Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Arts and global learning

My reaction to the readings is similar to what some others have said in that there are many ways in which we at BB&N are already teaching in global ways suggested.  What Howard Gardner said of the importance of fostering the good in our students, not what gets them ahead at the moment is something to keep at the forefront of our work.  Having students learn and create together helps to develop caring an compassionate people that are going to go out and run our world.

I also love what Maria Lindberg said about the Arts:
"A strong, integrated Arts program should be the framework for providing future generations a platform for global tolerance." 

Arts experiences on their own and combined with experiences in all subject areas are SO important.  In any subject, you may have to struggle a bit to get to your desired goal, but "joy is at the other side of all the work and frustration."  This is a quote from a discussion between Yo-Yo Ma and Steve Seidel at the Harvard Grad School of Ed's course titled The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning this summer.  

EDGE learning - that learning which occurs at the edge of different disciplines and tends to promote a diversity of ideas, is something we can welcome more in our school.  Yo-Yo's work with the Silk Road Ensemble (both were part of the Ed School course) is a prime example of the Edge effect where musicians and artists from different cultures and musical traditions come together to create something bigger and different that they could not be as individuals.  This is a great example to us as educators and learners.

To learn more about Yo-Yo's ideas on EDGE learning see Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy 2013 from the JFK Center for the Performing Arts


Debbie Slade
Music Specialist/Arts Dept. Head
BB&N Lower School
Cambridge, MA  02138

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