Teachers in the workshop received a specially prepared curriculum to help guide them through the Majesty of Spain exhibit. The curriculum stresses both an understanding and an appreciation of Mississippi's historical ties to Spain.
"We in Mississippi understand how far we go back with Spain, and so we have looked at the country, it's people and we're trying to build an understanding of that country and put these fine decorative art objects in context," curriculum co-author Leslie Griffin says.
The exhibit's treasures will open to the public in March. From the workshop, teachers will be able to offer their students background information on the exhibit. Teachers says it offers an educational opportunity both they and their students may never get again.
"We're hoping to incorporate it in our curriculum as well in our English arts framework," English teacher Jane Frye says. "I want to know more about it before we tell the children about it and before we get up there so we can also have the learning experience of this."
Her colleagues in the state are equally excited. "Hopefully things that will be interesting, and maybe they could use this as a springboard activity to get them interested in all the cultures and to let them realize school isn't just reading, writing and arithmetic, that there's other things that they can learn about," teacher Rhonda Rushing says.
Teachers say the lessons they learn will help them help their students. History Teacher Dwight Holloway says, "We plan on taking some of our students up there and hopefully by attending the workshop be a little bit more knowledgeable and be able to share with them some of my experiences.