Goodlad Institute for Educational Renewal

Picturing America


Picturing America: Principled Dissent and Democratic Practice

Teacher Training Conference 

July 21 and 22, 2010
 with a follow up day November 6, 2010


Our teacher training program, “Picturing America: Principled Dissent and Democratic Practice,” provides professional development for teachers of American history and social studies at "Picturing America" schools to learn to integrate the study of Picturing America images into academic subjects. Employing a dynamic academic and teaching partnership with the Seattle Art Museum,our project elaborates on Picturing America’s democracy theme and focuses on the concept of principled dissent as a core democratic value. This theme, combined with visual thinking methods of exploring art works, will help teachers link Picturing America’s masterpieces to their history curriculum, content standards, and individual responsibilities to promote civic, democratic participation. We will innovatively use the Picturing America images to explore and illustrate such historical concepts as freedom, equality, and inclusion.

In the current climate, with its renewed popular interest in participatory democracy, youth stand poised to join national discussions. It is timely, then, that teachers have available to them compelling strategies for engaging students in civil and content-rich discourse about matters of consequence. This emphasis on principled dissent will help teachers and students to envision democracy as a set of practices conducted in daily living. Our curricular content comes to life through its links to decision-making and action. With this focus on both art and principled dissent, our conference will be an exciting and attractive opportunity for teachers, offering new approaches for teaching American history and democracy.

Program Information

The program consists of three full days of professional consultation. On Wednesday, July 21, sessions will take place at the University of Washington Bothell. On Thursday, July 22, the Seattle Art Museum will host our sessions. Participants will design Picturing America curriculum to implement in their own school/library settings, participate in online collaboration with colleagues, and return to UWB on November 6 for a third day of sessions, during which they will share their findings.

Program Faculty

The conference will be taught by Linda Watts, Professor, American Studies, University of Washington Bothell; Tamara Moats, History faculty, The Bush School, Seattle and former UW Henry Art Gallery Curator of Education; Susan Casteras, Professor, Art History, University of Washington; and Bridget Nowlin, Curator and adjunct instructor, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle and former Henry Art Gallery Associate Educator.

To Apply

Applications are being accepted now.  To apply, download and complete the Conference Application Form. Email completed forms to, fax to (425) 352-5234, or you may mail your form to:

Picturing America - Goodlad Institute
University of Washington Bothell
18115 Campus Way NE, Box 358531
Bothell, WA 98011

The priority deadline for applications is June 18, but applications will be accepted through July 1. 

Additional Information

Most questions will be answered in the Conference FAQs.  If you would like more information about this program, please e-mail