AP Art History students teach 8th graders at Met


Meeting the Met: Natasha Gaither (11) and Cy Goudsmit (11) introduce sculpture to eighth graders.

Abigail Goldberg and Noah Phillips

Last Friday and this past Thursday the South and Southeast Asian section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) was filled with the voices of the AP Art History students teaching eighth graders about Buddhist and Hindu art.

After spending a few weeks studying Hindu or Buddhist objects in class, pairs of AP Art History students each presented a specific object to the eighth graders. The eighth graders traveled in groups to various works of art and listened to the AP Art History students discuss their work on each piece of art.

The eighth graders were there to continue studying these two religions from their Ancient Civilizations history class.

The AP Art History students benefited from the experience of being able to study and teach a piece of art, Art History teacher Dr. Anna Hetherington said.

The trip taught the AP Art History students how to be art historians and present on different works of art, a valuable skill which is emphasized in the curriculum of the course, Joshua Taub (11) said.

In class, students studied how to analyze paintings in detail, and the trip was an excellent application of this skill in a real-world setting, Taub said.

“I think preparing a presentation gives the students a better understanding of the relationship between the object and its history through using the object as a primary source,” Hetherington said. “It is good for them to experience presenting in front of a group of students.”

“The trip contributed to the class curriculum because it provoked us to apply what we were learning in a very involved way,” Chloe Bown (12) said. “Not only did we need to research and understand our objects for our own good, but it was also important for us to know the object for the benefit of the eighth graders.”

The trip built upon the eighth graders’ curriculum as well.

“For the eighth graders, it was exciting for them to have high school HM students engaging and interacting with them on a topic that they have just finished studying in class,” Hetherington said.

Bown went on the trip as both an eighth grader and a senior member of AP Art History. “It was definitely cool taking a leadership role on this trip, especially because I remember my eighth grade trip to the Met vividly. I remember looking up to the 11th and 12th graders, so having the roles switched was very interesting,” Bown said.

The eighth graders were able to further their understandings about what they were learning in class, Sophie Gordon (8) said.

“The AP Art History students brought another level of understanding to the work because they knew so much about the specific objects they were presenting on,” Gordon said. “It was cool to see in person what we had been learning about in class.”

Overall the Met trip was a success for both classes, Hetherington said. “It’s really just an amazing trip and the students did an amazing job.”