Summer Seminar Program 2022

Teachers as Scholars is pleased to offer an exciting selection of summer professional development opportunities for teachers ranging over subjects from the climate crisis to poetry. All seminars are two days in length, are conducted in person (except where otherwise noted), and will be held in late June and early July. Participants will earn 10 PDPs.

The tuition for each seminar is $300. Although participants themselves pay for TAS summer courses, many schools will cover the tuition cost. Seats are limited, and TAS will give member schools the first opportunity to enroll. If a seminar does not meet our minimum enrollment requirements, TAS will refund the tuition of teachers who registered.

If your school or district will be paying for your enrollment in the TAS Summer Seminar Program, please click here.

The Summer Seminar Program registration deadline is May 1st, but keep in mind that some seminars may fill quickly.

Please contact us at for further seminar details.

Summer Seminars with TAS

Introduction to Thinking Through Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Sara Egan, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
June 27 & June 29, 9:30 – 3:00 at the Gardner Museum, Boston

What happens when we gather before a work of art? This two-day seminar for teachers of all disciplines at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will introduce participants to the Museum’s approach to teaching visual art that centers student voices. Participants will learn about and practice Visual Thinking Strategies, a research-based structure for facilitating discussions that make art accessible to all students and allow their ideas and perspectives to take center stage. We will reflect on the benefits of using Visual Thinking Strategies in the classroom across subjects and grade levels to develop evidence-based reasoning, flexible thinking, and empathy. Learning will take place primarily in the galleries, investigating both the historic collection as well as an exhibition of Maurice Sendak’s designs for opera and ballet. Teachers of all subjects and grade levels are encouraged to enroll, no prior experience with art is required.

Sara Egan is a museum educator whose work is grounded in constructivism and the use of discussions about works of art to affirm all voices. She connects Boston students and teachers with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as Assistant Director of School and Teaching Programs. Sara holds a BA from Vassar College and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is an Adjunct Professor of Art at Simmons College.

Using Young Adult Literature for Teaching Social Justice

Christina Dobbs, Boston University.
July 5 & 12. 9:30-3:00 at Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

Historically, young people have been leading activists and advocates for many key movements for social justice and change, despite schools and curricula often failing to share these stories or teach these skills. This two-day seminar will explore how teachers might disrupt their current curricula by incorporating rich and engaging texts for young adults into a more equitable and social justice-driven curriculum. We will explore a wide range of texts for young adults that might explore issues of equity and help students explore their own activism and identity development. Participants will choose and read 2 entire works from a selected list of possibilities (fiction and nonfiction) and work with segments of others. We will use frameworks such as the Learning for Justice Social Justice Standards and the HILL equity framework to consider how incorporating these texts might create spaces to disrupt inequality based in racism, cis-heteronormative patriarchy, ableism, and dominant English monolingualism in classrooms and schools.

CHRISTINA DOBBS is an Assistant Professor in English Education. Her research interests include language diversity and development, the argumentative writing of students, and professional development for secondary content teachers. She has authored a variety of publications on these topics, following the completion of her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the author of Investigating Disciplinary Literacy and Disciplinary Literacy Inquiry and Instruction, as well as the editor of Humanizing Education: Critical Alternatives to Reform. She is a former high school teacher in Houston, Texas, as well as a literacy coach and reading specialist..

Illustrated Travel Journaling

Miranda Loud, Artist
June 27 & 29, 9:30-3:00. (Online class.)

Have you thought about a trip you have taken and wished you had recorded more details so that you could remember it better? Or maybe the photos you took don’t quite capture everything that you felt and experienced in a place? In this two-session online workshop, we will explore ways to take your photos from a recent trip and create a watercolor sketchbook with fun lettering, observations, and collage to then apply to future trips you might take. Using watercolor and any other media you would like to use – watercolor pencils, acrylics, stamps, stencils — we’ll do some drawing and painting exercises, and I will give demos and techniques for designing pages, using your watercolors to paint buildings and landscapes. I’ll also show examples of other travel sketchbooks to inspire ideas. You’ll need a set of basic watercolor brushes, a set of watercolors, and a journal with watercolor paper. No art background is needed, just a desire to play with color, line, and shape.


MIRANDA LOUD is a multimedia artist producing works in a variety of media: video, painting, collage, photography and music. She has held fellowships at the Banff Center for the Arts in Banff, Canada, the St. Botolph Club of Boston and, among a variety of awards, won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Gold Star Award for her multimedia performance Buccaneers of Buzz: Celebrating the Honeybee which was performed as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Her work is available at

Teaching the Climate Crisis Across Disciplines

Joanna Carey, Babson College
June 29 & 30. 9:30 – 3:00 at Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

Today’s youth will be disproportionately impacted by climate change, relative to the older members of society. Students deserve to understand the severity of the climate change crisis and how it will impact their future livelihoods, as climate change touches all aspects of society in a variety of scope and contexts. Nevertheless, the severity and scale of this problem presents unique challenges to effectively teaching this material to young people.

This two-day cross-disciplinary workshop will focus on how to incorporate the topic of climate change into current middle and high school curriculums. The first day of the workshop will focus on climate change fundamentals – including the causes of climate change and the consequences of the rapid planetary warming on people and the environment. The second day of the workshop will focus on how to incorporate climate change into curriculum content spanning a range of disciplines, including non-science courses. Participants will actively work in small groups to practice using the specific tools and approaches learned in the workshop. We will address how to address the severity of the climate crisis in a way that motivates student interest and understanding without causing undo anxiety or disengagement. This workshop is applicable to both middle school and high school teachers across a wide range of disciplines (e.g., science, math, humanities).


JOANNA CAREY is an Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Babson College. She teaches courses related to oceanography, climate change, and river ecology to non-science majors. Her research examines how human activities (e.g., land cover change, climate change) are altering fundamental ecological processes in rivers, tundra, forest, wetland, and estuarine ecosystems. Dr. Carey holds a Ph.D. in Earth Science from Boston University, and M.Sci in Environmental Science from Yale University, and B.S. in Environmental Policy from Virginia Tech.

How We Disagree

Anne L’Hommedieu Sanderson and Aidan Kestigian, Harvard University and Thinkeranalytix
July 6 & 7, 9:30-3:00 at Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

When we deliberate about important moral issues, we often reason about the relative significance of values (like equality, justice, and autonomy), and the extent to which those values should weigh on policy and on our own decision making. When we deliberate about moral issues with others in the face of profound disagreement, we face two difficult tasks: (1) the need to engage in complex reasoning and (2) the need to contain our emotion, listen carefully, and interpret precisely others’ views, especially when those views conflict with our own. This course will explore argument mapping, a method for visualizing moral reasoning and identifying exact points of disagreement. It will also survey the habits of mind needed to engage critically and thoughtfully in moral disagreements, and discuss ways to build those habits over time. Participants will leave this course with an understanding of the pedagogical research supporting argument mapping, and strategies and tools for teaching moral argumentation in the classroom that can be used off the shelf in grade 6-12 and higher education settings.


ThinkerAnalytix is an education non-profit organization working in partnership with the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University. The ThinkerAnalytix mission is to teach reasoning skills so that students can have more constructive conversations about current events and controversial issues. ThinkerAnalytix staff leading this course have expertise in ethics, logic, as well as secondary and higher education pedagogy.

What Poetry Does and How to Find Out

Theo Theoharis, Harvard University
July 6 &7, 9:30-3:00 at Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

Why is poetry often a minor part of our English and Language Arts curricula? In many cases it is because there is a mistaken belief by students (and teachers) that you need a special decoder ring to understand poetry and that poetry remains in the domain of university education. This two-day seminar will demystify poetry and demonstrate that its power and beauty is available and valuable for your students. In our time together, we will explore ways to read and experience poems guided by William Carlos Williams’ introductory essay in his book Spring and All. In the introduction, Williams lays out an account of the purpose of literature generally and poetry specifically. He presents three fundamental questions which teachers should keep in mind not only to demystify a poem but also for it to have an emotional, indeed, transformative impact upon teachers and their students:

  • What is the felt experience of the poem?
  • How can we find out?
  • What is the result of knowing that for the reader?

Using poems from Spring and All, we will apply these questions to understand Williams’ point — that art does not try to copy reality, but it recreates reality in artistic form. In other words, the test of poetry is its ability to create in the reader a change in consciousness. Are you different as a result of the poem? Do you see the world differently? This seminar will explore these and other questions as we experience what a poem can do and develop ways to find out.


THEO THEOHARIS teaches at Harvard University. He is the author of James Joyce’s Ulysses: An Anatomy of the Soul and Ibsen’s Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy. His latest book is Complete Poems of Constantine P. Cavafy. He has lectured throughout Europe and the U.S. and has led many professional development activities for teachers

Developing Our WHY: The Role of Narrative in Racial Healing

Jenée Uttaro, Brookline Public Schools
July 13 & 14, 9:30-3:00 at Harvard Hillel, Cambridge

In our two days together, we’ll create brave spaces and examine our “why” – one of the most foundational things that people need to do racial healing work. From there, we’ll construct our story of self, or the principal moment(s) in our lives that help us express why we are called to learning, teaching, and social justice. We are all storytellers — all engaged, as the anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson puts it, in an “act of creation” of the “composition of our lives.” When we want people to understand us, we share our story or parts of it with them; when we want to know who another person is, we ask them to share part of their story. These moments of identity sharing build empathy and can also be powerful opportunities to have intergenerational and multigenerational conversations about race and inequity. What are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves? What are the intersectional pieces we tell others? In practicing the skill of identity storytelling, we will be able to model similar processes for students and colleagues in ways that inspire change and true belonging for each of us. This seminar is a good fit for elementary or high school educators interested in antiracist reflection and teaching practice.


JENÉE PALMER UTTARO is the Senior Director of Educational Equity for the Public Schools of Brookline. She has spent 23 years in education, teaching English in 7-12th grade classrooms in Boston and Brookline. Jenee received her Master of Education from Boston College and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Endicott College. She is an instructor of graduate students in education leadership and professional learning and is a member of the Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Network for the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents.