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Put numismatic education at college level

America is getting poor grades for its efforts in numismatic education.

A new doctoral study by Lawrence J. Lee, director of Numismatic Museum Services and former American Numismatic Association museum curator, says numismatic education in the United States is lagging behind other countries and needs an overhaul.

Lee recently was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree by the University of Nebraska for his dissertation entitled ?Measuring Numismatic Education at the Post-Secondary Level.?

In it, Lee studied whether informal and formal numismatic education at the college level had increased or decreased in the United States. He found that numismatic education delivery methods need to be redefined.

During the last 150 years, Lee says  American numismatics has experienced a ?fall from grace,? going from an academic discipline to an under-utilized technical tool. He puts the blame squarely on numismatists themselves, who he says have failed to develop the academic rigor and methodology of established historical disciplines like archaeology and geology.

Based on his research, Lee has come up with these recommendations:
– Redefine the educational mission to develop classes aimed at adult learners rather than grade-school children
– Use professional teachers and educators rather than relying on experts
– Develop an educational philosophy broader than ?buy the book before the coin?
– De-emphasize coin-grading classes, investment seminars and presentations on selling coins on eBay as educational activities worthy of academic merit

In his studies of numismatic literature, Lee found that numismatists have little awareness of the mechanisms of post-secondary education in the United States. He believes, however, that a college-level curriculum that meets academic rigor can be developed.

For more information about Lee?s thesis and research, or to order a copy of the dissertation abstract in either digital or hard-copy format, visit www.numuserv.com, or contact Dr. Lawrence J. Lee at Numismatic Museum Services, P.O. Box 6194, Lincoln, NE 68506; telephone 402-488-2646; or via e-mail at lee@numuserv.com.

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