum.org. Please have more than one potential date in mind, in the event of a conflict with previously scheduled event. The museum can provide an invoice in advance of your visit, or you may pay at the front desk upon your arrival.
Schedule a Group Tour
Group Tours (for 10 or more visitors) must be scheduled in advance to ensure that a trained docent is available to provide a customized 45-60 minute visit of our current exhibitions. All non-member visitors participating in a scheduled guided tour receive $2 discount off their admission fee. Regular admission applies for groups tours of less than 10 visitors.
If you are interested in scheduling a group tour email tsell@SusquehannaArtMuseum.org. Please note, we ask that group organizers inform the museum of your planned arrival time, even if you do NOT wish to have a docent-led tour. For the safety of the artwork and to optimize the experience of all our visitors, the museum would prefer to schedule all groups visits.
Approximately three to four times a year, the main gallery will be temporarily closed for installation when staff is transitioning from one exhibition to another. Installation can last between 2 – 3 weeks to safely handle artwork and prepare the main gallery. Please check our website or social media (or email info@SusquehannaArtMuseum.org) to ensure that the main gallery is not closed during your visit.