Professional Development

PEM Teacher Institute tour

Professional Development for Teachers

Come to PEM to get inspired, connect with colleagues and advance your classroom teaching with workshops, artist demonstrations, open houses and other opportunities especially for teachers. Attend an evening session or apply to the PEM Teacher Institute for an immersive summer experience. Check back here throughout the year for the latest teacher programs.

Visiting another time? New England educators always receive free admission! Just show your ID. Other educators planning to bring students to the museum can contact us (see below) to arrange a free visit.

To sign-up for monthly email updates or find out more information, contact or 978-542-1546.

Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities for Educators

The museum also offers day-long professional development workshops for schools and districts on topics such as object-based teaching, interdisciplinary learning, creative expression and writing inspired by art. Customized workshops are available to groups of 10 or more teachers in the museum or at your school.

Interdisciplinary Learning in the Museum and Classroom

Explore interdisciplinary learning against the backdrop of PEM's exhibitions and collection. Inspired by works of art that link the visual arts to a variety of other disciplines, teachers take part in lively discussions, make connections to classroom teaching and practice developing interdisciplinary lesson plans with other participants.

Write at the Museum! Making Objects Come Alive to Promote Literacy Skills

How can objects tell a story? Look at objects in the museum’s collection as inspiration for writing and discover how object-based learning can be applied to classroom teaching. Learn how to view objects with students and how students can develop a variety of written responses to works of art.

Discover the Art of Object-based Teaching!

Objects and artwork come to life through the use of open-ended questioning strategies. Explore the educational potential of objects in PEM’s collection and learn how using objects in your classroom can engage students in inquiry and collaborative learning while building observation and communication skills.

Select Past Programs

PEM Teacher Institute

Annually in the summer

Discover new approaches for integrating the arts and fostering innovation across disciplines. Challenge yourself as a learner and find new inspiration, while gathering fresh ideas and pedagogical strategies for your classroom. Delve into museum collections and special exhibitions, develop resource materials and work with leaders in education, the arts, the humanities, and STEM fields.

Educator Open Houses

Annually in both the fall and spring

Discover the latest exhibitions, create art, take on a design challenge in the Maker Lounge, enjoy refreshments, socialize with colleagues and learn more about upcoming programs. Guest artists have included Kirsten Reynolds (sculptural maquettes), Frank White (woodturning), Julia Han (fashion design) and Robert King (graphic design).

Art and Social Issues

Thursday, March 3, 2016 4:30-7:30 pm

Engage in a conversation about art and social issues inspired by the convergence of four dynamic exhibitions on view at PEM: Intersections: Anila Quayyum Agha, Alchemy of the Soul: Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Native Fashion Now and Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age. Discover how artists and artwork invite us to question assumptions and engage in challenging discussions. Consider new approaches for bringing social issues and art into the classroom and for building global competency in students. Learn more about the exhibitions here »

Special Presentation: Contemporary Art and Art-Centered Learning

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 9-10:30 am

If today's artists are innovators, how does that influence the way we understand art and its role in education? Nationally renowned arts-integration expert Julia Marshall, Chair of Art Education at San Francisco State University, explores how the practices of contemporary artists in the field provide a model for teachers in the classroom. Attendees will discuss examples of tools, ideas and strategies for implementing this approach in K-16 classrooms, and also review visual imagery created by students who adopted an art-centered approach to their work. Marshall will provide an overview of arts-integrated teaching and the impact of this approach on student learning.

Trees and STE

Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 2:30-4 pm

PEM's first Scientist-in-Residence, Dr. Lisa J. Delissio, Professor of Biology at Salem State University, leads an exciting discussion in the exhibition, Branching Out: Trees as Art. Referencing leaves, seeds, and bark in the artwork on view, Delissio navigates throughout the exhibition to reveal scientific stories about tree life-cycle, adaptation and diversity in the context of the new Massachusetts STE Standards. Learn more about Dr. Delissio on her blog, STEAM for Institutions of Higher Education. Tree-themed refreshments provided. Workshop designed from grade 3-5 teachers.

Aflutter about Art and Science

Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 4-6 pm

Explore PEM's latest contemporary installation, from here to ear, as well as Beyond Human: Artist-Animal Collaborations in the newly renovated Art & Nature Center. Discover more about PEM's approach to arts integration and STEAM-based museum programs, plus try out a few activities to take back to your classroom! Workshop designed for grade 3-12 teachers.

Behind the Scenes: Art Conservation

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 4-6 pm

Discover the art and science of conservation with PEM's Mimi Leveque. Learn about "museum CSI" techniques used to uncover the history of a work of art and determine the best way to preserve it. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the ongoing conservation of an exceptional wooden figurehead by William Rush, one of the great early American artists. See what has been revealed under layer upon layer of paint and what choices are being made at each stage of the figurehead's restoration. Get a preview of the work in progress in this brief video.

Feathers, felt & fascinators

Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 4-7 pm

Join Juliette Fritsch, PEM's chief of education and interpretation and an experienced milliner, for a workshop focused on the creative experience of hat making. Explore millinery materials and construct a fancy fascinator* of your own. High-quality bases, veiling, feathers, ribbon, sinamay and other trims provided. Take your new ready-to-wear fashion item home in a hat box. Arrive early to see -- or revisit -- the exhibition Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones.

Tapestry Artist Demonstration

Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 4-6 pm
Co-presented with the North Shore Art Teachers Association

Join us for a teacher workshop featuring Micala Sidore, a contemporary tapestry artist. Sidore provides an overview of the art form from medieval times through the present day and guides us in a close viewing of the panels in The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries. In addition, the workshop includes a demonstration of weaving techniques and opportunities for participants to try weaving on Sidore's looms.

Arts Integration in the Museum and Classroom

Tuesday, February 7, 2011, 3:30-6 pm
Co-presented with the Salem State Collaborative

Explore arts integration against the backdrop of PEM's new exhibition, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Discover the vitality and diversity of Native American art and culture while making connections to classroom teaching. Inspired by works of art that link the visual arts to social science/history and other disciplines, teachers take part in lively discussions and practice developing arts-integrated lesson plans with other participants. Teachers are welcome to arrive early to explore the museum. Recommended for teachers in grades 3-12.