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Are You Still Lecturing? How to Engage Students with Primary Sources Using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)

Friday, October 20, 2023

12 - 1:30 PM EST

As primary sources, three-dimensional artifacts represent an opportunity to explore difficult topics with diverse students in the classroom. Participants will work with educators and historians from the NYS Museum and classroom educators to explore ways to implement Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) when analyzing three-dimensional objects as primary sources to engage all students. Attendees will gain insight into choosing artifacts from their own collections that resonate with curriculum requirements and that address the stories of marginalized and under represented New Yorkers.


Ashley Hopkins-Benton

Senior Historian and Curator of Social History

New York State Museum

James Jenkins


New York State Museum

Kathleen Morehouse

Museum Instructor

New York State Museum

Dr. Gwendolyn Saul

Curator of Ethnography

New York State Museum

Ashley Hopkins-Benton (She/Her) is a senior historian and curator of social history at the New York State Museum. Her research and collections work focuses on women’s history, LGBTQ+ history, immigration, and sculpture. Prior to the NYSM, Hopkins-Benton worked as a museum educator and classroom art teacher. Her MA is in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, and her BA is in art education and studio art from SUNY Potsdam.

James Jenkins (He/Him) is an educator at the New York State Museum. His duties include leading educational programing, creating educational materials for teachers, teacher professional development, and supporting exhibition development. Prior to the NYSM, he taught High school Social Studies and served in the NY Army National Guard. His earned a MSed in adolescent education from the College of St. Rose and a BA in history from the University at Albany.

Kathleen Morehouse (She/Her) is a Museum Instructor at the New York State Museum and has worked with P-12 and community audiences throughout her career. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Saint Michael’s College in History and Global Studies and a Master of Arts in Public History at the University at Albany. As a museum educator, Kat Morehouse is responsible for the development and implementation of educational programming and resources at the New York State Museum. She collaborates with content specialists in the fields of science, history, and art.

She earned her B.A. in Anthropology at Vassar College and her PhD in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She is interested in creative and innovative ways to implement critical Indigenous theory into museum spaces and practices. Her research and scholarship has focused on oral histories, museum studies, contemporary Indigenous art, and critical Indigenous theory. She also serves as an elected board member of the Council for Museum Anthropology.


MANY is committed to making our virtual programs as accessible as possible. All virtual programs will have ASL interpretation provided by Interpretek.

Virtual programs are made possible by the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

The Museum Association of New York helps shape a better future for museums and museum professionals by uplifting best practices and building organizational capacity through advocacy, training, and networking opportunities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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