A healthy development at universities across the country is the implementation of an interdisciplinary curriculum. When mathematics and the sciences are taught with the aid of the humanities, learning becomes more experiential and memorable.
A course at the Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with the University of Chicago assigns medical students to draw a self-portrait starting with the bones in the skull, then layering muscles, skin, and identifying features. In this complex anatomy lesson they “gain a sense of mindfulness, concentration, self-awareness and respect for human differences—all qualities necessary for the doctors they will become,” as well as learn “the humane qualities they need to have.”
Similarly, students at The University of Texas at Austin can benefit from the examination of works in the Landmarks collection and discussion of historical and contemporary trends in art. In tours tailored to fit curricular needs, students are encouraged to observe closely while voicing their own ideas and considering the viewpoints of others, opening themselves up to collaborative and innovative problem-solving.
photo by Ben Aqua
Dr. Patricia Garcia wants her class of future secondary English teachers to appreciate that “a great literacy teacher not only teaches the mechanics of reading words and comprehending texts.” In discussing the work of James Turrell, she also demonstrates how one can help “young minds … read the world around them.” Randolph Lewis’s New Urban Studies course practiced slow looking: each person spent ten minutes viewing works on their own before a group discussion on the importance of public art to urban identity. Custom tours of the collection have included students from the College of Pharmacy, College of Education, Moody College of Communication, College of Fine Arts, College of Liberal Arts, School of Architecture, and LBJ School of Public Affairs, to name a few.
photo by Lawrence Peart
Tours are led by either a member of the Landmarks staff or a trained docent. Each tour lasts anywhere from one to two hours. Landmarks requires two weeks’ notice to schedule a tour. Didn’t plan for that much lead time? Contact us anyway; we’ll try our best to accommodate your class.
Email or call Catherine Zinser, Landmarks Education Coordinator, for more information on how public art can provide a unique opportunity for your students to engage with each other and their environment in new and challenging ways.
Landmarks Education Coordinator