Areas of Expertise
Sharon Shaffer collaborates with museums and schools, providing professional development,
program design, and organizational planning. She works closely with educators and curators
on diverse projects, supporting institutional vision.
Her background and expertise is in educational theory, museum methodologies, teaching
application, program development, and exhibition planning and design. Her experience
includes work with diverse audiences across art, history, science, and cultural museums as well
as initiatives with children’s museums.
Shaffer’s passion and expertise in early learning is recognized within the museum field based
upon her leadership as the Founding Director for the Smithsonian's model lab school for young
children (the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center) and her consultations with museums and
schools nationally and internationally.
Dr. Shaffer is the author of three academic books, the first of which is translated into Chinese
and Greek (Engaging Young Children in Museums). She is also the editor for the Routledge
series, Global Perspectives on Children in Museums.
In addition to writing and consulting, Dr. Shaffer has more than 15 years of experience teaching
Social Foundations of Education at the University of Virginia, engaging graduate students in
discussions related to history, educational theory, and school reform in America.
PhD, Social Foundations of Education, University of Virginia