Egyptian stone sculpture of the deity Horus

Teacher Workshop: Guiding Challenging Discussions with Objects

Join us in this interactive workshop where we will explore ways to use object-based learning as a method for engaging in challenging conversations about implicit or structural bias.

This workshop, while aimed at teachers, is also appropriate for educators and group leaders in other settings.

Information for further reading will be provided, as well as information on borrowing objects from the Spurlock Museum’s teaching collection for use as classroom aids.

Attendees will receive Illinois Professional Development Hour (PDH) recognition; please note that attendees must provide their IEIN (Illinois Educator Identification Number) at event sign-in. Please refer to your ELIS account (external link) as necessary.

Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is required, as space is limited.


Recent events have made educators keenly aware of their standing as elders and sources of knowledge in the face of growing intolerance and uncertainty among their students.

Do you have students of a range of cultural, national, geographical, racial, and family origins in your classroom? Do you teach with objects or ideas from a diversity of cultures? Are you facing heightened awareness of political and cultural difference in the classroom?

Participants will learn how to use discussions of objects to build empathy and understanding in the classroom. We will employ descriptive approaches to multi-cultural objects and self-reflective dialogue to examine our own tendencies and biases when talking about objects. We will then discuss ways to use close observation of unfamiliar objects as a tool for dialogue and self-reflection in the classroom.

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Contact Kim Sheahan at (217) 244-3355 or to reserve your seat.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please contact Brian Cudiamat at or (217) 244-5586.