Bennington Museum’s 2023 Summer Institute: Museums as Resources

Museums as Resources can be used to obtain 3 graduate level credits through Castleton University or 45 hours of Professional Development credit and will empower teachers to access, understand, and use the primary resources of museums in their lesson plans.

Instructor of Record: Jennifer Welles White, Social Studies Teacher, Mount Anthony Union High School
Host: Deana Mallory, Director of Public Programs, Bennington Museum

Course Description:        The Common Core Learning Standards emphasize the use of primary documents and skills such as critical thinking, citing evidence, understanding multiple perspectives, and engaging in constructive conversation. Museums have been using these techniques for many years and are excellent resources for important primary and secondary documents, images, and the art and objects that help us engage students in every kind of learning.

The goal of this course is to teach educators how to access, understand, and use the resources available to them through museums to support their curriculum and engage learners. Throughout the course, participants will learn how to access museum collections through online catalogs, techniques for engaging students in conversation about art and objects, and how to use those conversations to achieve learning objectives across the curriculum, including social studies, English language arts, and mathematics.

The course takes place primarily at Bennington Museum, but also includes visits to two other area museums. Guest presenters include Victoria Hughes, Educational Outreach and Curriculum Manager at the Vermont History Museum; Jaraun Mustain, Math Specialist for the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union; Michele Pagan, independent textile conservator; and others.

The 6-day course can be taken for 3 graduate credits through Castleton University or for 45 hours of Professional Development credit. The course is open to all early childhood through grade 12 educators but is limited to 10 participants.

A Quick Overview

August 4 through 11; final project due September 15
Most days start at 8:30AM and end at 3:30PM

This six day program is geared for early childhood through Grade 12 educators.

Ten participants will be accepted.

The program will include gallery tours, field trips and an array of guest speakers who will delve into various methods of discovering, understanding, and using the art and objects of museums in lesson planning.

$750 fee includes Castleton University credit fee. The course may be taken for professional development only (no credits) for a reduced fee of $375.

Register Here

Participant Feedback

All of this course was helpful! This is the best PD course I have EVER taken. Seriously.
– Pamela Johnson-Spurlock, Library Media Specialist, Green Mountain Union High School

Your guest speakers were phenomenal. The knowledge available to us was amazing and I feel like it
was only the tip of the iceberg of what they could offer us. – L. O.

I value the exposure to a broad range of talented, passionate professionals. Everyone was so generous
with their creative ideas. – Jill Van Orden, MAUHS Art Teacher

Overall the course was very, fun, useful, and engaging. It provided me with many tools and ideas as
well as established new relationships and understanding roles/resources within out community. I really
enjoyed going to museums and having a real-life experience. It provided me with a perspective we can
share with our students. -K.C.