The Philadelphia Museum of Art invites K-12 teachers of all subject areas to immerse themselves in the Museum’s collections and explore the special nature of art and its use as a resource in their classrooms during this week-long seminar. Reinvigorate your creative spirit, connect with like-minded colleagues, and refresh your classroom teaching with new ideas.
During this summer’s VAST, we will explore art as a powerful tool for developing critical thinking skills. When we closely observe and thoughtfully respond to art, we make informed interpretations based on visual evidence. As we share our thoughts and observations with others, we consider alternative viewpoints and revise our thinking. Investigating art as both a primary source and an alternate text, we will engage in a variety of strategies to utilize the thinking skills outlined in the Common Core State Standards. Throughout the week, we’ll brainstorm creative ways to invigorate all classroom curricula– science, history, math, and language arts– with art. The PMA’s rich permanent collection will serve as our springboard into our investigations and discoveries.
Through lectures, small group gallery discussions, and writing and hands-on art workshops, participants will engage in approaches and activities that can be used both in the Museum and in the classroom to promote looking, thinking, and writing. We will also take a field trip to Longwood Gardens. Sessions will be led by Museum Educators, invited speakers, and teaching artists. Teachers will be grouped into elementary, middle school, and high school work teams to facilitate meaningful discussion and brainstorming of curricular connections.
All VAST participants will receive a resource guide with background information on artworks, discussion questions, a resource list, and writing connections to bring back to the classroom.
VAST may be taken for several credit options:
- 30 Pennsylvania continuing professional education hours (Act 48)
- 30 New Jersey professional development hours
- 2 graduate credits in Art Education from the University of the Arts*
*Teachers opting for graduate credits at the University of the Arts must also register with the university by calling 215-717-6006. The course number is VAST 505NM 01. An additional fee of $475 payable to the university applies. Those opting for graduate credit will be required to complete supplemental reading and additional written work.
To register, call the Museum’s Ticket Center at 215-235-SHOW (7469) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, stop by any Visitors Services Desk at the Museum, or click here. There is a $3.50 service charge ($2.50 for Museum members) for phone or online orders. There is no service charge for registering at the Museum.
VAST is held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 26th Street, Philadelphia. The Museum is served by SEPTA bus routes. There is an hourly parking garage for those who wish to drive to the Museum. Teachers from beyond commuting distance may register for VAST but will need to make their own arrangements for room and board.
For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at
, or by e-mail at
VAST is generously funded by the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation Fund for Education.