Every summer, the major art museums of New York host workshops in an effort to expand the landscape of modern nd contemporary art in the classroom. Teachers of grades 3-12 are invited to attend forums on a variety of subjects at institutions such as the MoMa, Guggenheim, Met and Whitney museums. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns in the pedagogy of art is how to keep conversations alive which encourage further exploration of both past and current art practice. Programs such as these are an effective catalyst for ensuring that art stays in the classroom and that teachers and students alike can converse about some of history’s greatest works.
Through the educational efforts of museums today, teachers are encouraged to form a comradery in which lesson development is embarked upon together, expanding the paradigm of how to meet common core standards while still incorporating modern and contemporary art. Experts in the field of public pedagogy in the arts share their expertise and open up new areas where teachers can express their own creativity. It may seem daunting at first to dialogue in the classroom about more contemporary works, but through hands on learning and experimentation, teachers gain their footing in this area. Workshop activities include drawing from description, practice classroom discussions, research methods, communicating aesthetics, learning to personally connect to a piece and many more!
Connecting Collections and programs like it promote the idea that art reflects our culture and thus should continue to be incorporated into the education system. For teachers all over the country, these few days become an essential part of understanding how to keep modern and contemporary art in the forefront of classroom standards, allowing generations to come the opportunity to explore their cultural heritage in a new way!