Archive for June, 2011


Sunday in the Park with George

June 30, 2011

Heartwood Theater Company


In Today’s News

June 29, 2011

Equity on the boiler

The following is the blog post from June 24th called Sciences, Arts, Humanities, Fight for Status of Math, Reading written by Catherine Gewertz in Education week found at

The battle for equal subject-matter footing goes on. You might have heard that the National Research Council came out with a report arguing that science be taught—and tested—as intensely and math and reading.

The same day, a special commission set up by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences called for a central place for arts and the social sciences.

Filmmaker George Lucas, who serves on the commission, put it this way: “The sciences teach us how. The humanities teach us why. You can’t continue to do the how without the why. If we ignore history, philosophy, and all of the other attempts to deal with the why, the how can become very dangerous.”

As you might have read here, social studies folks are pushing for a more central place for their disciplines as well, working to find common ground on possible guidelines or standards for the social studies.

Ah, for the pre-NCLB days, when such arguments didn’t seem necessary.


Winthrop Mural

June 29, 2011

Community and schools collaboration

Winthrop’s  10th community mural was inspired by the Inch by Inch Garden at the grade school, designed and prepared by high school art students and high school art alumni and painted by the community.

Thanks to educator, writer Margy Burns Knight for providing the information and photos for this post.



June 28, 2011

Assessment in the arts

MENC (National Association for Music Education) has a fairly new section on their website called MENC Advocacy Groundswell. On March 31st the following question was posted:

What do you think about “measuring” music students? I am thinking in terms of accountability.

The question was posted by one of MENC staff members, Nancy Townes. As of today there were 12 comments to the question. You might want to check them out and consider your thoughts on this topic. Even though this was posted on the national music website it could apply to any of the art forms. Of course it would be great to hear what you have to say so please post a comment below in the meartsed blog.


Interesting Tid-Bits

June 27, 2011

Not sure where these came from but they have been in “draft” position for some time. Combining them into one post for your convenience.

  • Article, February 4, 2011, called Working with Your Hands by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing.
  • Interesting site called Creative Directions about integrating the arts, mostly drama, with other content. There are resources listed as well.
  • This is a terrific article, March 31, 2011, Want Innovative Thinking? Hire from the Humanities by Tony Golsby-Smith. Harvard Business Review. I LOVE this, part of the article: Innovation. If you want out-of-the-box thinking, you need to free up people’s inherent creativity. Humanists are trained to be creative and are uniquely adapted to leading creative teams. (A case in point: Steve Jobs, who openly acknowledges how studying the beautiful art of calligraphy led him to design the Macintosh interface.)
  • Article came through in Education Week under the topic of The Futures of School Reform. It’s called 21st Century Education Requires Lifewide Learning and was written by Chris Dede, April 12, 2011.
  • This is from November 2, 2010 but I found it interesting. How to Make a Humanoid Robot Dance, by Erico Guizzo, Inside Technology Spectrum, Automation.
  • From Education Week, Untangling Hip-Hop for the Classroom, by Floyd D. Beachum, February 7, 2011.

In Today’s News

June 26, 2011

Posted today in Education Week blog, Curriculum Matters by Erik Robelen, June 9, 2011

Earlier I posted the news release about the arts national standards work coalition being formed. This is a blog post update with information to keep yourself informed. Please click here to access the blog post.


Latest Arts Ed Research

June 26, 2011

President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Hopefully you’ve heard of The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities research that was released in May. When I was searching for arts education research today I found this White House blog post on the President attending one of the committee meetings. I really like the blog post Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools from May 12th. The writer, Melody Barnes, does a really nice job of including some quotes and historical information about the value of arts education and their rightful place in the school curriculum. Melody is the Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. I pasted a segment of the post below and you can read the entire post by clicking here.

The arts are not just for those who go on to become professional artists. Research shows that girls and boys, young men and women who have art classes are more likely to be engaged in their classes, attend school, achieve better test scores, and graduate.  In fact, just last Friday, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities released a stellar report, Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools, which details the powerful role that arts education strategies can play in closing the achievement gap, improving student engagement, and building creativity and nurturing innovative thinking skills.

Education is one of our nation’s most important investments. And an education without the arts is incomplete.  As a candidate, when President Obama spoke about remaining competitive in the global economy and the importance of innovation, he said that meant not only teaching our children science and math skills but also encouraging them to think creatively and be rewarded with all that comes with being engaged in creative endeavors: the awareness that comes with self-expression; the sense of strength that comes when you share your authentic voice; and a fresh, innovative perspective on problems of all stripes when you’re using all of your brain. Failure to invest in a well-rounded education for our children will thwart our efforts to lead in a new economy where critical thinking and creativity will be the keys to success.

That means that arts education can’t be an afterthought — an investment that our schools can make only after they’ve solved all the other challenges they face.  Instead, we must see it as a tool for keeping students more engaged, for closing achievement gaps and lowering dropout rates. My office, along with the Department of Education, is working with the President’s Committee to take next steps on the report’s recommendations and work with other government, private and philanthropic partners as well to realize a complete and competitive education – from cradle to career – for all children.


The Wisdom Table

June 25, 2011

World Peace Game

Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the new doc “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements”).

John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can. You won’t want to miss this TED talk.


In Today’s News

June 24, 2011

Warsaw Middle School students design t-shirts for Central Maine Egg Festival

Art teacher Colleen Lancaster at Warsaw Middle School had students create designs for the 39th annual Egg Festival t-shirts. Seventh-grader Jamie Wone’s design was selected out of 21 designs submitted for the festivities which will be held on July 20th. Read the article and see the design by clicking here.

The articles written by Ryan McLaughlin was in the Bangor Daily News today, June 23rd.


Letter to the Editor

June 24, 2011

Very wonderful words from a parent

Recently I was reading The Herald Gazette and I was happy to see a letter from a parent entitled “Thank you, teachers”. As I read through it was obvious that this parent, whose son graduated this year from Camden Hills Regional High School, was very happy about the education her son had received. She cited teachers from elementary, middle, and high school and the impact they had on her son’s education. The last paragraph was a recognition of the outstanding visual and performing arts department that read like this:

“Most especially, thank you to all the teachers in the CHRHS visual and performing arts department, who on a daily basis introduce the joy of creative expression to the next generation of artists and musicians, in particular, Nancy Rowe for sharing her passion for music and for teaching her students that, in music as in life, OK usually isn’t good enough. Finally, thank you Kimberly Murphy, CHRHS choral director, for helping so many young people literally find their voice. You will never be forgotten.”                                                                                ~ Rebecca Sawyer-Fay, Camden

As another school year comes to an end and you are ready for a summer break put the notes, letters, and compliments in a safe place to pull out in the future. Support like this can only put a smile on your face!

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