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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Re-Envisioning the West

This set of artworks is intended to support learning about westward expansion. It encourages learners to consider the causes and consequences of the Euro-American expansion into the west. Additionally, it offers students the opportunity to explore the perspectives of those who were involved in the expansion but whose views were frequently overlooked at the time such as Native Americans, African Americans, and women. This set of images invites students to challenge the romanticized notions of the west and explore the diverse perspectives of the time.

 

Objectives:

-       Identify who was going west and reflect upon their perspectives

-       Identify bias and challenge idealized representations of the west

-       Explore encounters between Native Americans and Euro-American settlers 

 

Educators are encouraged to use this image set in any way that best suits their needs. For classroom educators, this set can be projected in the classroom and discussed as a class or students can be encouraged to explore it individually and respond. Each slide features a series of questions that can help facilitate and guide students' thinking - these questions can be explored in a group or independently. Additionally, this set could also be used to frame field trips. It can be used beforehand, to prepare students for looking at and thinking critically about objects, as well as afterwards, to broaden and develop students' thinking about ideas explored during the field trip.