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Summer Institute for Educators: Art and Thinking

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

At the National Gallery of Art (NGA), works of art offer a platform to engage students of all ages in conversations that develop deep-thinking skills. NGA museum educators accomplish this through the use of thinking routines—tools to spark and structure thinking and increase student engagement.

In this Summer Institute, designed for teachers of all levels and subjects, you’ll join a learning community of museum educators and teachers from across the country. You’ll get hands-on experience using thinking strategies with art in the galleries and hear from education and arts integration specialists. You’ll have the opportunity to create an art/thinking lesson for your own teaching setting.

Each day of the Institute will highlight an essential thinking disposition, or type of thinking, that works of art naturally promote; for example: observing and describing, reasoning with evidence, questioning and investigating, and taking perspectives. We will introduce and model teaching strategies supported by NGA learning resources, including the Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art online course and the Uncovering America teacher resource.

Join us for an invigorating week of immersive learning in the art museum designed to empower educators to teach critical thinking with works of art.

This program will:

  • Introduce K–12 teachers and museum educators to Artful Thinking Routines and Thinking Dispositions, using the NGA collection, staff, and learning resources.
  • Share best practices for using Artful Thinking Routines in formal (classrooms) and informal (museums) learning environments.
  • Create and support a global community of teachers who integrate art into curricula using Artful Thinking Routines.

Dates: July 8–12, 2019

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 is held at the Gallery. Applicants should plan on attending the entire program, which takes place Monday through Thursday 9:00 am–4:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am–1:00 pm. Some activities may be scheduled off-site and in the evening.

Program Fees

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

Selection Criteria

Participants will be selected through an application process (see below). 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 the following 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. Selection of fellows will be based on merit rather than financial need. Consideration will focus on the individual's or the team's statement of purpose, the topic's connection to curriculum or students' needs, and anticipated teaching outcomes.

Educators of any discipline who are currently employed within a public, private, or parochial school system, K–12, are eligible for funding.

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.

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

2019 applications are due by April 15, 2019.

Educators may apply as individuals or as teams of two. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose explaining why they would like to attend the Institute. The statement should include ways the applicant(s) will incorporate the subject matter into their classroom studies. Applicants must also submit a plan for how they intend to share the Institute experience with their students and colleagues upon completion of the program. Applicants applying as teams should reference one another by full name in their statement of purpose.

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Confirmation

Participants will be notified of their acceptance in April 2019. If accepted, applicants will have until approximately April 30, 2019, to confirm their participation.

Contact

Questions about this program should be directed to [email protected]. When contacting the Gallery, please provide a telephone number and the times of day when you can be reached.

Acknowledgements

The 2019 Teacher Institute 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, Corcoran Collection (Gift of Vincent Melzac), 2015.19.144

Acknowledgments

The 2019 Teacher Institute 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

Questions about this program should be directed to [email protected]. When contacting the Gallery, please provide a telephone number and the times of day when you can best be reached.