Staff Development for the Rembrandt Teaching Project

Training in the Rembrandt Teaching Project focuses on enhancing the content area knowledge of the teachers in the areas of art and art history. Being located in New York City we not only take advantage of each other's experise but also receive offsite training in museums in New York City in which Rembrandt's works are located. By collaborating with cultural institutions the teachers in the Rembrandt Project will expand the borders of their classrooms to include some of the major museums of the world.


At a session in October of 2001 a new group of teachers received introductory training for the Rembrandt Project. These teachers received training from other teachers who were in the first cohort of teachers who made up the Rembrandt Teaching Project. These teacher trainers have refined their classroom practice to include using the art of Rembrandt to teach both core content subjects such as mathematics and science as well as art.


The teachers who attended this session were representative of both elementary and intermediates school teachers. Some were art specialists while others were classroom instructional generalists. What they all have in common was a motivation to use the art of Rembrandt to construct best practices in teaching.


At this session teachers received introductory training on the artistic biography of Rembrandt to give them context about his life and times. This included having the teachers view a slide show composed by the project's director that included slides of Rembrandt's birth place in the Netherlands, the school he attended in Leiden, and significant Rembrandt locations in Amsterdam. They also viewed examples of many of his major works.


This was followed by hands on demonstrations that included having teachers make and use a viewfinder to compose their own version of a fall still life. Teachers also received materials such as books and journals in order to encourage the implementation of a multiple literacies approach to learning.



A session of the Rembrandt Teaching Project was held at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City in May of 2003. A staff development confernce was held in the Uris Conference Room followed by a workshop and walking tour.led by Ines Powell, a museum educator with Metropolitan Museum Education Department.


The topic of the workshop and tour was the influence of seventeenth-century Nothern and Southern European art on the work of Rembrandt. Ms. Powell made a lively presentation of Rembrandt's influences. We learned how Peter Paul Rubens' art was an important background influence to Rembrandt's training and work. Also Spanish art in the seventeenth century was shown to be connected to Dutch art of the same period. With her lively presentation, Ms. Powell set the stage for discussion as to how to integrate art and art history into traditional school core content areas.


At this session teachers received various materials including slides of paintings viewed during the tour.