, “Summer Teacher Institute puts educators in touch with maritime history”


Teachers walking through exhibit at the New Bedford Whaling Museum

original story from the Standard Times Newspaper
August 25, 2009 2:00 AM

Students from New Bedford to Tulsa, Okla., to Seattle will get a taste of the sea this fall as their teachers return to school with lesson plans influenced by a summer study of New England maritime history and the art of Winslow Homer.

The oil paintings, watercolors and illustrations of the 19th-century American artist and New Bedford’s working waterfront served as focal points for a UMass Dartmouth summer teacher institute exploring maritime history of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Twenty-five school teachers, ranging in age, discipline and geography, participated in the four-week institute, which was funded by a $168,805 We the People grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The institute addressed a variety of themes from the age of Homer, including the transition from sail to steam technology, new immigrants crossing the Atlantic, and the changing perspective of seacoasts and waterfronts from dangerous work environments to recreational destinations.

Institute co-director Dr. Arlene Mollo, professor of art education at UMass Dartmouth, said the most rewarding part of the program was “the genuine enthusiasm of teachers for new learning.”

….The group made at least four trips to the New Bedford Whaling Museum and its research library, where teachers perused shipboard logbooks and journals from whaling voyages. During one visit, the museum’s education director Sara Meirowitz taught the group how to best integrate museum visits into their curriculum.

…read rest of story at South Coast Today

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