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Teacher Institute

Aug 5, 2013 – May 31, 2014

The Teacher Institute is the MCA’s most immersive and collaborative professional development program. Twenty teachers are selected by application to be a part of this year-long program. Using the resources of the Museum and the expertise of talented, curious, and creative practitioners (you), together we ask: How can we close the gap between contemporary art and contemporary teaching and learning?  

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2013–2014 Teacher Institute. Read on to learn more about the program, and please check back in spring 2014 for applications to join next year’s cohort.

Why Teacher Institute?

Because by participating in the program, you will:

  • Make the MCA your haven, your studio, your laboratory, your library, and your classroom for a year.
  • Join and influence a dynamic community and conversation around contemporary pedagogy.
  • Investigate the qualities of contemporary art and contemporary teaching and learning, paying close attention to the place of the creative process and inquiry in both pursuits.
  • Shake up and deepen your thinking and practice.
  • Expand the resources that you can call on to engage your students in meaningful learning, including strategies and tools to facilitate rich dialogue around contemporary art.


  • The Institute is free.
  • As a full and active participant in the year-long program, you will earn 45 CPDUs and 3 Lane Credits.
  • You will also receive priority in booking free, artist-led field trips (and free busing!) to the MCA to engage your students in investigating, too, what contemporary art can do to shake up and deepen learning.

What your colleagues have to say:

It seems like every time I leave our meetings I am thinking about everything that we discussed for days on end. The Institute seems to always find its way into my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs and change things around. I get very inspired to go back to the classroom and try new things and new ideas with students.
2012–13 Teacher Institute participant

How is the Institute structured?

The Institute is designed and led by a talented teaching team. Annie Heckman and Rachel Harper are artists and educators who see their work in terms of both contemporary art and contemporary curriculum. Invited artists and educators also support the arc of the Institute during the year.

  • Summer Residence (1 week = 5 days)
    Mon–Fri, Aug 5–9, 2013: 9 am–3 pm
    The Institute begins with an immersive week-long residence at the MCA, designed to be a time and space for you to recharge as a creative practitioner. Sessions include exercises inside and outside of the galleries focused on contemporary art and curriculum as creative practice, and independent and group work.
  • Fall Seminars (4 Saturdays)
    Sep 14, Oct 5, Nov 2, and Dec 7, 2013: 10 am–1 pm

    The Institute continues with monthly seminar meetings. These are designed to help you hone skills and generate resources to bridge the experiences we have in the museum with what can happen in the classroom.
  • Winter and Spring Action Research
    Jan–May 2014
    During the Winter and Spring Terms of the Institute, the emphasis shifts from group inquiry to individual action research around the Institute’s central inquiry question: How can I close the gap between contemporary art and teaching and learning in my classroom?
  • Share-Out
    Sat, May 25, 2014: 10 am–1 pm
    The Institute culminates in a public event to share the new knowledge produced during the year.


Support for teacher programs at the MCA is generously provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation. Additional support is provided by Discover.