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Education

Summer Institutes: Teaching the Humanities through Art

Photos of Teacher Institute activities

Institute participants editing podcasts about artwork in the Museum's permanent collection and exploring contemporary art on a docent-led tour.

Monday, June 23–Friday, June 27, 2014

Monday, July 28–Friday, August 1, 2014

Be inspired this summer at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as you join colleagues from across the country for an exciting exploration of the connections among American art, social studies, history, and English/language arts. Attend one of our week-long institutes in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Stay connected with your newfound colleagues and museum staff throughout the year.

This program was formerly known as the Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute. We hope our Clarice Smith alumni will continue to stay in touch through our Ning community or by contacting us at AmericanArtInstitutes[at]si.edu.


View the 2013 Institute agenda and archived keynote addresses:

Keynote Address — E. Carmen Ramos (July 9, 2013)
Keynote Address — Eleanor Jones Harvey (July 10 and 31, 2012)
Keynote Address — Julie Burstein (July 18, 2011)
Keynote Address — Ron Ritchhart (August 1, 2011)

All former keynote addresses are available for streaming or download from iTunes U.


Teacher participants

Participants leading a discussion of William H. Johnson's Café.

Who should apply?

Core subject teachers for grades 6–12 may apply as individuals or as part of a team. Priority will be given to social studies, history, and English/language arts teachers.

What will teachers accomplish during the Institute?

  • Gain expertise from museum educators, curators, content experts, and technology specialists through gallery talks, discussion groups, and hands-on activities
  • Learn to use American art in the classroom to foster critical thinking skills
  • Make interdisciplinary connections among American art, social studies, history, and English/language arts
  • Experiment with digital tools you can use to bring art into your classroom
  • Develop and share lesson ideas with peers
  • Engage in online professional development activities and assignments before, during, and after the Institute

What is provided for Institute participants?

During Institutes:

  • Behind-the-scenes experiences at the Museum
  • Teacher's Tool Kit including color reproductions, classroom discussion and writing exercises, project guidelines, and teaching strategies
  • Opportunity to engage with leading scholars during keynote addresses
  • Access to hardware and software featured by the program
  • Daily breakfast and lunch
  • Optional evening events and opportunities to explore Washington, D.C., such as a bus tour of monuments

Throughout the year:

  • Exclusive access to a collaborative website
  • Connection to a national network of Institute alumni
  • Museum staff support for curriculum development

What is expected of Institute participants?

A teacher participating in the 2009 Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute records a podcast inspired by Interception, painted in 1996 by Mark Tansey. Facing the painting, she enthusiastically gestures with her left hand while recording with an iPod Touch held in her right.

Participants collaborating on a lesson plan incorporating American art.

  • Completion of pre-Institute assignments
  • Participation in the entire Institute; plan to arrive each day at the Museum at 8:30 a.m. and leave after 4:00 p.m.
  • Sharing of lesson ideas on the final day of the Institute
  • Contribution of ideas, comments, and resources to a collaborative website during the Institute and throughout the school year

How to Apply

The deadline to apply for the 2014 Summer Institutes has passed. Please check back in the fall for the 2015 application.

Acceptance

A committee will review all completed applications and notify accepted applicants via email by April 21, 2014. The Museum will attempt to accommodate all applicants' date preferences, subject to space limitations. Efforts will be made to enroll educators from across the country for geographic diversity.

Registration and Cost

The registration deadline is May 12, 2014. A non-refundable registration fee of $200 per person is required. Participants are responsible for travel and lodging costs. For more information about transportation and low-cost housing recommendations, please email AmericanArtInstitutes[at]si.edu. View Tips for funding your professional development.

Scholarships

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is pleased to offer a limited number of $500 scholarships per Institute. To apply for a scholarship, submit the following to AmericanArtInstitutes[at]si.edu with the subject line "Summer Institute Scholarship" by April 28, 2014:

  1. One-page letter addressing:
        a. What you value most about teaching
        b. Your interest in the Institute
        c. How you anticipate applying lessons learned to your work
  2. Letter of recommendation written by and emailed from a teaching colleague or school administrator addressing your collaborative spirit and creative contributions as an educator
  3. Résumé

Scholarship recipients will be notified via email by May 5, 2014.

Graduate and Professional Development Credit

A teacher participating in the 2009 Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute records a podcast inspired by Interception, painted in 1996 by Mark Tansey. Facing the painting, she enthusiastically gestures with her left hand while recording with an iPod Touch held in her right.

Participants looking closely at Karen LaMonte's Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery at the Renwick Gallery.

If you are interested in receiving graduate credit for your participation in the Institute, please contact AmericanArtInstitutes[at]si.edu for more information.


Upon request, museum staff will provide documentation of participation including total contact hours.


Important Deadlines

Applications Due: March 31, 2014

Acceptance Notification: April 21, 2014

Scholarship Applications Due: April 28, 2014

Scholarship Notification: May 5, 2014

Registration Deadline: May 12, 2014

Questions

For more information about transportation and low-cost housing recommendations, please read the FAQs.


Direct inquiries to AmericanArtInstitutes@si.edu.


Interested in participating in one-day teacher professional development experiences? Consider these upcoming Professional Development Workshops.