Contemporary Art in the Secondary Classroom



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Introduction 0:30

Why Contemporary Art?

What is Contemporary Art? 1:34

Impact on Student Learning 2:41

Types of Artists that Resonate with Students 2:56

Contemporary Artists Alongside Old Masters

Benefits of Comparing and Contrasting 3:32

How to Choose Artists 2:45

Classroom Activities 4:02

Contemporary Art, Contemporary Issues

Using Contemporary Art as a Lens 4:01

Dealing with Controversy 3:04

Infusing Contemporary Art into Your Classroom

Contemporary Art Friday 4:18

5 Artists Research Project 4:10


Conclusion 1:11

Unlock Certificate: 5 Questions


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Contemporary Art in the Secondary Classroom

2 PD Hours

  • 1 Discover how bringing contemporary art into your classroom can engage your students.

  • 2 Learn how to pair traditional and contemporary artists in your curriculum.

  • 3 Explore different classroom activities and projects that get students thinking deeply.

There are so many reasons to bring contemporary art into your classroom. Most importantly, it allows students to learn about and engage with artists and ideas that are relevant to their lives. In this PRO Learning Pack, explore this idea and more as Jack shows you exactly how to infuse contemporary art into your existing curriculum. Walk away with the ability to pair contemporary and traditional artists, navigate difficult conversations, and present your students with meaningful assignments.

Connected Professional Art Educator Competencies

1.4 Develops engaging activities, resources, lessons, and/or centers
1.5 Demonstrates thorough background/content knowledge

1.8 Utilizes knowledge of art ed philosophies in planning of content
1.9 Demonstrates willingness to expand art ed philosophies knowledge

Connected National Visual Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Anchor Standard 10:Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Jack Watson

Jack Watson

Secondary Art Teacher and PRO Pack Facilitator

Jack Watson is an artist and educator who teaches art and art history at Durham School of the Arts in Durham, North Carolina. He believes the art classroom is a space where students can find their voice through inquiry, experimentation, and contemporary approaches to art education.


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