What do you see when you look at a cell, a newspaper ad, a blueprint, a historical photograph, or any other material of your discipline? What do your students see?  

Faculty members are invited to examine the possibilities of object-based learning and its application in the classroom in the Close Looking Faculty Learning Community, a collaboration between the Stanley Art Museum and the Center for Teaching. This multi-disciplinary group will meet 4 times over the course of the semester. In addition, participants will be invited to a working dinner during which they will reflect on the experience and plan for ways that the Center for Teaching and the Stanley Museum of Art might leverage the expertise of the cohort to inform a campus-wide conversation about close looking.

Participants in the faculty learning community will:

  • Explore a museum-originated practice for using close looking to enhance analysis and critical thinking in any discipline.  
  • Develop strategies to help students build their close looking skills. 
  • Create a course assignment that requires students to practice and demonstrate close looking in order to better meet course learning objectives.  


  • Develop strategies to help students focus their observations and verbalize their analytic thinking.
  • Network with other faculty members to get fresh perspectives and build communal meaning and understanding. 
  • Connect with:
    • the Stanley Museum of Art for continued support to incorporate art into teaching and 
    • the Center for Teaching for continued support to develop assignments and explore pedagogical strategies.


  • Receive a copy of Shari Tishman’s Slow Looking: The Art and Practice of Learning through Observation, courtesy of the Center for Teaching and the Stanley Museum of Art.  
  • Incorporate work from the Stanley’s collection—including items that are not currently on view—into assignments

How to Apply