Professional Development for Educators

The NMMA’s Education Department offers a wide range of teacher professional development opportunities for K-12 art, language arts, social science, Spanish, bilingual and early childhood educators with the goal of empowering educators to integrate culturally relevant content and innovative hands-on strategies in their regular curriculum.  

Professional Development programs can consist of exhibition tours, thematic presentations, group work and discussion, art demonstrations, hands-on art experiences, and often include curricular design and in-class support.  They range from one-day workshops to multiple sessions over an entire year.  All participating teachers receive curricular resources aligned to Illinois and National Learning Standards. CPDUs are also available for all teacher programs.  Group fees start at $500 per session and vary per program.

One-day Teacher Workshops                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Throughout the year, our Education Department offers several four-hour workshops on selected Saturday mornings. These workshops focus on the themes and works of art from our exhibitions and offer teachers the opportunity to learn about an aspect of Mexican art, history and culture and integrate new content or activities into their regular classroom.

Multi-Session Professional Development                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Our Education Department offers cohorts of K-12 teachers the opportunity to participate in a more comprehensive professional development program designed to increase teacher’s ability to teach about art and culture and integrate exhibitions into regular classroom curriculum.  Participating teachers assist three or four sessions at the Museum for a total of 12 to 16 contact hours.  In addition, museum educators provide support in the classroom and assistance with curricular design as they create their own museum unit.

Popular P.D. Topics Include:

  • Codex (ancient indigenous pictograph)
  • Myths
  • Aztecs
  • Maya
  • Legacy of Corn
  • Alebrijes (paper mache animal figures)
  • Day of the Dead
  • African Presence in Mexico
  • Huichol Art and Culture

Curricular Resources                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   An integral part of the Education Department’s mission is to assist teachers in integrating Mexican art, history or culture into their classrooms.  Using the works of art and themes in our exhibitions, museum educators develop interdisciplinary exhibition guides, lesson plans, hands-on art activities, tools and other resources to enhance student learning experiences and increase their understanding and appreciation of art and culture.

Topics include:

  • The African Presence in Mexico (6-12)
  • Day of the Dead (K-12)
  • Alebrijes (K-2)
  • The Huichol Indians of Mexico (K-8)
  • Maíz: A Legacy Through Time (6)

Customized Programs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Professional development programs or workshops can also be tailored for specific grades, age groups, or topics found in Mexican art, history or culture.  Museum educators can plan in advance with fellow educators or administrators to address curricular goals and objectives.

For reservations, additional information on teacher professional development opportunities, or to design a customized program, please call 312-433-3939

Educator Evenings                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Each year, the NMMA hosts a special evening just for educators.  During this open house time, educators learn about a new exhibition, view art demonstrations, receive special tours, and enjoy refreshments and conversation with fellow educators.  These evenings offer teachers an opportunity to network with colleagues and immerse themselves in art and culture.  Please check our website for current listings.

Adult Art Classes and Workshops                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        During special exhibitions, the Museum’s Education Department often offers art classes or single art workshops highlighting an art form or artist from the exhibition.  These classes are led by experienced in-house educators or guest artists from Mexico and the US. CPDUs are available and fees vary by class depending on materials needed.

Lecture Presentations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Museum educators can also introduce teachers to a specific cultural topic or aspect of Mexican history through a vibrant slide lecture presentation that may be integrated into a larger professional development program.  Presentation fees range from $100 to $250.  To make arrangements for a presentation, please call at least three weeks prior to program date.  Popular presentations include:  Day of the Dead, African Presence in Mexico, Mexican Independence, Mexican Muralists, Frida & Diego, Mexican Festivals and Celebrations.