Photo credit: Avery Tucker

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 in the classroom in the Close Looking Faculty Learning Community, a collaboration between the Stanley Museum of Art and the OTLT Center for Teaching.

Faculty learning community (FLC) members will use Shari Tishman’s Slow Looking: The Art and Practice of Learning through Observation to explore a museum-originated practice for using close looking to enhance analysis in any discipline.

“Teaching students about close looking helps them develop powerful observational skills that are crucial for critical thinking,” says Anna L. Bostwick Flaming, associate director of the Center for Teaching. “The Close Looking FLC will provide faculty members with an opportunity to explore and apply this pedagogical technique in their teaching.”  

FLC members will develop strategies to help students focus their observations and verbalize their analytic thinking. They also will create a course assignment that requires students to practice close looking to better meet course learning objectives.

“The Stanley Museum of Art has over 9,000 works on paper created using a variety of techniques,” says Kimberly Datchuk, curator of learning & engagement at the Stanley Museum of Art. “This artwork can open new possibilities for observing and meaning-making across disciplines. Members of this FLC will have the opportunity to incorporate work from Stanley’s collection, including items that are currently not on view, into their assignments.”

This multi-disciplinary group will meet four times over the course of the spring 2020 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.

How to Apply

Any faculty member (clinical-track, tenure-track, lecturer, visiting, or adjunct) from any discipline at the University of Iowa can apply by visiting Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.