Sunday, November 14, 2010

Preparing Teachers

In the last year I have been for the first time in my career fully engaged in Teacher Education. The real struggle, following my previous post from today, is that the field wants educators for education as it is right now not as it could or should be. Jim Walter made this point last friday. The solution may be engaging schools in a dialogue that combines change in schools and preparation programs together, learning from each others strengths and experimenting with new ideas. Research university preparation programs are uniquely positioned to do this well and move education ahead. For this to wotk you need to work with a school system that is NOT under attack, finding opportunities to work without the constant threat of sanctions and political endgame.
Of course I may just be delusional, probably am but right now i am hopeful.
I say all of this because this may be the only way creativity can sneak back into school and get the place it desrves.
The funny thing is that I resisted refocusing on creativity in our grant but now I am preoccupied with its broader implication.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Can we find room for creativity in the curriculum?

We have competing values in education. We want our kids to be motivated creative and innovative. At the same time we want them to succeed in assessments that are anything but motivating, creative and innovative.
The assessments always win, perhaps because we're obssessed with numbers and international comparisons... Are we first, eleventh? In what?
We need to rethink our assessments to represent what we value otherwise we are doomed to marginalize arts, foreign languages, design, enterprenuership. Marginalize them to magnet school and rogue teachers who find places to teach as they believe they should, half hiding, always defensive- totally right!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arts Integration in a Preservice Class- log

In my literacy methods class we went through an accelerated Arts LINC cycle today. We started with a Taylor Mali poem- reminding everyone that poems are often meant to be read out loud. We then proceeded to where each student chose a Thanksgiving poem (their search engine is awesome and now they have a ipod app).
Students joined with1-3 others who chose the same poem and practiced reading it out loud (mini readers theatre). Then we followed up by creating visual art based on the poem- using pastels. The results were stunning and diverse. After the art was completed each student generated 5 vocabulary words (no one cent or nickel words please) to describe the art (and not the poem). Finally they used the words to create a poem describing their art.
Results wer engagement, achievement and deep understanding. We finished with a few minutes of research results from Arts LINC long live arts integration.

It's the first time I've had this much fun with this group.