Now that I’ve completed all of the grade 4-12 lesson plans (which should be up on the MIA’s website sometime next week, so keep an eye out for them!), I’ve been primarily focused on producing supplemental in-class resources. One way to bring the “museum experience” to the classroom is to have informative and interactive materials for teachers to implement and tailor to their students’ needs.
The MIA has long embraced technology as part of its mission to promote educational awareness of Inuit art and serve the local community. Above all, accessibility remains a cornerstone of each project undertaken by the institution and my work here is no exception. Similarly, my teaching practice and education at OISE have reinforced the need for technology-driven learning in order to adequately respond to students with diverse needs.
Teachers are encouraged to use all available media to enhance their lessons and help students make a connection to the artist and their artwork prior to coming to the museum for a visit. For instance, the origin stories of the Inuit Sea Goddess (commonly referred to as Sedna, however there are many different names for her) have been a source of inspiration for many Inuit artists. Although they vary from region to region in the Arctic, they ultimately conclude with the young girl falling victim to a rather violent severing of her fingers, which later transform into sea mammals. By giving students an opportunity to explore various interpretations of the Inuit Sea Goddess, they come away with a better understanding of the diversity and complexity of the Inuit culture.
It’s also important for teachers to elevate the classroom discussion and enable students to dispel inaccurate notions or misconceptions about the Inuit in Canada. The goal should be to build an enduring understanding and respect, and what better way to connect to another community than by exploring the different forms and styles of Inuit art.
This was just a preview of what’s to come. I’ll be back with my final post next week to wrap up my internship!
– Posted by: Aviva German, MIA’s Educational Intern