2015 Masterclasses

The Art of Teaching Science through Drawing: The Science and Art of the Knobbed Whelk and The Eutrophication Blues – Powerpoint

Merrie Koester

Drawing as an Act of Generosity  –  the video – 1 hr 54 mins, uncut Masterclas

Kim Sloane

Drawing Improvisations – Thinking through Drawing  

Andrea Kantrowitz


The Art of Teaching Science through Drawing: The Science and Art of the Knobbed Whelk and The Eutrophication Blues

Dr Merrie Koester

This presentation offers a model for teaching science as aesthetic inquiry through the creation of “Know”tations, single page visual explanatory models, which integrate the words, images, symbols and actions of situated, contextual, 5E science inquiry. The form and function of the “Know”tation varies with the stage of inquiry – Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, or Evaluate. Please join Dr. Koester for two “performances”: The Science and Art of the Knobbed Whelk and The Eutrophication Blues.

Drawing as an Act of Generosity – the video – 1 hr 54 mins, uncut Masterclass

Kim Sloane, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NYC

All good drawing is at heart an act of profound generosity. Drawing is evidence of thought, it is evidence of caring, of empathy, and of deep understanding.  At its best, it is evidence of love. It is a gift, one that we must possess before we can give it, so that others may grasp and hold it.

How is it that this evidence is expressed in drawing, how is it we can feel this so powerfully when we are in its presence?

In this workshop we will ask these questions, and through example and practice achieve the fullness of form that is the primary characteristic of the generous drawing.

No talent or previous experience required!

Drawing Improvisations – Thinking through Drawing  

Andrea Kantrowitz

– Invent or discover something new through the process of drawing itself, something never before seen or imagined….

Create your own “drawing improvisations,” based on research that integrated methods and theory from art and cognitive psychology to study the cognitive interactions underlying contemporary artists’ improvisational drawing practices.  Improvisation, in music, comedy or in life can be understood as a skillful response to unpredictable events, yet drawing skill is often regarded as the ability to accurately transcribe a known image onto a flat surface. But artists and others draw not only to transcribe and communicate an image already fixed in the world or in their mind, but also to invent or discover something new through the process of drawing itself, something never before seen or imagined. Although undoubtedly intertwined and iterative in practice, these two goals, to transcribe or to discover, can be seen as the extremes of a continuum.  This master class will focus on improvisational drawing as a means of exploration and discovery.

ALSO happening:

Tuning In

A warm up singing workshop, to explore the fine tuning of perception, the parallels between listening and looking,  and to get our hearts beating together, tuned for collaborative practices.

Drawing Circles 2015

A meet up and review of the global and local collaborative Drawing Circles project, involving over 100 people worldwide.

Biosketch: Merrie Koester

Merrie Koester, Ph.D., is a U.S. science educator, arts-based educational researcher, painter and author of the Agnes Pflumm science education novels, implemented by U.S. teachers nationwide. Dr. Koester has over 30 years teaching experience and presently serves as the director of Project Draw for Science, an action research initiative at the University of South Carolina.   A native of Charleston, SC, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Furman University, Dr. Koester first began developing curriculum for teaching science through the arts as part of her masters’ research at the University of Hawaii in 1990. Since that time, she has worked tirelessly to facilitate professional development workshops on teaching science through the arts, speaking at district, state, and national level science education conferences throughout the U.S. A key feature of Dr. Koester’s curriculum is the deepening of science pedagogical content knowledge through the practice of what she calls performative narrative drawing and the creation of graphic “Know”tations. In her most recent research and publication, Science Teachers Who Draw: The Red Is Always There (available at the We All Draw symposium), Dr. Koester narrate case studies of five science teachers, and offer a rationale for using drawing as the primary language and a medium of cognition for students who are struggling readers at any grade level.

Dr. Koester’s websites include www.agnespflumm.com, http://merriekoester.wix.com/project-dfs, and https://www.facebook.com/scienceteacherswhodraw.

Biosketch: Andrea Kantrowitz

Andrea Kantrowitz, EdD., is an artist, researcher, educator , and co-director of the Thinking through Drawing Symposium series, who has lectured and given workshops internationally on art and cognition.  She holds a B.A in Art and Cognition from Harvard University and a MFA in Painting from Yale, and teaches at Tyler School of Art, Temple University.  She has taught drawing at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and graduate courses in contemporary art at the College of New Rochelle. She has also been a teaching artist in the New York City for many years, involved in multiple local and national research projects. She recently completed an interdisciplinary doctorate at Teachers College which examined the cognitive interactions underlying contemporary artists’ drawing practices.  Her blog is Zyphoid.com and her own art work is represented by Kenise Barnes Fine Art.

Biosketch: KIm Sloane

Kim Sloane is the Chair of Foundation at Pratt Institute where he has taught for fifteen years. He is a practicing artist who has shown widely and twice won drawings awards at the National Academy of Design Museum. Mr. Sloane has presented on drawing and pedagogy numerous times at FATE: Foundations in Art, Theory, and Education conferences, at the Thinking through Drawing Conference in October of 2013 held at Columbia University and the Metropolitan Museum, as well as Conversations Across Cultures, remixing Art Education Symposium April 2014 at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Parsons School of Design.


Judith Burton is Professor and Director of Art and Art Education, Columbia University Teachers College, NYC. Before that she was Chair of Art Education at Boston University and taught at the Massachusetts College of Art.  She received her Ed. D. from Harvard University in 1980. Her research focuses on the artistic-aesthetic development of children and adolescents and the implications this has for teaching and learning. In 1995, she co-founded the Center for Research in Arts Education at Teachers College, and in 1996, she founded the Heritage School a comprehensive high school featuring the arts, located in Harlem, NYC.

Vinod Goel originally trained as an architect. However, unable to develop the skills to sketch, draw and visualize in three dimensions, and mesmerized by several books by Nicholas Negroponte, he stepped outside of the field to try and figure out the relationship between mind and design. He eventually ended up at Berkeley where he studied philosophy, computer science, and psychology and completed an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in cognitive science.

Barbara Tversky is a Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University and a Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.[1][2] Tversky specializes in cognitive psychology. She is a leading authority in the areas of visual-spatial reasoning and collaborative cognition. Tversky’s additional research interests include language and communication, comprehension of events and narratives, and the mapping and modeling of cognitive processes.

Tversky received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1963 and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1969. She has served on the faculty of Stanford University since 1977 and of Teachers College, Columbia University since 2005.

Tversky was named a Fellow of the American Psychological Society in 1995, the Cognitive Science Society in 2002, and the Society of Experimental Psychology in 2004. In 1999, she received the Phi Beta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award. Tversky is an active and well-regarded teacher of psychology courses at both the introductory and advanced level. In addition, Tversky has served on the editorial boards of multiple prominent academic journals, including Psychological Research (1976-1984), the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition (1976-1982), the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (1982-1988), Memory and Cognition (1989-2001), and Cognitive Psychology (1995-2002).