Professional Development for Teachers

This partnership provides opportunities for classroom teachers and Museum educators to work closely with each other to develop and implement interdisciplinary curricula that will connect classroom learning to the art on view, and the community we live in.

Fun with Shapes and Geometry

Teachers working on an art project in the galleries, November 2011. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

This two-hour workshop focused on the exhibition David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy and provided classroom teachers with several ideas for integrating art into their math curriculum. The simplified geometry of Smith’s monumental Cubi and Zig sculptures of the 1960s started a conversation about balance, scale, and proportion. Teachers were particularly drawn to Smith’s drawings and paintings. His myriad rearrangements of geometric shapes sparked discussion about pattern, design, and geometric abstraction. 

Gallery-Based Activities

Teachers becoming a work in the gallery, 2010. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

The purpose of this workshop was to introduce teachers to non-discursive strategies and gallery-based activities that they can use in their classrooms in addition to verbal description and discussions. They were excited to learn that activities such as responding with poetry, creating a comic strip, or even becoming the work itself, were different ways to deepen students’ understanding about works of art.

  • Teachers taking time to look closely at works in the gallery, 2010. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

  • Teachers working on an activity in the gallery, 2010. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

  • Teacher working on a brainstorming activity in the gallery, 2010. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

  • Teachers discuss curricular connections in the Sculpture Court, 2010. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

Teachers were thrilled to check out 2010, the Whitney Biennial. While most of the teachers know about the Whitney’s signature exhibition, few of them have visited a Biennial before. This workshop provided opportunities for teachers to find out more about contemporary art and artists. They also discussed ways to incorporate some of the works on view into their classroom curricula.