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.

Registration will be available for all of the 2016-2017 workshops on September 1, 2016.

Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance Florence
Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 4-6 pm

In the 15th century Luca della Robbia was admired and ranked among the most innovative and expressive artists of the time, along with Donatello, Masaccio, Ghiberti, and Brunelleschi. Known for a glazing technique that allowed for brilliant opaque whites and deep cerulean blues, della Robbia produced sculptures that retain their original colors and shine and have immense emotional appeal. Learn more about this fascinating artist and explore ways of incorporating this special exhibition into your history or visual arts curriculum.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History I)

William Merritt Chase
Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 4-6 pm

 A brilliant observer of contemporary life, an innovative painter, a skilled promoter and an important teacher, William Merritt Chase was a leader in international art circles at the turn of the century. Chase was praised for his sympathetic images of women, jewel-like landscapes, views of urban parks, and scenes of children at play. Explore the MFA’s new exhibition of one of our country’s leading American Impressionists, and discover the connections between his work and the history and culture of the United States in the 19th and early 20th century.

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: US History II)

Stories in Art
Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 4-6 pm

Works of art frequently reveal stories that reflect the beliefs and stories that cultures share with each other and with the rest of the world. The MFA’s collection illustrates a diverse array of stories that are populated by interesting characters and take place in settings as close as Boston itself and as far away as the other side of the world. Join us for an interactive exploration of our galleries and discover the many tales these objects can tell.

 (Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: various)

Impressionism: A Closer Look
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 4-6 pm

The MFA is home to one of the most important collections of Impressionist art in the United States. With the recent re-installation of the Museum’s galleries of late 19th century painting and sculpture, visitors can gain fresh insights into this enormously popular time period in art history. This workshop will re-visit some old favorites, introduce some new and insightful comparisons, and inspire you to integrate these Boston treasures into your visual art, world history, or foreign language curriculum. 

(Link to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: Arts Connections Strand Standards 6–10; HSS: World History II; Foreign Languages Culture Strand)

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 The Rabb/Goldberg/Cahners Fund for Teacher Resources.

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