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Professional Development for Teachers

Professional development workshops for Gotham staff are designed to serve as a forum to experiment with ideas and explore connections between works of art on view at the Whitney and classroom curricula. We want to increase teachers’ comfort level with using works of art as primary sources and as a starting point for discussion-based learning in the galleries and in the classroom.

About Contemporary Art

Alex White, Principal of Gotham,  taking a closer look at Curtis Mann’s After the Dust, Second View (Beirut), 2009. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

During this one-hour workshop in 2010, the Whitney Biennial, teachers explored connections between contemporary art and classroom curricula. Besides looking to books and the Internet for information about the art and artists, teachers considered alternative sources such as wall text and audio guide transcripts. This was the first workshop jointly-led by a Gotham teacher and a Museum educator.

Teaching with works of art

Teachers investigating Andrea Bowers’s _Memorial to One of the Largest Urban Farms in America (South Central Community Garden, at 41st and Alameda Streets, Los Angeles, 1994-2006), 2008. Photograph by Ai Wee Seow

In this two-part workshop, teachers worked together in groups to brainstorm interdisciplinary connections for selected works in the Whitney’s collection. Teachers also considered the role of multi-media resources such as YouTube videos in deepening students’ understanding about the art or artist.