Sheila Kirschbaum, Ed.D.

Director, Tsongas Industrial History Center

Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
School of Education; Tsongas Industrial History Center
Boott Mills, 115 John St., Lowell, MA 01852


Experiential learning; partnerships; curriculum development; teacher professional development

Research Interests

Museum Education, Literacy Studies


Ed.D., Language Arts and Literacy, University of Massachusetts Lowell
M.A., English, Rivier University, 
B.A. English/Secondary Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell


Sheila Kirschbaum, Ed.D., directs the Tsongas Industrial History Center (TIHC), an education partnership of UMass Lowell’s School of Education and Lowell National Historical Park. The TIHC, a field-study destination for educators and students, offers hands-on, place-based experiences that develop understanding of the significance of industrialization and its relevance today, using Lowell as a case study. In addition to its school programs for grades 2 through adult, the TIHC provides high-quality teacher professional development, drawing national audiences to its institutes and workshops. Sheila‘s experience as an educator ranges from high school and college teaching to writing consulting, museum education, and curriculum development. A priority in her work has been to engage Lowell Public Schools’ students with the Park’s and Center’s resources, building knowledge and skills in history and science as well as fostering pride of place. Sheila and her TIHC colleagues also strongly value their collaborations with UMass Lowell faculty and students on mutually beneficial projects that span a wide variety of disciplines.

Selected Awards and Honors

2002: Francis Cabot Lowell Education Alumni Award, UMass Lowell
2008: Chelmsford High School Hall of Fame Inductee
1997: Middlesex Community College "People Who Make a Difference" Award
1982-3: Teacher of the Year, Alvirne High School, Hudson, NH

Selected Publications

  • Co-Author (with J. Tigert and G. Fotouhi), “An Investigation of Museum Educators' Questioning during Field Trips,” Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Vol. 31, Part A, December 2021.
  • Co-Author (with J. Tigert), “How Museum Teachers Scaffold Emergent Bilingual Learners’ Meaning-Making during Field Trips,” Journal of Museum Education, 44(4) pp. 439-447. December 2019.
  • Provided editorial assistance to Cobblestone Magazine for Children at Work issue, Spring 2017.
  • Co-Editor, “Mr. Magnificent’s Magical Merrimack Adventure,” Aug. 2016 (Ingrid Hess, author).
  • Co-Author (with A. Greenwood), “Preparing Teachers for Place-Based Instruction at the Tsongas Industrial History Center,” Journal of Museum Education, Vol. 39, No. 1, March 2014, pp. 20–27.
  • Author of “Mill Girls and Labor Movements: Integrating Women’s History into Early Industrialization Studies,” OAH Magazine of History, Mar. 2005, pp. 43-47.

Selected Presentations

NEH Panel, Project Directors’ Meeting, Oct. 2019; Poster/Panel, AERA, Apr. 2019 and 2016; Lawrence Symposium on Immigration, Apr. 2014; NCPH/OAH roundtable, Apr. 2012