Teacher Professional Development

Free Workshops

Work with other teachers and MFA educators to explore ways of enlivening the classroom using Museum objects as teaching tools. Prepare for your upcoming school group visit to the MFA. Our workshops typically feature a slide presentation by a curator or guest speaker, followed by time in the galleries with Gallery Instructors. All are designed to address Curriculum Framework requirements.

Online registration is required, at least 24 hours before the workshop date. There is a non-refundable processing fee of $3 per teacher per workshop.


Leonardo da Vinci: Drawings
May 13, 2015, 4-7 pm

Leonardo da Vinci’s accomplishments in art and science find their common ground in his drawings, into which he poured the full fervor of his intelligence and creative powers. Throughout his career, Leonardo da Vinci experimented with three kinds of drawings: scientific studies made from life; grotesque caricatures of craggy faces ravaged by time and misdeeds, and, finally, the most beautiful faces of men and women that he could imagine. Because he left so few paintings, Leonardo’s drawings have always been recognized as our deepest window into his thinking. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to explore these rich drawings, on view for a brief time at the MFA in 2015, and discover ways to integrate this exhibition into every area of the curriculum.
(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History I)

Sign up

Summer 2015 Teacher Workshops

Art of Japan
July 7-8, 2015, 10 am-5 pm

In conjunction with two major exhibitions, Hokusai and In The Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11, and supported by the wider context of the Museum of Fine Arts’ renowned collection of Japanese art, the MFA will be offering a two-day professional development workshop for K – 12 teachers interested in incorporating the teaching of Japan and the arts in their curriculum. The workshop will include lectures, gallery activities, and other behind-the-scenes experiences, offering an immersion in the Japanese visual arts as a means toward understanding the history, culture, and contemporary society of Japan.

The fee for the workshop is $100, which includes admission to the Museum, coffee/tea service, and all materials. To register for the workshop, please email; your confirmation materials will include information on payment.


Visual Thinking Strategies Practicum
July 22-23, 2015, time TBA

The MFA is pleased to serve as a host site for a two-day Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) Practicum, sponsored and taught by Visual Understanding in Education. For more information on VTS or about the Practicum, visit their website.


Visualizing the American Revolution
July 28, 2015, 9 am-3:30 pm (at the Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library)
July 29, 2015, 10 am-5 pm (at the MFA)

Using art and other visual sources is an engaging way to help elementary students understand the people, geography and events of the American Revolution. In this workshop, teachers will work with scholars, educators and one another to gain a more complete and complex view of the American Revolution (focused mostly on Boston) and how to integrate visual sources into their classroom teaching. Participants will use resources from the Library of Congress, Leventhal Map Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to create an online gallery and lesson plan to enhance their teaching. 

For more information and to register, visit the Leventhal Map Center’s website.


Professional Teacher Membership Discount

Pre-K through grade 12 teachers can receive a $30 discount on membership and enjoy all the benefits of membership. Proof of active teaching status is required to receive discount; visit any MFA ticket desk and present your school ID, letter from the principal or head on school letterhead, or current MTA card. Please note: discount is available in person only; mailed requests will not be honored.


Teacher Professional Development Programs are funded in part by a grant from The Lowell Institute and The Rabb/Goldberg/Cahners Fund for Teacher Resources.

MFA for Educators is made possible through the generous support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.