Bennington Museum Teacher Institute: Museums as Resources

The 2021 Teachers’ Institute has ended. Please check back in March for information about a 2022 course.

The Vermont Humanities Council has awarded a $5,000 grant to support the formation of a summer Teacher’s Institute at Bennington Museum. This program can be used to obtain 3 graduate level credits through Castleton University and will strengthen the regional school community and empower teachers to access, understand, and use the primary resources of the Museum’s collection 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. Many educators are not aware of the scope of resources available at museums or how to access them. They may not feel confident in their own abilities to use art, objects and archival documents as teaching tools. 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.

A Quick Overview

July 12 – 16; final project due August 18

This five day program is geared for K – 12 teachers.

Ten teachers 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.

$500 fee includes Castleton University credit fee.

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.