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Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB)

Summer 2018 Institute at MassArt: July 8-14, 2018

Spend a week in historic Boston with TAB educators to develop and expand understandings about choice-based pedagogy in Pre K-12 art programs.

Studio Learning, this summer's focus, looks at studio practices in Pre K-12 TAB classroom.

Teachers new to TAB will acquire plans, tools, and strategies to implement a choice-based art curriculum in their own setting. Teachers with experience in choice-based art education will deepen understandings of learner-directed practice.



  • Welcome orientation dinner
  • Elementary, middle and high school cohort groups
  • Introductory workshops for teachers new to TAB
  • Guest speakers
  • Break-out sessions on topics proposed by attendees
  • Online pre-work component
  • TAB student artwork exhibit
  • Studio Center Installation  

Program Cost and Registration

Non-credit Program Cost: $840
Graduate Credit Program Cost: $2,090

Refund Policy:

  • A full refund is made when a student registers for a workshop that is canceled or full
  • A written (email) as well as a phone confirmation is required for withdrawals
  • Students who withdraw before June 1 receive a refund of all payments less the $300 deposit
  • Students who withdraw after June 1 receive no refund and are responsible for the unpaid balance.
  • Refunds are normally processed by mid September


On-campus two-bedroom shared suites are available in MassArt's Treehouse Residence Hall. Each suite has a shared bath and will be available Sunday through Saturday nights. Linens provided; residents will bring their own toiletries. 

2018 Housing Cost

  • $300 per person, shared room
  • $375 per person, single room in shared suite

Disability Accommodation

MassArt is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for documented physical and learning disabilities. Requests for any accommodation should be made two months before the start of the course.

About the Program

The Institute comprises classroom activities and exhibits, as well as an online component. During the week, there are all-attendee sessions as well as breakout sessions on site, split into grade level cohorts (elementary, middle, high school) as well as mixed groupings, by interest, in a particular issue or theme. Among this summer's focus topics are: instruction and assessment, as well as studio practices to meet the diverse needs of all learners in Pre K-12 TAB art programs. Students may take the class for credit or Professional Development Points, which carry different requirements.  

For information and to be on the TAB mailing list please contact MassArt's Office of Professional and Continuing Education at or 617.879.7200.

Online Component

As preparation for the Institute, everyone is encouraged to participate in the online component of the course during the month of June. The readings, resources, and forum discussions provide extensive information and help build community prior to our week together. The online component is required for those taking the course for credit, plus additional graduate credit requirements.  


Participants Students' Artwork
Each year TAB Institute attendees provide a set of two images of students' artwork prior to the start of the Institute. One image should represent a work of art that the teacher considers to be of high quality. The second image represents artwork evaluated as lower quality work. The purpose is to examine what quality work looks like in the TAB art program so teachers can calibrate their expectations based on a wide variety of student artwork. Each image is accompanied by an artist statement and comments from the teacher explaining why the piece was selected for this exhibit. These images will be enlarged and printed for the exhibit so high-quality jpegs are appreciated. The exhibit is open throughout the week in the Doran Gallery.

Studio Center Installations
Most TAB classrooms are designed with distinct studio centers for various media. Studio centers typically feature materials, tools, and resources organized for easy student access. All experienced TAB teachers are encouraged to bring one studio center to the TAB Institute. These will be installed in the gallery, alongside student artworks. New and experienced TAB teachers get ideas for their own classrooms after seeing how a studio center can be elegantly simple, stored in one box, or elaborate with many choices. Materials and tools can be made available to those teachers who want to set up a studio center while traveling with limited space.

Credit and Professional Development Points

Massachusetts College of Art and Design offers 3 graduate credits for work completed in the Teaching for Artistic Behavior Institute and MA Professional Development Point certificates for those who choose to audit the course. Those auditing the course are encouraged to participate in all of the activities/requirements.

Credit Requirements:

  • Online work: During the month of June, a pre-course online component consisting of four modules, each with readings, videos and discussion prompts, will be presented on MassArt's Moodle platform. Work must be complete prior to arrival on campus in July
  • TAB Student Art Exhibit: Participants must submit two examples of student artwork, with artist statements and teacher comments
  • Attendance: Students must attend all sessions; lunch meeting on Tuesday with advisors
  • Presentation: Students will prepare a one-hour presentation to be shared during the week at the Institute on one of the following topics: TAB curriculum, instructional strategies, assessment, teaching with special populations, contemporary artists, or studio practices
  • Final Project: A final project will be completed at the end of the course. Past projects have included class websites, room design plans, curriculum mapping, and advocacy brochures


Sunday, July 8, 2018

2:00pm - 5:30pm: Residential participants arrive at Treehouse Residential Hall
6:00pm - 9:00pm: Orientation 

Monday - Tuesday

9:00am - 1:00pm: Grade level cohorts
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Lunch on your own
2:00pm - 6:00pm: Cohorts by grade-level meet
6:00pm - 7:00pm: Dinner on your own, studio time
7:00pm - 10:00pm: Studios open, optional

Wednesday - friday

9:00am - 1:00pm: Breakout sessions by topics cohorts
1:00pm - 2:00pm: Lunch on your own
2:00pm - 6:00pm: Breakout sessions by topics
7:00pm - 9:00pm: Studios open, optional


9:00am - 11:00am: Gallery Exhibit and Critique


8:00pm - 5:00pm: Residential participants check-out of Treehouse Residential Hall


Katherine Douglas, co-founder of Teaching for Artistic Behavior, Inc., has taught in an elementary choice-based art program for over 35 years. She is co-author of Engaging Learners through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom and other articles about choice-based art education. She has presented at national conferences and provides professional development to school districts and higher education. She was named Massachusetts Art Educator of the Year in 2016. 

Clyde Gaw is a 32-year veteran art teacher near Indianapolis and has practiced choice-based art education for the past 12 years. He has served on the Advocacy Advisory Committee of the National Art Education Association and is the advocacy advisor for the Art Education Association of Indiana. He has presented at numerous regional and national venues and is the author of several publications, including the blogs Transition to Choice Based Art Education and Indiana Art Education Advocacy Action.

Nan Hathaway teaches choice-based art education at the middle school level in Duxbury, Vermont. She is co-editor of The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creating Thinking Skills through Art and other articles on the topic of choice-based art education. She frequently speaks at state and national conferences about creativity, giftedness, and learner-directed art. She is past chair of the National Association for Gifted Children Creativity Network. Her blog is called Studio Learning: Art at Crosset Brook Middle School.

Diane Jaquith is co-founder of Teaching for Artistic Behavior, Inc. and recently retired following 25 years in K-8 education. She is an instructor in MassArt's Department of Art Education for the Saturday Studios youth program. She is co-author of Engaging Learners through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom, The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills through Art, and many articles about choice-based art education. She is past co-chair of NAEA's Professional Learning through Research committee. She authors the blog, Self-Directed Art: Choice Based-Art Education.  

Ian Sands. Perhaps best known for his work at Apex High School in North Carolina, Ian Sands now teaches at South Brunswick High School in Southport, NC. He is an active member of NAEA, often presenting at the annual conference. He is a frequent writer for School Arts Magazine and has been a contributing author for The Art of Education. His book, The Open Art Room: A Framework for Supporting Authentic Student Choice, co-authored with Melissa Purtee, is a high school choice-based teaching resource available through Davis Publications.

Julie Toole is a National Board Certified art teacher at the Baker Demonstration School in Willamette, IL, teaching grades 1-8. She taught PreK-8 for 20 years in the Chicago Public Schools. She is a member of the TAB Leadership Team, organizes the Midwest TAB Summer Institute and served as a TAB study group coach for the Chicago Foundation for Education. She presents locally and nationally on the topics of choice-based art education and school/home advocacy. Her transition to choice-based art education is chronicled in her blog, Choosing Choice.