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Learning to Look, Learning to Write

Three college students write in notebooks in a museum gallery

March 4, 2022
11:00 AM


Art-Based Teaching Methods for Strengthening Writing Skills

Virtual program 

How can the close analysis of visual art help students develop skills that will also make them more effective writers? This workshop explores the relationship between art and writing pedagogies with a focus on the Smart Museum’s resources for instructors who want to emphasize writing skills in their teaching. 

The workshop includes short presentations by Rachel Cohen, Professor of Practice in the Arts in the Department of English, and Patrick Barry, Visiting Lecturer in Law, who each share strategies from their experiences of teaching writing in museum spaces,  and Ashley Lyons, Associate Director of University Writing Programs, who speaks about the most common challenges facing student writers, and the prospects for addressing these challenges with art-based exercises and activities. These presentations are followed by a large-group discussion, in which workshop participants are able to ask questions, share experiences, and brainstorm lesson plans and learning objectives. 

Workshop participants come away with new ideas about how encounters with art can strengthen the writing skills of undergraduate and graduate student writers from all across the university, from college students in the Core, to creative writing majors, to law students, and beyond.  


Program video


This workshop is organized by the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at the Smart Museum of Art and moderated by Cooper Long, Academic Engagement Graduate Intern and PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies. The program is designed for faculty, instructors, graduate students, as well as staff. 

FREE, please register for the workshop link


Image: A University of Chicago class visits Smart to the Core: Medium / Image in fall 2021.