TMA Teacher Leaders

The TMA Teacher Leaders program provides area educators with the skills and knowledge to use Museum collections, pedagogy, and resources in their classrooms and apply visual literacy to their subject areas across the curriculum.

About the Program

School and Teacher Partnerships at TMA

The Toledo Museum of Art strives to create a sustainable, relevant, and accessible educational resource for our community. Since our founding in 1901, the purpose of TMA has been art education; we achieve this through commitment to educational programming for people of all ages and backgrounds with a special emphasis on K-12 education. Through partnerships with schools and educators in the Toledo community TMA provides rich and meaningful museum experiences for area students. Partner schools enjoy access to multi-visit field trip programs, classroom resources lesson plans, and customized professional development opportunities. TMA can help with the creation of learning environments that promote high levels of learning across disciplines.


It gets them to stop, slow down, think and take a look.

Our Approach

TMA uses hands-on, activity-based approaches to learning inspired by game design principles and project-based learning models to share visual literacy with audiences of all ages. At TMA, visual literacy is defined as being able to read, comprehend, and write visual language. The skills used for visual literacy are the same as those that are used for reading and writing text, and visual literacy skills foster critical thinking, problem solving, and development of empathy.

The Summer Institute


In August 2017, 19 teachers participated in a two-day professional development workshop at the Museum. The workshop kicked of a year-long partnership during which Museum and classroom educators worked together to create, implement, and evaluate a multiple-visit program aimed at using the Museum's collections to excite and engage 6-8th grade students about social studies and ELA content both inside the classroom and at the Museum. Using TMA's collections, research library, and galleries as source material, teachers were empowered to hack visual literacy strategies to meet classroom needs. Ultimately, the Teacher Leaders participated in over 1,000 combined hours of professional development and designed 30+ hours of curriculum. This multi-sensory, multi-modal curriculum, called Picturing History, will be piloted by Teacher Leaders and other area educators during the 2018/19 school year.