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.


Art and Writing
March 11, 2015, 4-7 pm

Art can inspire writers in all genres, whether it is poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction.  Close looking at art can also build skills in observation, description, and critical thinking, which are all essential tools in the writer’s toolbox.  In this interactive workshop, teachers will be able to try many different writing activities in the galleries that will inspire their students while making direct connections with the Common Core.
(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks:  various)



From Hokusai to 3/11: The Art of Japan
April 8, 2015, 4-7 pm

In 2015, the MFA will be mounting two major special exhibitions related to Japan.  This workshop will explore both our exhibition of works by Hokusai, which will be drawn from our extensive holdings of his artwork, including paintings, woodblock prints, and illustrated painted books, as well as In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3-11, which will be the first exhibition of its kind—in the United States or Japan—to explore the photographic response to the catastrophic triple disaster of March 2011. Learn how you can use these exhibitions, as well as the Museum’s unparalleled collection of the art of Japan, to enhance your history/social studies, visual arts, or world languages curriculum.
(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History I and II; Foreign Languages Cultures Strand)



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)



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.