TMA Summer Institute

Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, TMA educators worked with 6th-8th grade teachers to explore the potential power of a collaborative approach to curriculum development.

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 2016, teachers participated in a week-long professional development workshop at the Museum. During the workshop and following school-year Museum and classroom educators worked together to create, implement, and evaluate visual literacy based curriculum across a variety of subject areas including English language arts, social studies, math, visual arts and technology. Using the Museum’s collections, research library, and galleries as source material, teachers were empowered to hack visual literacy strategies to meet their own classroom needs. Ultimately, Summer Institute teachers participated in over 600 combined hours of professional development and brought over 850 students to the museum for customized field trip experiences.