I want to start up this week's presentation by giving you some context about our teaching philosophy at MoMA: specifically how I approach art and inquiry through our on-site programs for teachers. A big part of how we support teachers is by modeling our methods for them in front of works of art. This video will give you a sense of what this looks like and also give you some insight into how we see our methods in the context of a larger dialogue about education. In the coming weeks you will also learn about the online resources that we have developed to support teachers in the process of incorporating art and inquiry into their classroom. You guys tell us a similarity as well. So like there's a person, like a green person and then there's like a white animal over there. So there's that similarity of a person and an animal in the painting. Yup. Absolutely. So the last pair share: What was a similarity? Yeah. Another similarity, they both have, they all have colors. Yes. They both have this very strong use of color. Yeah, you wanted to say a similarity as well? Can I do a difference? Say that again? Can I do differences? Yeah, you want to start with the difference? Yeah. One has a church, one doesn't. One has a church, one doesn't. Yes. That's good. I know why maybe she's upside down: because those two houses are upside down. Yeah, so that's really interesting, right? That's a really great observation, right? Some things are right side up and some things are upside down. So maybe the figure is in response to that? Yeah, yeah. What's another difference? What's something that's happening here that wasn't happening in the other one? Yeah. That um, the difference is that in this, every spot is a different color and in the other one they are all like the same color. Yeah, that's interesting right? The other one had kinda what would look like one general like color over the land or color over the sky. And here there's a lot of different kinds of colors going on. Yeah, that's definitely…. One of the other important goals through the modeling with these particular objects, these MoMA objects is to also articulate to teachers and make it clear to them how the kinds of questioning strategies on the kinds of activities we scaffold around engagements with works of art could happen around any objects. They could happen around a piece of history or it could happen around a piece of literature or some sort of text or a piece of music. So although we're specifically engaging the objects that we have here and also delving into their history and the context of these objects we're always thinking about simultaneously modeling how whatever it is that we're doing can be translated to something in the classroom. This is often a way to start a conversation with students. And even though we didn't do any writing, can you imagine any connections between this and literacy? What you just did, the talking about the artwork. So what you just talked about: comparing and contrasting; that's something we do often. It's useful to have them compare different things, but still use that same skill of noticing lists of things that you see that are the same and different. Yeah. Also to take it to the next level is being able to compare lots of things to each other, not just two things, but being able to compare a group of things. Groups of things as well. Yeah, and I love to like when I'm in the classroom I notice like when I say, “Have you done compare contrast?” they’re all like, “oh yes, yes I’ve done that.” You know, this is a very common thing. I try and use vocabulary students are used to. Now you’ve seen and heard a little bit about our approach, I want to talk about why we teach in this way, specifically highlighting some of the critical skills that can be developed in this process one clarification I want to make at the onset is that throughout this course I'll be using the term "works of art" but a work of art could mean student artwork, a piece of writing, music, or any other kind a significant object or artifact you want to teach with. All of what we will explore in this course can be applied to any object or content in your classroom. Here at MoMA, we stress the use of inquiry based teaching as a means that learning about are in a way that help students engage with art in a meaningful way but also as a way for them to develop critical thinking skills that are crucial to all aspects of their intellectual work and development, in school but also in their everyday lives, present and future. Observational skills: practice at observing, describing, and interpreting visual information. The seemingly simple act of students spending extended time observing a work of art describing in detail what they see presents significant challenges regarding both the development of perception and language. Instead of simply acquiring information, students are encouraged to focus, look closely and present a thorough description of what they see. When we spend extended time to look and describe we enable students to build upon and fine-tune their observation skills. This process requires no expertise or prior knowledge which makes it accessible to any student. Analytical skills: experiencing in contemplating information and facts and opinions in order to make informed interpretations. Over time and through exposure to increasingly challenging images, students can begin to make more and subtler observations, and organize and express them more efficiently and with greater depth. They begin to build upon observations forming questions and working toward developing their own hypotheses or interpretations about the work based on evidence they gathered through close looking. This type of skill is essential for all students, both in school and in life. Communication skills: practice at articulating one's ideas and opinions, and learning to listen and respond to those of others. In addition to all the skills that inquiry cultivates and develops, teaching with art and inquiry in the classroom also builds community. Through this process, students are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with each other which not only helps them gain a better understanding of the content being discussed, but it also helps them again to gain an understanding of themselves in relationship to each other. We believe dialogue and exchange are powerful and memorable ways to experience works of art. Group conversations about objects around a central theme are core components of our practice. Students are encouraged to share their thoughts in a welcoming atmosphere that supports and challenges them to make connections between objects, ideas, and their own experiences. Through this process they will end up learning from you, the teacher, but they'll also learn from each other. This type of teaching definitely fosters and cultivates a community of shared experience and learning. It goes without saying that on top of all the skills, there's also a huge amount of content knowledge that students can gain through this approach, both about artists their process, but also about the context of the works of art themselves and their place in a larger historical narrative. For those of us that teach in the U.S., the Common Core standards have become a large focus in terms of curriculum design and instruction. And although there are no Common Core standards currently in place for the arts, many of us working in the field have identified the ways that our teaching methods align with the Common Core. Common Core standards were designed to reflect the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and career readiness. I see inquiry based teaching methods parallel to the proficiencies outlining the Common Core State Standards as they relate to literacy, speaking and listening, critical thinking, analyzing informational text, and citing evidence to support arguments. I would also just close by saying that I see this practice as one that supports both teachers and students. All too often, teachers and students are burdened by system that does not support their needs, and although I think it's important to recognize all the ways in which we teach align with initiatives such as the Common Core Standard, I think the focus should be on the needs of our students and how we can cultivate environment that sparks and supports deep and meaningful engagement in creativity. I hope this week' presentations and readings helped to give you an overview, and then next week, we'll begin to dissect the process through viewing examples methods and practice.