Skip to main content

School and Educator Programs Connect to Common Core State Standards

School and Educator Programs at the Whitney have long supported classroom learning in the ways encouraged by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Our artist-centered, inquiry-based tours and multi-part programs develop skills in evidential reasoning, critical thinking, and public speaking. By collaborating with administrators and teachers, our tours and programs build content knowledge and help students understand and appreciate diverse perspectives. We want to inspire students to think like artists—critically and creatively—so that they can be successful twenty-first-century learners.

The CCSS require that students who are college and career ready to exhibit the following traits with increasing fullness and regularity as they progress in grade level. K-12 programs at the Whitney reinforce and enhance these traits.

Demonstrate independence

K-12 programs at the Whitney use works of art in the Museum’s collection and exhibitions to create a forum for ideas, debate, and exchange. Whitney educators encourage students to construct meaning, present their point of view based on visual evidence, and exchange ideas with their peers.

Build strong content knowledge

Whitney Educators work with teachers collaboratively to make links to classroom curricula that reinforce and enhance topics being studied in school. Each program is customized to the needs of the students to create more thoughtful connections between K-12 classroom learning, the art on view, and the world we live in.

Comprehend as well as critique

Through discussions and activities that incorporate the artist’s voice and process, Whitney Educators ask students to be curious, consider new ideas, and form opinions about these ideas. 

value evidence

Whitney Educators help students learn to use works of art as primary sources--to look closely, think deeply, ask and answer questions, and to articulate the reasoning and evidence behind their ideas. 

Come to understand other perspectives and cultures

Whitney Educators take our cue from artists. Artists teach us different ways of thinking, making, and showing the world around us. Whitney Educators encourage students to share different ideas, to listen to one another, to debate, and to consider what we can learn from our differences.

Whitney Educators want to work with you!

Let us know how we can help make genuine connections between works of modern and contemporary art and your classroom. We want to support the learning that is happening in the classroom, to introduce new perspectives, ask provocative questions, and help students think like artists by thinking critically about who they are and what change they can affect in this world. Please email your feedback to

Visit School Programs Themes for more information on how we connect museum and classroom learning.



A 30-second online art project:

Rick Silva, Liquid Crystal

Learn more

Learn more at