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Summer Institute for Educators: Art and Thinking

How can works of art support and encourage students as critical thinkers?

Works of art offer a unique platform for cultivating critical thought—especially when paired with Artful Thinking Routines. Originally developed by Project Zero of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, thinking routines spark and structure thinking and increase student engagement. Museum educators at the National Gallery of Art engage students of all ages in conversations that develop deep thinking skills. The Summer Institute is designed to empower teachers of all levels and subjects to teach critical thinking using works of art.

You’ll join a learning community of educators from across the country, get hands-on experience using thinking routines with art, and hear from education and arts integration specialists.

Each day we will highlight an essential research-based “thinking disposition,” or type of thinking, that works of art naturally promote. These include observing and describing, reasoning with evidence, questioning and investigating, and taking perspectives. Guest researchers and practitioners will present on these dispositions in morning sessions, and participants in learning groups will actively apply those ideas in the galleries throughout the day. We will introduce and model teaching strategies supported by Gallery learning resources, including the Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art online course and the Uncovering America teacher resource.

This program will:

  • Introduce educators to Artful Thinking Routines and thinking dispositions using the Gallery collection, staff, and learning resources;
  • Share best practices for using Artful Thinking Routines in formal learning environments (classrooms) as well as informal ones (museums);
  • Create opportunities for engaging with art through forms such as bookmaking and creative writing; and
  • Create and support a global community of teachers who use Artful Thinking Routines to integrate art into curricula.

Schedule

July 6–10, 2020

Day 1: Big Ideas and Slow Looking

Day 2: Reasoning with Visual Evidence

Day 3: Sparking Curiosity with Questioning and Investigating

Day 4: Developing Empathy through Perspective-Taking

Day 5 (half day): The Power of Learning Groups

The program will be held primarily at the Gallery. Applicants should plan on attending the entire program, which takes place Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and Friday, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Some activities may be scheduled off-site and/or in the evening.

Program Fees

The fee of $200 per person covers the cost of instruction and resources. All materials will be provided.

Transportation and Housing

Participants will be responsible for their own transportation and housing. A list of suggested housing options will be provided upon admission, but participants should feel free to explore alternatives.

Application Process

Applications are due March 9, 2020.

Educators may apply as individuals or as teams of two. Both members of a team must complete an application.

Applicants must submit

  1. A 250-word statement of purpose explaining why they would like to attend the Institute and how the topic relates to their work. The statement should detail how the applicant(s) will incorporate what they learn into their work. Those applying as teams should reference one another’s full names in their respective statements of purpose.
  2. A plan for sharing what you learn from the Institute experience with students and colleagues upon completion of the program.

Apply here

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on an individual’s or team’s statement of purpose. Administrators (principals, supervisors, or curriculum specialists) will be given special consideration. To encourage national representation, efforts will be made to enroll candidates from each of these five regions:

  1. Northwest and Alaska
  2. Southwest and Hawaii
  3. Midwest
  4. Northeast
  5. Southeast

Fellowships

The Gallery offers a limited number of $1,000 fellowships. The stipend is intended to contribute to travel and program-related expenses. Educators of any discipline who are currently employed in a public, private, or parochial school system, K–12, are eligible for fellowships.

Fellows will be selected based on merit. Consideration will focus on the individual’s or team’s statement of purpose, the topic’s connection to curriculum or students’ needs, and anticipated teaching outcomes.

Successful fellowship candidates will be paid upon completion of the program and submission of a two-page report summarizing how they will apply their experience at the Institute to daily teaching or administrative work.

There is not a separate application for the fellowship. If you wish to be considered for a fellowship, please make your intention clear in your Institute application. If you are awarded a fellowship, you will be notified in your acceptance letter.

Confirmation

Participants will be notified of their acceptance no later than April 30, 2020.

Contact

Please direct questions about this program to [email protected]. In your email, please provide a telephone number and the times of day when you can be reached.

Acknowledgements

The 2020 Summer Institute for Educators is supported by generous gifts from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fund, the PaineWebber Endowment, and the Annetta J. and Robert M. Coffelt Sr. and Robert M. Coffelt Jr. Endowed Fellowship.

Alma Thomas, Pansies in Washington, 1969, acrylic on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (Gift of Vincent Melzac), 2015.19.144

Acknowledgments

The 2020 Summer Institute for Educators is supported by generous gifts from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fund, the PaineWebber Endowment, and the Annetta J. and Robert M. Coffelt Sr. and Robert M. Coffelt Jr. Endowed Fellowship.

Contact

Please direct questions about this program to [email protected]. In your email, please provide a telephone number and the times of day when you can be reached.