Learning with the Lowe: Student-led initiative to share artwork with local students

This past summer, Matthew Deroo, an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, won the Andrew W. Mellon CREATE Grant for $5,500 in support of his project “Learning with the Lowe”, a student-led project that shares artwork from the Lowe Art Museum with local school children through lesson plans designed by University of Miami students.

Deroo created this project to integrate the Lowe’s resources with the local community and to support students’ learning across contexts. This is Matthews’ second year partnering with the Lowe, which he began at the end of 2018.

His approach is to not only enhance curriculum UM but also support learning at local schools. UM students will share their learning with local students in Miami-Dade public schools, such as Ponce de Leon Middle School, and other locations where UM School of Education and Human Development students have field-based placements.

The project’s goal is to provide UM students with important professional skills and expertise as they prepare to be teachers. They may grow in their skills as academic researchers and curriculum designers. They may also gain insights into using community resources, such as museums, in support of school-based learning.

Furthermore, sharing the Lowe’s artwork with local public-school children may further expand the boundaries of the museum into the local community and raise greater awareness about the museum. The lesson plans will also be uploaded to the museum’s website once the project ends to support the educational initiatives of the Lowe.

He was thrilled for the opportunity to honor the partnership between the Department of Teaching and Learning and its educational initiatives, specifically his collaboration with Jodi Sypher, the curator of education at the Lowe.

Deroo plans to host an evening at the Lowe in mid-April. He is still working to coordinate dates with the Lowe and MDCPS.