honoriartist (honoriartist) wrote,


I  started taking a 4-week professional development course at MoMa through coursera.  The course is about inquiry learning using museum objects.  It's really something.  A MOOC is a massive open online course and there are folks there from all over the world, ranging from all grade levels of teachers, artists, students who want to work in museums, and museum personnel. The people who don't seem to be there in an active role are the instructors from MoMa, but they have put up all the course material for us students to chat about so - Chat we do - posting in a dozens of forums. The amount of action in the forums could be quite overwhelming but I'm following a couple of the more interesting threads and letting the rest bubble away.  One interesting thread is about what to do when a teen on a museum field trip said "all art is ugly and boring."  A really with-it teacher didn't lose a beat and said "Great, show me the ugly art." and with that gained the student's attention enough to spur the action to go recognize something that the student felt was really ugly.  Once the student finds a concrete example of Ugly, it lead to some good conversation about aesthetics and criteria for ugly...what fun.  Most of the other conversations are more teachery.
The support materials for inquiry learning are interesting and helpful.  I've already created a double sided worksheet to facilitate 2-person critiques in my classroom from the first week's readings.  At the end of the 4 weeks, 2 hours per week approximate time commitment, MoMa gives you a professional development certificate to put in your teaching portfolio.  We need a certain number of these credits to be certified to teach.  This one is going to be useful.
Tags: professional development, teaching

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