P.D. Institutes

The Professional Development Institutes provide an opportunity for museum professionals to partner with instructors for English Language learners and professional developers from higher education organizations and community based organizations to share best practices for working with adult immigrant audiences and their families.

Each Institute consists of two parts. Part I consists of two days of VTS training and coaching and an introduction and critique of the CALTA21 curriculum. It is hosted at one of the partnering museums and occurs before the curriculum is being implemented in the classroom with English Language learners. Part II is conducted while the curriculum is implemented in the ESL classroom and will allow participants to debrief, reflect on their VTS practice, discuss the curriculum implementation and organize the classroom museum trips.

During the three year grant period (2011-2014) CALTA 21 hosted Professional Development Institutes with its four partnering museums; El Museo del Barrio, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College and the Katonah Museum of Art.


  1. Build the capacity of museum staff to work with adult English language learners
  2. Build the capacity of faculty to use art and museums as a resource for teaching English
  3. Share and disseminate CALTA21 model and progress
  4. Foster conversation and potential dynamic modes of collaboration among museums and institutions of higher education and community-based organizations


Participants will:

  • discuss the CALTA21 curriculum
  • explore visual literacy strategies and best practices when working with adult English language learners and their families in a museum or classroom setting
  • understand the basics of the Visual Thinking Strategies pedagogy and practice VTS in the museum galleries
  • examine potential partnerships and logistics for museum trips and classroom implementation
  • offer feedback and evaluation of their Institute experience as a means of refining the model Institute for future replication

The Institute will be tested, evaluated and re-designed during the first two years of the grant. This continual cycle will allow CALTA21’s Project Team to create a CALTA21 model Professional Development Institute that can be replicated nationwide and sustained after the grant period.