AHTR Weekly

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    Writing About Art

    Bridging the Gap: Art and Popular Culture in the Formal Analysis Comparison

    January 5, 2017

    Editors’ note: This post is part of our ongoing series on Writing about Art. Here, Dr. Mary Slavkin explores new ways to approach the traditional formal analysis paper assigned in most art history survey courses. Hallie Scott’s AHTR post #arthistory: Instagram and the Intro to Art History Course led me to retool my formal analysis comparison […]

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    Happy New Year from AHTR!

    December 31, 2016

    Only one week after publication, articles from AHPP had been downloaded 1035 times by readers at 71 institutions in 36 countries. We are thrilled to support this scholarship and dialogue, and look forward to more next year. 

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    AP Art History

    Engaging AP Art History Students at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum

    December 9, 2016

    The redesigned AP Art History curriculum, which debuted for the May 2016 APAH exam provides an excellent opportunity for student engagement with a local museum’s collection. The curriculum encourages this relationship by specifically referencing the importance of museum visits as a part of formal assessment and contextual analysis. Like other APAH teachers I am excited […]

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    Google Art Project to Prezi: Jackson Pollock and Thomas Kinkade

    December 2, 2016

    In a previous article on Art History Teaching Resources, I outlined my experiences using Google Arts Project (GAP) in my online art history classes to create virtual exhibitions. At the time, GAP was the only online program that offered its users the ability to create their own exhibition complete with text and image without having […]

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    Researching Globally with an Online Resource from The Museum of Modern Art

    November 18, 2016

    We would like to introduce museum and classroom educators to this free, online resource on global art from The Museum of Modern Art. Featuring essays, interviews, archival materials, bibliographies and more that reflect new perspectives emerging in art history today, post makes an excellent supplement to courses on non-Western art at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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    Crash and Burn

    November 12, 2016

    Your course plan looked great on paper. It passed departmental faculty review. Perhaps it even integrated some progressive pedagogical experimentations. In sum, the class held real promise. But when it got to the classroom, your first-run of the course was received with far less enthusiasm than you anticipated. Really, it crashed and burned. You begin […]

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    Putting Words in Their Mouths: Using Art History to Help the Art Student with the Artist Statement

    November 4, 2016

    Teaching the art history survey at an arts college undoubtedly has its advantages: students come primed with an understanding of the techniques and challenges of various art forms and, quite often, they are also very passionate about their artistic opinions.  One of the most heated debates that often arises, for example, is that surrounding the […]

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    Writing About Art

    Rationales and Realities in Assigning Research Papers at SECAC

    October 28, 2016

    Last year I chaired a session on survey classes at SECAC and I got so many new ideas, that I decided to propose another pedagogy session this year. While I always love regular conference sessions in my own field, sessions on pedagogy always end up being incredibly invigorating, giving me new ideas and getting me […]

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    AP Art History

    Bringing the Museum to AP Art History—a Model for Collaboration

    October 21, 2016

    The Challenge In 2015-16, the College Board rolled out its redesigned AP Art History course.  The new curriculum moved away from a largely Western and Eurocentric curriculum to a more holistic understanding of art history from a global perspective.  As a high school teacher, the difficulty inherent to this new curriculum revolved not only around […]

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    Lesson Plan

    Learning to Look Critically with The Museum of Modern Art’s “Seeing Through Photographs” MOOC

    October 14, 2016

    The following is a reflection on the genesis of MoMA’s recent MOOC on Photography. We hope this post will introduce museum and classroom teachers to this MoMA resource on photography and encourage its use, where appropriate, as self-guided learning for your students and as a supplementary resource for survey and elective courses in this area of art history and practice.

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    A Superficial Glance: An appeal for deeper insight into paintings

    October 7, 2016

    Contemporary scientific methods allow us to peek beneath the surface of the painting. I would like to argue that a look beneath the surface of a painting offers a deeper insight into its materiality, and the specific technical and cultural context of its maker(s).

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    The TeachArt Wiki

    September 30, 2016

    A number of years ago while taking a break from grading the term papers of a large survey course in which students were assigned to visit a museum and write about an artwork of their choice, I commented to my wife and colleague, Guey-Meei Yang, about each semester feeling like the movie Groundhog Day as […]

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    The Out-of-Town Class Trip to the Museum

    September 23, 2016

    When I began teaching as a graduate student, it was in New York, and the resources of the city were at my fingertips.  Every semester, I sent my students to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Frick, or the Brooklyn Museum, for the invaluable experience of seeing representative art from the course, in person.  […]

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    Acting Out: Teaching Music History with Role-Playing

    September 9, 2016

    [Editors’ note: In August, Karen and Parme attended the Arts in Society Conference, an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the role of the arts in society. They presented “AHTR: An OER Community for Pedagogical Practice in Art History,” which served to present AHTR and the new journal, Art History Pedagogy and Practice, to those in […]

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    Welcome to the fall 2016 semester from AHTR!

    September 3, 2016

    As you prepare your courses for the fall, please keep in mind the many resources available at ATHR.  Explore the thematic lesson plans that offer different ways to engage students in art history. For general teaching ideas, our team has been combing the AHTR archives for our favorite posts and assignments from the past, and these are now featured under the #AHTRfaves hashtag on Twitter.

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    CfP: Submit to the “AHTR Weekly” for fall 2016

    August 22, 2016

    Beginning fall  2016-17, the AHTR Weekly would like to hold open a number of posts for new submissions alongside programmed contributions from invited writers. We hope that this will allow AHTR Weekly to continue to serve the broadest number of peers, as well as to expand and elevate the discussions. If you would like to propose a post for fall 2016 or spring 2017, please get in touch at info@arthistoryTR.org.

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    Happy Summer + AHTR CAA 2017 Panel + AHPP CfP

    June 25, 2016

    As we head into the summer we wanted to flag two opportunities to share your research and practice with the field.

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    The Scaffolded Research Paper

    June 4, 2016

    One of the staples of any upper-level art history course is the research paper. These papers can range from deep dives into one work of art from a local collection to thematic explorations that traverse various styles and media. When done well, these assignments can be a true intellectual pleasure. When done poorly, the research paper can feel like a chore. We can, however, take steps to increase the incidence of pleasurable and rewarding research papers and decrease the dreaded end-of-term chores. One strategy I have found to be particularly effective is what is now commonly called “scaffolding.”

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    The Rare Experience of Punctum

    May 27, 2016

    I am not sure which course/professor brought Barthes’s text Camera Lucida into my life, but thank you. I return to this book again and again. As a community college professor, I look for texts that are approachable in reading level but that have concepts to bolster critical thinking. Camera Lucida does just that with its blend of narrative storytelling, photograph description, and philosophical terms and analysis. We read from this book on Day 1 of class and define studium and punctum collaboratively on the white board.

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    Lesson Plan

    Debating Ethics and Issues in Art History

    May 21, 2016

    This past year, in an introductory survey course, I experimented with the format of a debate to engage students in the history of art and our responsibility to this history in the present. The debate required students to take up a position on an issue and argue their case, giving them an opportunity to engage with art history in a new way.

  • Pablo PIcasso. La Moulin de la Galette. 1900. The Solomon. R Guggenheim Museum. My favorite work to teach from in that collection.


    What Inspires Your Museum-Based Teaching?

    May 13, 2016

    I reached out at the end of the spring semester and asked a few colleagues and friends in museum education to briefly describe what inspires their museum-based teaching. Below, you’ll find their responses. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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    Teaching Art History Online: Collaborative vs. Individual Virtual Exhibition Projects

    May 7, 2016

    I decided to forego the traditional research paper and have my students work in small groups to create online exhibitions. I had used the virtual exhibition assignment previously with great success in on-campus classes with non-majors and adult continued education. The difference would be that instead of using PowerPoint, my online students would use an online program: Google Art Project.

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    Teaching Feminism +Art History: Intersectionality

    April 29, 2016



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    Philosophy and Visual Culture

    April 22, 2016

    As a philosophy professor, I use images of artworks in my teaching often, by way of rendering philosophical ideas more accessible to my students, and also for the sheer delight of looking at art (some of them have apparently not experienced this!). In doing so I assume that a work of art is a concrete […]

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    Lesson Plan

    Teaching Violence, Destruction, and Propaganda at Nimrud in Antiquity and Today

    April 10, 2016

    When I asked the students in my freshman survey what they thought of when they considered the terms “art” and “history,” ISIS’ recent spate of destruction came up almost immediately. I began to think about how I might integrate a discussion of the recent events into my survey syllabus. I decided it was not enough to talk about what ISIS is doing; I wanted to address how they use visual media to accomplish their aims.

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    Writing about Art Forming Relationships with Colleagues on Campus and Reinforcing the Basic Skills

    April 3, 2016

    [Editor note: This post is part of our 2016 series on Writing about Art. This installment comes from Craig Houser, who teaches full time in the Art Department and is the co-director of Art History at the City College of New York.] CCNY requires its undergraduate students to take two writing-intensive courses: a Freshman Inquiry […]

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    Seeing Music

    April 1, 2016

    While I was working at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I attended a session about Visual Thinking Strategies. The method’s ingenuity lies in its simplicity; participants study an image and their observations are teased out with subtle and careful questions, revealing a startling level of nuance. It struck me as a wonderfully refreshing way to engage students in a conversation about the unfamiliar, and I started to wonder if some of these principles could be applied to the study of music.

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    Art Teaching & Art History: A Reflection on BHQF’s Radical Pedagogy Working Group

    March 27, 2016

    The first meeting of BHQFU’s Radical Pedagogy Working Group, held a few Wednesday evenings ago, centered on aims for the spring. What did we want from this investigation of art teaching? Some wanted support and solidarity, others preferred arguments, some looked for inspiration, and others for concrete strategies. I hadn’t formulated particular aims for the […]

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    Reacting to the Past in Practice

    March 25, 2016

    I discovered Reacting to the Past last summer after a particularly challenging semester. For the most part, my students did relatively well; however, more than half of them were disengaged in class. What was going on?

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    Reacting to the Past: Art in Paris, 1888-89

    March 18, 2016

    In 2006 I attended my first Reacting to the Past annual Institute at Barnard College in New York City. I went with the worst attitude imaginable. And it was August and sweltering in New York. And I had to stay in a residence hall. Games for teaching sounded juvenile (oh, can you hear the whining?). I was […]

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    Every Museum Is a Museum of Symmetries

    March 12, 2016

    Exposure to and participation in the arts enriches students’ college experiences and greatly enhances their abilities to learn, understand, and function across a range of critical literacies. This post is the first in a short series that explores the use of visual culture in disciplines other than art history.

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    Managing a MOOC

    March 4, 2016

    Several years ago I wrote a MOOC, The Modern Genius: Art and Culture in the 19th Century. I had never assigned the MOOC course to any of my students, but that changed this January, when my Honors Modern Art students enrolled in the MOOC and we experimented with a completely flipped classroom.

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    Flip that Class

    February 24, 2016

    I know many people have heard of the “flipped” method of education. Essentially, it is the paradigm of old: students do homework and come to class prepared and then new material is covered. I’ve heard many faculty in higher education scoff at this method, saying that it’s actually “what they have always done.” But how […]

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    Call for the Archive

    February 19, 2016

      A short post this week reminding the AHTR community of the new Archive initiative. We usually use the Weekly soon after CAA or SECAC to post a summation of the pedagogy sessions in which AHTR has participated. But now, with the Archive, which we hope to launch in the next few months, this would […]

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    Plein Air Learning

    February 13, 2016

    Art and the Environment is a 400-level course covering a broad expanse of time, from prehistoric art to recently completed eco-art projects. A portion of the course is devoted to studying the representation of landscape as a reflection of the concerns and issues of the times in which they are made. Last semester, I piloted […]

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    AHTR at CAA

    February 8, 2016

    We survived CAA! Thanks to all of the folks who came out to the two meet-and-greets. We enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting so many of you. It was great to finally meet in person some of the many wonderful contributors to the site. It was a pleasure to hear about how AHTR is used […]

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    Writing About Art

    January 31, 2016

    Welcome to the 2016 Writing About Art series on AHTR Weekly. As art history instructors, many of us struggle with teaching writing as part of our course material. Even though art history presents a wonderful framework within which to scaffold basic writing and research skills, we often find ourselves ill-prepared for tackling the complexities of […]

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    Happy Break! Some News and Updates from AHTR

    December 18, 2015

    With the last gasps of the Fall semester,  we all may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with year-end obligations. Rather than our usual post, we thought it would be a good moment to take a breath and tell you about some of the exciting things on the horizon for AHTR in the Spring. We begin by […]

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    Art History, Feminism, and Wikipedia

    December 11, 2015

        Could Wikipedia be a new frontier in art history? What might the Internet’s most popular general reference and free-access encyclopedia (not to mention the fifth-largest website in the world) offer a centuries-old academic discipline? How might its participatory model – the fact that anyone can access and edit most of its articles – […]

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    Collaborative Definitions

    December 4, 2015

    “What is DH? And what does it have to do with studying architecture and cities?”

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    Collaborating with CAA: Committee on Diversity Practice’s Resource Directory

    November 28, 2015

    As a classroom tool, the CAA Committee on Diversity Practice’s Resource Directory provides an innovative way to teach students about the use of primary source documents and online image databases.

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    More from n.paradoxa! (Feminism and the Visual Arts)

    November 20, 2015

    This year, I’ve developed three new resources on my website at www.ktpress.co.uk which I hope will extend the range of access, possibility and topics for students and teachers working on contemporary art and feminism.

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    SECAC2015 Reflection: Socially Engaged Art History

    November 13, 2015

    Friday morning conference sessions that start at 8am aren’t typically standing-room only. But this was not a typical session. The gregarious early-bird response to the SECAC 2015 panel on “Socially Engaged Art History” can be attributed to the co-chairs’ keen conceptualization of their subject along with the groundswell of interest among art historians for what it augurs in our field.

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    A Postmortem: Textbook-Free Survey, The One-Year Anniversary

    November 6, 2015

    Driven by concerns about the rising cost of art-history textbooks, I developed and launched a year-long textbook-free teaching experiment for a global art-history survey course covering the art from the Renaissance up to today at the University of Mississippi from Fall 2014-Fall 2015. [I wrote a post about my early process here.] I taught using […]

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    Building a Teaching Materials Collection

    November 1, 2015

    Many of us become art historians because we love the materiality of things—the solid heft and feel of objects, the way that time marks its slow passage across their surfaces. We are seduced by the sharp scent of limestone in a medieval cathedral, the warp and weft of red silk damask decorating the walls of […]

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    Surveying the Survey at SECAC

    October 30, 2015

    Every pedagogy session I attend at SECAC  is incredibly well-attended and produces endless questions and wonderful discussions. This year, when the call for session proposals came out, I was rethinking my own survey class, planning on going text-book-free and poring over every page on AHTR. I decided to do my part in creating the type […]

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    Art and the #FergusonSyllabus

    October 16, 2015

    This past summer, I led a seminar inspired by the #FergusonSyllabus movement that Georgetown history professor Marcia Chatelain started back in August of 2014, in the wake of Michael Brown’s death, the protests in Ferguson, and the delayed start to school.                Chatelain wrote an article for the  Atlantic […]

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    Lects in the City

    October 12, 2015

    Although I have worked as a professor, my first experience with teaching has been through working as a walking tour guide in New York City, which I have done regularly since 2011. My experience as a tour guide has informed my style of teaching, and the two kindred practices enhance one another. Below are a […]

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    Puzzling Through Early Medieval Manuscripts: An In-Class Exercise

    October 2, 2015

    Whenever I talk with fellow art historians about teaching, one common question that arises is how to get our students to be more active in their observations of artworks. How do we cultivate (and inspire a love of) looking at art, rather than simply seeing or scanning it? One traditional–and effective–method is to encourage students […]

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    Teaching from a Feminist Revisionist Perspective

    September 25, 2015

    Feminist art history has two meanings: the study of feminist art made from the late 1960s to the present and a revisionist reading of the history of art to examine women and their images and involvement as artists and patrons. I want to consider the second version here to clarify what a feminist revisionist reading […]

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    Pedagogy through Observation

    September 18, 2015

    How do we learn to teach?  Can we learn through reading, through observation, or only through the actual practice of teaching?  What are the most useful things we can do to prepare before entering the classroom?  How can we “find our voice” as teachers, and formulate our own unique style? These were some of the […]

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    Slow Teaching

    September 11, 2015

    At some point on the first day of classes I am going to ask my students to answer some questions anonymously. In all honesty, why did you enroll in this course? What final grade you would be happy with? What about this class are you most concerned or anxious about? Exploring students’ responses over the […]

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    Field Notes from an Experiment in Student-Centered Pedagogy

    September 4, 2015

    How can art history be made engaging and relevant to students coming at the topic from diverse disciplines and backgrounds? How can students gain agency in the process of studying historic art and architecture? To what extent can an art history survey be participatory and student-driven? I frequently grappled with these questions while working as […]

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    AHTRchat: Syllabus Planning

    August 6, 2015

    On Wednesday August 5, Art History Teaching Resources held our first #AHTRchat to discuss syllabus planning and brainstorm about resources for our classes. We kicked it off by discussing how to plan a course without using a textbook.

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    An AHTR Twitter Chat: Syllabus Planning

    July 29, 2015

    What’s going on? If you’ve been thinking summer would be a great time to start prepping classes for the fall, but haven’t quite gotten around to it, AHTR has plans to help you out!  Join us on Twitter for an #AHTRchat on Wednesday August 5, between 7-8pm (EST) to talk about syllabus planning.  Topics may […]

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    Interactivity and Communication in the Art History Classroom

    June 19, 2015

    This semester I taught two courses, one was a larger lecture course on Southern Baroque art and architecture, and the other was a seminar course on Latin American art. Both were primarily made up of junior and senior art or architecture majors. Each class had two major interactive components. In the lecture course students chose […]

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    Join in! Pioneerworks Summit on Pedagogy, June 21st

    June 3, 2015

    In an effort to facilitate pedagogical exchange, Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation will host its first annual Summit on Pedagogy on June 21, 2015.

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    Questions for an Evolving Discipline

    May 18, 2015

    Digital scholars, how should your work be assessed? New technologies have complicated definitions and assessments of scholarship as many of us learn to build tools, create multi-media and non-traditional projects, and communicate our work to a wider public. As scholars, we count on feedback and reviews from peers and professors to validate and improve upon all of our […]

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    How to Build a Serious Art Collection with a Small Budget and Turn an Inner City Community College Campus into an Educational Art Museum

    May 16, 2015

    In five years, at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, we acquired about 730 art works–500 by donation–and turned the college into an art museum, with permanent galleries of fine original art by major and emerging New Jersey and American Artists in every building’s public areas. You should do this too, because the pedagogical […]

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    Taking the Art History Survey Glossary Online

    April 26, 2015

    I recently taught an on-line art history survey course without assigning a textbook. What did I miss most? The glossary.

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    There’s a Game for That: Teaching Art History with “Reacting to the Past”

    April 17, 2015

    When faculty facilitate involvement in activities such as simulations and games, and students work collaboratively, through role-play and debate, deeper learning and transfer occurs.

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    Art History Today

    April 10, 2015

    The internet and other forms of new media have both increased the number of images we encounter on a daily basis, and also flattened the differences between them. What might these developments in both education and visual culture mean for the practice of art history today?

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    Into the Archives!

    April 3, 2015

    Last semester I decided to take 80 Intro to World Art students to do archival research. To many teachers, this might sound a bit crazy. So what possessed me? For one, I have always taught with primary sources, so why not take it one step further? Second, while my main goal is to teach art […]

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    AHTR Reports on AP Art History (part II)

    March 27, 2015

    The second of two-part series on AP Art History (see the first part here), this week’s post examines the revised APAH curriculum.

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    AHTR Reports on AP Art History (part I)

    March 20, 2015

    The first of a two-part series written by Dana Howard, Artstor’s Senior K-12 Relationship Manager, and AHTR Contributing Editor Virginia Spivey, this week’s post raises questions about the current role of art history in K-12 learning and its relationship to the discipline as a whole.

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    Teaching Art and Race: Bridging Gaps in the Global Survey Course

    March 13, 2015

    Designed to explore art internationally from pre-history through the present, the current global survey course is often problematic.

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    Object Based Learning: Using the Museum as a Resource

    March 6, 2015

    Being able to look at artwork without glass in a small space removes mental and physical barriers. The ability to clearly see how something has been made encourages the students to look much more closely.

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    CAA Wrap Up: What Have You Done for Art History Lately?

    March 1, 2015

    At the recent CAA conference, AHTR had the pleasure to participate in the forward thinking panel “What have you done for Art History Lately?” as part of the initiative Art History That (AHT).

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    Digital Art History for Beginners: The Spreadsheet

    February 21, 2015

    Digital art history is a sub-field within digital humanities (#dh). I’ve read and listened to presentations about big, well-funded digital art history projects at conferences, but I’ve been interested in teaching some of the basics of digital art history in my upper-division classes using free tools.

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    Why Participation? Facilitating Student Engagement in Art History Surveys

    February 12, 2015

    On Thursday and Friday, February 12 and 13, 2015, as part of the poster session of the College Art Association conference, I will be presenting my project, “Tweets, Secret Words, Bingos, and Blogs: Facilitating Engaged Participation in Art History Surveys.”

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    The Crowd-Sourced Study Guide

    February 6, 2015

    I won’t bury the lede: the crowd-sourced study guide gets your students to study for the test two weeks in advance.

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    AHTR Lesson Plan Highlights I

    February 5, 2015

    Since many of us are in the early weeks of the Spring 2015, we would like to draw your attention to lectures with which we typically begin the semester. The contributors of these lesson plans are as diverse as the subjects.

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    Talk to Your Prof…But How?

    February 2, 2015

    Teaching the subject and mentoring appear to go hand-in-hand with the authority to stand behind the collegiate podium. Yet, it is just this professional duality, which can muddle or tarnish the experience of the learning environment, the ultimate function of the student-professor dynamic.

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    New AHTR lesson plans for: Prehistory & Ancient Near East

    January 31, 2015

    Each week this spring, we’ll be introducing one or two of the new lesson plans on AHTR with commentary from the lesson plan authors themselves. First up–Prehistory and Ancient Near East.

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    AHTR Launches New Site Design & Content!

    January 30, 2015

    Art HistoryTeachingResources.org is very pleased to announce the launch of its new website, an open, collaborative platform for all those who teach the art history survey.

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    Happy Holidays from AHTR!

    December 23, 2014

    Before we leave you to enjoy the holiday season, we’d like to share with you a few announcements:

    Keep an eye on the AHTR Journal in 2015–One of the first journal series in January will focus on survey exams.

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    Joint Statement from Museum Bloggers and Colleagues on Ferguson and related events

    December 14, 2014

    AHTR stands together with the art historians and educators who have co-signed the text below, and with the wider academic community to express solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and to support ways in which issues of racism might be explored in a classroom context.

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    Can We Create a Culture That Values Good Teaching?

    December 10, 2014

    How might we create a culture that actually esteems effective teaching? The value of such a thing ought to be clear.

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    Teaching Feminism in Relation to Contemporary Art

    December 2, 2014

    It is possible to introduce a very broad range of examples and paradigmatic case studies of women artists’ works into every lecture offered on contemporary art.

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    How to Survive Teaching an Architecture Course: A Guide for Non-Architectural Art Historians

    How can one grapple with architecture’s irreducibility to image if one’s area of expertise, and therefore “teaching-comfort-zone,” focuses on images?

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    What advice for students considering grad school in humanities?

    These elements of the conversation—on the perspectives, philosophies, and realities of graduate school—are critical to the discussion we can have with our students.

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    Re-Designing the Survey Course, Textbook-Free

    October 26, 2014

    After teaching the global art history survey courses for more than a decade, the prospect of converting the class into a textbook-free one was daunting. By this point, my class runs like a well-oiled machine.

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    Participatory Learning in the Art History Classroom

    October 19, 2014

    To illustrate the way in which participatory learning can activate intellectual and critical inquiry in the art history classroom (and beyond), I’d like to present a sample assignment which relies on participatory learning.

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    Art History Selfie: Art Where You Live

    September 21, 2014

    I am contributing this as a response to Hallie Scott’s great post on her art history Instagram assignment. I teach a 3-week online western survey in summer, so one can imagine the compression ratio! Most of my students are non-majors fulfilling a lower-division, general education/arts requirement.

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    The Art of Skipping Centuries

    September 5, 2014

    This semester, I will practice the art of skipping centuries on the 6th floor of Schermerhorn Hall at Columbia University. I have been honing this unusual skill since 2007, when I was assigned the challenging task of teaching Art Humanities: Masterpieces of Western Art, a core curriculum course required of all undergraduates in the College.

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    Review: “MyArtsLab” (for Stokstad and Cothren’s “Art History”)

    August 29, 2014

    With the beginning of this school year, I am using MyArtsLab for the third semester in a row for my two sections of an Art History survey course, from Renaissance to Modern art.

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    Back to School: AHTR Fall 2014

    August 24, 2014

    AHTR is very excited about upcoming fall programming on the site. We are close to the debut of the new site!

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    Call for Participation

    August 14, 2014

    AHTR is pleased to send out the second Call for Participation. The lectures we received in response to the first Call for Participation will be on the site and available for download and use soon. We are so thankful to all who submitted their materials and shared them with those who use AHTR.

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    Race-ing Art History: A Case Study in applying ePortfolios to a First Year Seminar

    July 8, 2014

    I saw this seminar as an opportunity to combine two interests: encouraging meaningful student reflections and creating valuable assessment data, using eportfolios as both the ways and means.

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    #arthistory: Instagram and the Intro to Art History Course

    June 25, 2014

    In a period when educators are grappling with divergences between social media-driven forms of communication and academic communication, instagram, at least in the context of art history, has potential to both enrich content and strengthen the discipline’s relevance for contemporary learners.

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    Hemingway: A Simple Online Tool for Better Short-Form Writing (Museum 2.0)

    June 22, 2014

    Recently, I discovered an online tool that can change that. It’s called Hemingway. Its intent is “to make your writing bold and clear.”

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    From Paris to New York: Summarizing my first year behind the lectern

    June 11, 2014

    I have officially completed my first year of undergraduate teaching. My feelings, however, are mixed. Although I am relieved to have finished (and survived), I find myself grappling with more questions about how best to lead a survey course, engage with students, and be a better instructor now than I had in September.

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    Is There a Traditional Definition of Art History Anymore?

    June 4, 2014

    Having taught in museums for 15 years, I thought I was prepared to plan and teach an art history lesson. But I have emerged from the semester with a barrage of questions about exactly what constitutes art history, and how and why we look at art in the university classroom.

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    Summer Reading……

    May 20, 2014

    This week’s post is a short one providing a list of books and websites that focus on teaching techniques, writing ideas and websites with great art history content.

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    Curating the Classroom (or In Situ Teaching)

    May 12, 2014

    Here, I will address pedagogical concerns, but from the perspective of a museum curator. I think that that employing curatorial strategies in the classroom can bring students to a fuller understanding of the objects taught (often via digital reproductions) in an art history course.

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    Teaching Outside of Your Subject Area

    May 7, 2014

    The Art History Department at the CUNY Graduate Center offered a practicum on teaching art history with an emphasis on the survey courseAHTR asked if we could facilitate a project focused on teaching a unit in the survey outside of one’s area of expertise
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    Hanging Out with AHTR

    April 28, 2014

    The idea to initiate a series of AHTR Hangouts developed this year at THATCampCAA when a group of art historians gathered to discuss the use of digital technology in the classroom.

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    Introducing AHTR’s new Contributing Editors

    These four educators will be leading specific content areas on the site and helping facilitate AHTR activities related to teaching art history.

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    Art History 2.0: Wölff brings us into the 21st century

    April 20, 2014

    As a tech-savvy business-school student at Wharton, I sought to bring Penn’s art history faculty up to speed with the latest in digital technology.

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    Taking Note of Art History

    April 13, 2014

    I ask my students to put down their pens and pencils, and look closely at the slides presented, and to arrive at their own conclusions.

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    Team-based Learning for Art Historians

    April 7, 2014

    Recently we participated in a workshop on Team-Based Learning (TBL) at Brooklyn College, a process where your students are divided into permanent teams for the entire semester.

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    “Teaching ain’t just lectures and exams.” On Letters of Recommendation…

    March 31, 2014

    The difference between my first letter-writing experience and now is that I am less likely to immediately respond “Sure, just send me your info!” and more likely to ask for additional information before agreeing or declining.

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    The Plagiarism Chronicles….

    March 23, 2014

    This post will discuss some of the reasons that students plagiarize, how we can prevent it in student essays, and the unique solution that I developed in reaction to plagiarism in my own classes.

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    Museum Object Portfolio Assignment

    March 14, 2014

    I wanted my students to consider the variety of ways that text can be used to introduce, augment, and/or constrain our response to the original object. Over the course of the first half of the semester each student had to compile a Museum Object Portfolio.

  • Image copyright Project Continua/Brooklyn Museum, 2014


    Making History: Wikipedia Editing as Pedagogical and Public Intervention

    March 7, 2014

    Gina Luria Walker, Project Continua’s Director, noted that by editing articles about historical women, participants were “making history by providing an alternative narrative of the past.”

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    AHTR reports back from THATCamp CAA

    March 1, 2014

    I realize that, like technology-enhanced learning, digital art history offers additional ways for scholars to conduct art historical research that might lead to new discoveries and understanding.

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    Rubrics: Why Use Them?

    February 12, 2014

    ŸIf you’re not convinced yet, here’s one of the biggest arguments in favor of using rubrics: they make grading unbelievably easier and less time-consuming.

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    Teaching for the first time? Read “Purposeful Pedagogy”

    February 3, 2014

    What follows will be especially helpful for anyone who is just getting started with their teaching practice.

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    Get involved with THATCamp CAA 2014!

    January 27, 2014

    THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” It is an unconference: an open, inexpensive meeting where humanists and technologists of all skill levels learn and build together in sessions proposed on the spot.

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    Bringing the museum into the art history classroom

    January 20, 2014

    ..we came up with the idea to film some of the museums in the city in order to help facilitate professor-led discussions in our classrooms before our students hit the museum.

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    AHTR takes on 2014

    January 12, 2014

    We’re really excited to be able to support teachers develop and share teaching resources and get rewarded for the hard work and skill it takes to do so.

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    Call for Kress-funded AHTR Collaborators!

    December 23, 2013

    These lesson plans will be posted to the AHTR site in 2014, and are supported by small writing grants made possible by our Kress award.

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    Introducing library resources in the art history classroom

    December 9, 2013

    The more guidance students receive during the research process, whether from their professor or their librarian, the more confident they will feel while doing their research.

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    Wrapping up: asking students to reflect and evaluate

    December 2, 2013

    My personal experience with the portfolio and self-evaluation correspond with the benefits that Bean attributes to informal exploratory writing in Engaging Ideas,as helpful tools to develop my students’ critical thinking skills while also giving me another means to gauge students’ progress in the class.

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    Engaging the Masses: Activities for kicking off a jumbo class

    November 26, 2013

    I teach a survey art history course that is required of all undergraduate students, so I often have to overcome students’ skepticism about “yet another intro-level course.”  What follows are a few types of activities that I use as “hooks” to foster student engagement at the beginning of class.

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    Hangout with NAEA’s New Online Peer-to-Peer Initiative

    November 21, 2013

    Well, that’s exactly why we began a Peer-to-Peer Initiative for the National Art Education Association’s Museum Education Division — to use technology to connect with colleagues and share our ideas and programs in an informal way, outside of conferences.

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    Seeking the Best: Top Ten Qualities that Great Community Colleges Look for in New Hires

    November 9, 2013

    I have thought often about what makes a great community college professor, and I have tried to use what I have learned over my eight years of service in seeking out the best candidates to teach our students.

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    Interdisciplinarity in the Arts: Teaching others to teach with images

    October 27, 2013

    I offer the art history survey class, when appropriate, as an extended exercise in developing visual literacy skills that will be transferable assets when students reach the job market or undertake other academic pursuits.

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    Teaching at a Community College

    October 18, 2013

    I realized that so many people, even in education, hold fast to this idea. The purpose of this blog entry, therefore, is to help dispel that myth, and to give insight to those who might think twice about working at a community college.

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    The Thematic Survey: A Comparative Approach

    October 15, 2013

    By treating thematic groupings as feeding ground for comparative thinking, we can generate a space where students will look at cultural context to understand the formal differences, which also necessarily incorporates architecture.

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    Flipping the classroom, part 2

    September 28, 2013

    Last year I experimented with “flipping the classroom,” and it didn’t work — but I learned a valuable lesson in the process, proving that experimentation in the classroom can often lead to unexpected but useful results.

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    Curating a Virtual “Textbook” for Early 20th-Century Art History

    September 21, 2013

    Rather than asking my students to purchase a textbook, all of the resources we are using are available online, either free or through our campus library’s digital subscriptions.

  • Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944). Improvisation 28 (second version) (Improvisation 28 [zweite Fassung]), 1912. Oil on canvas. 43 7/8 x 63 7/8 in. (111.4 x 162.1 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift 37.239.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York / © 2009 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.


    Improv(e) Your Art History Class

    September 13, 2013

    Most of my professors tried to include the whole class, but eventually just actively engaged with the students who were interested in participating. Improv can change that.

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    Grading with Google Drive

    September 6, 2013

    First, in an age of cloud computing and ubiquitous data capture, I was frustrated regularly by the need to (gasp) plan ahead to have my grading with me in order to grade.

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    Thematic Approaches: Six Degrees of Separation in Art History

    August 30, 2013

    The theory that we are all connected by no more than six links applies quite well to art history because it can be used in terms of influences and ideas as well as formal design elements. There is room here for caveat, however. Drawing connections across time and cultures can be fraught with peril.

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    First Day Icebreakers

    August 23, 2013

    The first day of classes looms. For this short post, we’ve asked colleagues to share some of the icebreakers and activities they use on the first day of class – and we’d like to crowdsource more.

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    Building Language Skills Through Drawing

    August 16, 2013

    To reflect on and address some of the pedagogical issues I’ve come across during my teaching career, I ended up writing a book, Line Color Form: The Language of Art and Design, which was published this spring. In it, I’ve tried to address this problem through finding a common tongue based on specific aspects of visual language.

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    Timeline Assignment: Do you Tiki Toki?

    August 9, 2013

    In my seventeenth-century European art history course, I designed a collaborative web-based online timeline project to help students visualize spatial-temporal relationships among events, people, and the creation of objects.

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    Back Online!

    In the meantime, inspired by a recent crowd-sourced post on the Chronicle of Higher Education, we’d also like to invite discussion of the first class of the semester.

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    Happy Holidays from AHTR!

    July 5, 2013

    Have a happy summer vacation, be in touch if you have questions, suggestions, or contributions for the site.

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    Crowdsourcing an Online Syllabus

    June 21, 2013

    I firmly believe this type of online syllabus resource is as legitimate for an upper level art history course… as it is for a required survey course. It allows flexibility so teachers can update and innovate more easily each semester when they spruce up their syllabi as it allows for much easier peer-to-peer sharing between instructors.

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    Beyond “Discussion Forums”—Changing the Game with VoiceThread “Conversation Starters” (it’s not just about the technology)

    June 14, 2013

    VoiceThread is so full of new teaching possibilities that, after discovering it in 2008, I turned my back on “discussion forums” and spent the next four years developing art history class projects.

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    Flipping the Class without Flipping Out

    June 10, 2013

    Isn’t listening and taking notes learning? Yes, but apparently not enough. We made a list that day of what would make learning easier and better and in current pedagogy speak, I “flipped” my classroom the next week and the week after.

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    Introducing Students to Professional Practices: Running a Mock Academic Conference

    June 2, 2013

    Modeling real-world experiences and practicing transferrable skills within classroom activities are what make art history relevant to the students in my courses, regardless of their majors.

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    Developing a Student Audioguide Assignment, Part 2

    May 25, 2013

    While evaluations show the audioguide project helps develop analytical, communication, collaborative, and technological skills, the greater impact has been to increase the student’s sense of empowerment.

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    Teaching for Independence: Empowering Learning in the Art Museum

    May 10, 2013

    One of my own goals when working with groups of college students and adults in the galleries (and in the classroom) is always to break down the often rigid expectations of “what we do” in front of a work of art.

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    Collaborations: Museums and Higher Education

    May 3, 2013

    The goal is to view the museum as an extension of Baruch’s classrooms bringing with it additional resources for exploring new and innovative ways to enrich classroom experience.

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    Exploring Multimodal Learning at the Rubin Museum of Art

    April 29, 2013

    As a museum educator, I help students and educators explore the ideas, cultures and philosophies of this art within a traditional Himalayan context and then apply these same concepts to contemporary life and ideas.

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    Working With Visual Thinking Strategies

    April 19, 2013

    Visual Thinking Strategies can be a perfectly acceptable methodology for building capacities for understanding culturally-specific art and galvanizing curiosity in museum visitors.

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    Online Teaching Part II: Ten Items to Help Guide a New Online Art History Course

    April 6, 2013

    Having just completed the design of my first online art history course for community college students, I read this op-ed and wondered what advice I would give to someone designing their first online course. Here are some of my ideas.

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    Developing a Student Audioguide Assignment

    March 29, 2013

    I developed this audioguide assignment, based on a traditional formal analysis paper. This post focuses on the design, objectives, and logistics of the audioguide assignment.

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    Notes on Online Teaching, Part I

    March 22, 2013

    I’m still not sure online learning will change the world, but it will continue to change me.

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    Bye, Bye Survey Textbook!

    March 15, 2013

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the “traditional” art history survey textbook doesn’t make the cut. Not the content per se, but the format.

  • The Met Museum, among others, offers lesson plans and teaching resources. Have a good source for lesson plans? Share below in the comments!


    Lesson Plans: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours

    March 8, 2013

    I started this post by telling you that I don’t have a lesson plan, but perhaps that isn’t really true. I have a very clear plan, but I don’t write it out.

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    Why Share?

    March 1, 2013

    Since the majority of the students at my institution are taught the survey art history by GTFs or adjuncts instead of full-time faculty, it would serve everyone well to encourage dialogue between the two groups of teachers.

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    Beta testing the AHTR site

    February 11, 2013

    The blog section on the AHTR site is a discussion forum for general questions, requests for material, or feedback.

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    Museum in the Classroom

    February 27, 2012

    Use our Museum Video section to prep your students for their museum response paper with videos that explore the spaces of New York City museums, large and small.