Areas of Expertise
Sharon Shaffer serves informal and formal learning institutions through professional development, mentoring, program development, evaluation, and strategic thinking initiatives. Through a collaborative approach and an emphasis on relationship building, she leads and supports efforts to advance the institution's vision and goals.
Her background and expertise is in educational theory, museum methodologies, teaching application, program development, and exhibition space as a learning environment. Her experience includes diverse audiences across art, history, science, and cultural museums.
Dr. Shaffer has more than ten years of experience teaching Social Foundations of American Education at the University of Virginia, engaging graduate students in discussion of history, educational theory and school reform in America. Over the past 30 years she established a lab school at a Pennsylvania community college, developed a model museum-based, educational program for young children (Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center), worked with museums and schools nationally and internationally, and has contributed to professional journals as an author and editor.
Her passion and expertise in early learning is recognized within the museum field based upon her work as the Founding Director of the Smithsonian's model lab school for young children and support of museums seeking to develop independent initiatives related to young museum-goers.
PhD, Social Foundations of Education, University of Virginia