Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

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Lindsay’s Helsinki – Part 2

November 20, 2018

Lindsay’s notes

This is the second post about our travels to Helsinki for the HundrED Innovation Summit earlier in November. Yesterday’s post gives you a glimpse. Today’s post, below, was written by Lindsay Pinchbeck who is the founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts Center and Sweetland School located in Hope. Thank you for your contribution Lindsay – in her own words…. 

In 2016 I traveled to Malawi with Argy. 

We shared professional development with 12 teachers from the village of Mpamila and neighboring primary schools. We introduced arts integration ideas and used the arts to learn and build community. The experience was life changing, and pushed me to reconsider my own teaching practice and my daily actions. I continue to believe travel gives us the ability to step back and see with fresh eyes what we knew all along, it allows us to trust our intuition, see new perspectives and build new friendships and new ideas. 

On the flight home Argy and I began dreaming about other places we might travel to keep growing and learning. Finland, the antithesis of Malawi, was on the list. 

Two years after our trip to Malawi (last week), Argy and I had the great privilege to travel to Helsinki for the HundrED education summit. HundrED’s manifesto – 

The purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life.

In a fast changing world focusing on traditional academic skills will remain important, but that is not enough. To thrive as global citizens, children must be equipped with a breadth of skills.

We were invited to be a part of their Ambassadors program to share our arts integration work in Malawi. 

Discussions around ideas of implementing change and many inspiring projects and innovations were shared. It was a highly positive environment, with passionate educators focused on implementing new practices to engage mind, body and soul in relevant work. A focus on sustainable practices was clear and a strong message of student centered work and listening and responding to our children was heard loud and clear. Many educators shared passionately their ideas to better the world through their efforts as educators. The invented word of the conference was ‘Humblitious” created by HundrED founder and creative director Saku Tuominen. Innovations and Educators were indeed both humble and ambitious.

In my journal I noted down these key questions and ideas swirling around the summit. Notes were gathered from discussions, presentations and panels. Many of the ideas and conversations felt so supportive of my own work in a school and community arts center that honors questions over answers, new thinking, listening deeply, and valuing each experience.

What kind of attitude is needed to make change happen? – Listen, be open, We know so little, don’t assume we know anything.

How can we support every child to flourish? – Always ask this question

What is the purpose of school?- Self discovery and Life long Learning

Honor the past, change with the children, make room for new ideas

Change with the children and listen to the children. 

Every drop of water leads to an ocean of change. 

Humbilitious – Humble and Ambitious ideas. 

I do not assume to believe any of these ideas are easy to put into practice and I do not assume to have the answers but in my own work and practice in the arts and education I know I have grown and continue to grow each day by not knowing the way, reflecting back and trusting the process. More than anything the practice of learning, then relearning and learning again how to listen to the children and valuing them as capable, active contributors to our world is the work that is the most challenging and most rewarding.

Lindsay Pinchbeck can be reached at sweettreearts@gmail.com

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New England Institute Courses

March 18, 2018

Encountering the Arts, Music assessment, G/T 

  • Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity, (hybrid) taught by Lindsay Pinchbeck – April 7 to June 9, 4.5 CEUs
  • Assessment in the Music Classroom, (online) taught by music educator, Jake Sturtevant – April 2 to June 11, 4.5 CEUs
  • Educating Gifted & Talented Learners, (online) taught by Grace Jacobs – April 2 to June 18, 4.5 CEUs

Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity – April 7 to June 9

You can join Lindsay Pinchbeck, MALI Design Team member, in her very own school, Sweetland School in Hope, and learn some wonderful strategies to incorporate into your classroom right away. Sweetland School is s a project based elementary program inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Drama, Movement, Music, Poetry, Storytelling, and Visual Arts will be integrated across content areas: Math, Science, Social Studies, Reading and Writing.

Work with colleagues, build relationships, and ask questions of the professor, in person, for two Saturdays and have the convenience of doing the rest of the coursework online. Encountering the Arts: Choice, Voice and Creativity is one such hybrid course.

Assessment in the Music Classroom – April 2 to June 11

This online course taught by music educator and MALI Design Team member Jake Sturtevant provides looking closely at assessment practices through a collaborative and fine-tuned lens. It can provide unique opportunities for growth. Connecting new assessment practices to instruction can bring exciting changes to how we approach our students and their learning.

Participants will discuss how best to apply recent music assessment work to their own unique situations in their own school music programs. This will lead them to create a personalized plan for implementing new strategies. Assessment in the Music Classroom will provide a great opportunity to look closely at assessment practices.

Educating Gifted & Talented Learners

This introductory course provides foundational information relating to the field of gifted and talented education (i.e. history, laws, etc.), details characteristics of gifted students from various populations, describes how such students are identified and assessed, and presents up-to-date, research-based pedagogy relating to curriculum design and instruction.

It may be applied toward the 690 (Gifted & Talented) endorsement for the State of Maine teachers. Join Grace Jacobs for this Educating Gifted & Talented Learners online course.

If you have questions contact Catherine Ring, Executive Director, New England Institute for Teacher Education.

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MALI Summer Institute: Day 2

August 4, 2017

Wowzer!

Kate Cook Whitt

Day 2 kicked off with an amazing STEAM presentation from Kate Cook-Whitt. The opening was titled This is your Brain on Art: Neuroscience and the Arts  – “Examining the World Through Different Lenses: Art and Science”. Kate is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE) at Thomas College. Participants agreed that Kate’s presentation was outstanding!

Teacher Leaders participated in several great mini-sessions, some led by teacher leaders and teaching artists leaders themselves including:

  • Nancy Frolich, Social Justice mini-lesson

    Social Justice and the Power of the Arts with Nancy Frohlich from Leaps of Imagination

  • 7 Strategies of Assessment with Jeff Beaudry from USM and visual art teacher leaders Holly Leighton and Samantha Armstrong

  • National Board Certification with visual art teacher leader Danette Kerrigan

  • Connecting the STUDIO HABITS of MIND to the NATIONAL STANDARDS in the Visual Arts classroom with visual art teacher leader Jane Snider

  • Things Into Poetry session with Brian Evans-Jones

    Things Into Poetry with poet teaching artist leader Brian Evans-Jones

In addition Bronwyn Sale and John Morris provided a session called Teaching for Creativity. The afternoon brought all three strands together (teaching artist leaders, new PK-12 teacher leaders and returning PK-12 teacher leaders) for a session with teaching artist leader and potter Tim Christensen. We engaged with a small medallion of clay using the process Tim is so in tune with: sgraffito.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on leadership, advocacy, and putting it into action on the follow up plans for the next year. Strand 1, the Teaching Artist Leaders met with Jeff Poulin, electronically, from the Americans for the Arts.

Day turned into night and educators gathered around the Thomas College fire pit for drumming and a chance for Tim to fire the clay pieces created earlier in the day in the propane fire pit. This provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with colleagues from across the state. What a great way to end an outstanding day!

Strand 1 with Jeff Poulin, Americans for the Arts. Kate Smith, Design Team member, holds the computer during the question and answer period

Jennie Driscoll, Elise Bothel visual art teacher leaders

Jen Etter, music teacher leader

New teacher leaders David Coffey – music and Amy Donovan-Nucci – visual art

Tim Christensen firing the clay pieces

Fun around the fire pit!

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Ken Robinson

February 1, 2017

On passion

The video below is of a lecture that was given by Ken Robinson, creativity expert and international advisor to education. He believes that everyone is born with extraordinary capability. So what happens to all that talent as we bump through life, getting by, but never realizing our true potential?

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Creativity Facts

November 3, 2016

From Fast Company

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-9-58-09-pmResearchers are learning about the brain these days at a fast clip. And, some of the stuff that is being learned is surprising. by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire provides some of the latest findings on creative thinking.

Some of the findings:

  1.  72% of people have creative insights in the shower
  2. The introverts are onto something: solitude is where creativity thrives
  3. Trying new things makes you more creative
  4. Trust your intuition, that’s how LSD was discovered
  5. Trauma has hidden creative properties
  6. Daydreaming is surprisingly good for your brain
  7. Some of the best ideas are widely ridiculed before they’re revered

You can read the entire article by CLICKING HERE and even see a video with Amy Poehler coming up with creative ideas in three minutes.

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Arts Education Conference

August 30, 2016

Pre-MICA

TEACHING ARTFUL PRACTICE/PRACTICE ARTFUL TEACHING

Pre-MICA (Maine International Conference on the Arts) – 6 October 2016

MICA – 6 and 7 October

THURSDAY DESCRIPTION – This ones just for you PK-12 arts educators, teaching artists, others interested in arts education!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.03.10 AMThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative celebrates teaching and learning through “Teaching Artful Practice/Practice Artful Teaching” featuring Cheryl Hulteen, author of YES YES GOOD: The heART of teaching. Arts teaching professionals have much to share in their partnership to create personal artful pathways for students to express and explore creative voice through the arts. Using the Multiple Intelligences Theory, join us in a collaboration – defining, exploring, celebrating and understanding different practices of artful teaching. We will build a learning community that reflects the role the arts play in everything we do, teach and learn by strengthening the creative exchanges of artful process and practice. Come and celebrate the heART of teaching.

DETAILS

Thursday, 6 October 2016, 11:30am – 4:00pm

Franco American Heritage Center

46 Cedar St, Lewiston, ME

4 contact hours provided

$40 includes lunch (no cost for full time students)

Registration located at http://mica.bpt.me/ (Scroll down on the page)

PRESENTER

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 9.03.58 AMAuthor of “YES YES GOOD, The HeART of Teaching”, Master Teaching Artist Cheryl Hulteen has spent over 20 years providing consulting services for school districts, teachers, administrators, parents and students to foster greater learning and insight through building Creative Classroom Cultures. “YES YES GOOD” works with stakeholders across the educational landscape to build exciting, innovative and positive environments for teaching, learning, and arts integrated curriculum development through motivational workshops, professional development and one-on-one coaching. In addition to founding YES YES GOOD, Cheryl also serves as teaching faculty for Connecticut Higher Order Thinking Schools, an initiative of the Connecticut Office of the Arts, managed in partnership with Wesleyan University’s Green Street Arts Center.  “However we may speak, it is through the voices of our children we will most clearly be heard.”

image003MICA – Thursday night and all day Friday

ARTS EDUCATION TRACK for FRIDAY MICA plus other great sessions being offered Lewiston Bates Mill

Registration located at http://mica.bpt.me/

Stories and Images of Malawi No one can show you the sunDzuwa Salodzelano with Lindsay Pinchbeck and Argy Nestor

An 18-day journey to Malawi in July led to the most amazing teachers doing incredible work with very little resources (financial or tangible). The arts were the powerful tool that guided the daily workshops with 12 teachers and opened the hearts and minds of all involved. Join Lindsay and Argy on a visual journey and hear stories of songs and traditions gathered along the paths in Malawi.

STEAMing up in Maine with Kate Cook Whitt, Jonathan Graffius, Malley Weber, and Chuck Carter

What is all the buzz about STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) going on across the country? What are the benefits of STEAM in Maine education and beyond? This presentation, in panel format, will bring together four people who are focusing on the topic in their work and play. From PK to higher ed, from teaching artist to game creator. Your questions and ideas are welcome!

Creativity: A Group Inquiry with John Morris

What is creativity? How can it potentially impact our lives? And how do we talk about it with each other? This structured group dialogue will help artists, advocates and educators make connections between creativity research and creativity in practice, while promoting inquiry into the nature of creativity, as well as its role in art, education and community.

Creative Aging

Details being constructed.

If you have any questions please contact me at argy.nestor@maine.gov.

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Southern Maine Partnership

April 29, 2016

Learning opportunity at USM – two day conference

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STEAM Camp in Poland

March 14, 2016

STEAM Camp

IMG_1751What happens when you bring together the ARTS and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)? Well, if you ask Jonathan Graffius, Poland Community School PK-6 art teacher, Scott Segal, Director of Poland Rec Department, and Jason Farson, Maine College of Art MAT student, the answer is educational, fun, and engaging for all involved.

IMG_1739During winter break Jon and Jason designed an opportunity for students called STEAM Camp. According to Jon, “The desired outcome for STEAM camp was that students would develop and apply both critical and creative thinking processes. The objectives were to use instructional practices that were trans-disciplinary, project-based, and highly engaging to young, developing minds.”

I had the chance to visit for a half day and it was all of those things wrapped up in one. The fun learning opportunity was offered to students in grades 2-6 and yes, those age levels are very different, but all students were engaged, taking in what they were able to do and to stretch them in multiple ways.

IMG_1729Jon: “I have offered a lot of visual art camps in the past, however this time around, I wanted to integrate art with other content areas. I have many interests beyond visual art and the STEAM concept allowed me, and the students, to experience the world in a broader way. Conducting this camp through Poland Parks and Recreation expanded outreach into the community; we ended up having students from four different towns spanning five grade levels. Both parents and students thoroughly enjoyed the camp and are eagerly awaiting the next camp.”

DESCRIPTION
The morning sessions will test students’ skills through exciting team challenges where students will investigate force, momentum, gravity and inertia.  Students will research, plan, build and test their designs through a series of experiments that will expand their understanding of the natural world. These experiments will involve catapults, pendulums, marble runs, chain reactions, paper airplanes, bridges, clay creations, and large paintings. The afternoon sessions will focus on the history, science and art of fingerprints. These individual activates will both challenge the students’ mind and expand their creativity.

IMG_1722It was so fun to see their large finger prints, talk with them about their catapults and bridges, and see the problem-solving and creativity in action!

There were two sessions, 8:00 – 12:00 AM and 12:30 – 4:30 PM. Students could attend morning, afternoon or both. And guess what? All but one of the 12 participants attended both.

If you have questions or wish to learn more please contact Jon at jgraffius@rsu16.org.

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Cup Challenge

CatapultWar

Lantern Painting

Pendulum Painting

Thanks to Jon for providing some of the photographs and the information for this post! And for creating such a fabulous opportunity for students. Congrats on a job well done!

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Big Magic

January 18, 2016

Looking for a book to read?

I spent some of my weekend reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is also the author of Eat Pray Love and a handful of other books. I found it very inspirational and it really spoke to me  as an artist and a human being. I strongly recommend it. Elizabeth is a great storyteller (in my opinion) and to focus on creativity the way she does in this book is really wonderful. Below is a chapter called Walk Proudly from the last part of the book that speaks volumes. You may that you might want to take parts of it as inspiration for your students. It would be a good choice for a “read aloud”.

big magic      Twenty years ago, I was at a party, talking to a guy whose name I have long since forgotten, or maybe never even knew. Sometimes I think this man came into my life for the sole purpose of telling me this story, which has delighted and inspired me ever since.

The story this guy told me was about his younger brother, who was trying to be an artist. The guy was deeply admiring of his brother’s efforts, and he told me an illustrative anecdote about how brave and creative and trusting his little brother was. For the purposes of this story, which I shall now recount here, let’s call the little brother “Little Brother.”

Little Brother, an aspiring painter, saved up all his money and went to France, to surround himself with beauty and inspiration. He lived on the cheap, painted every day, visited museums, traveled to picturesque locations, bravely spoke to everyone he met, and showed his work to anyone who would look at it. One afternoon, Little Brother struck up a conversation in a café with a group of charming young people, who turned out to be some species of fancy aristocrats. The charming young aristocrats took a liking to Little Brother and invited him to a party that weekend in a castle in the Loire Valley. They promised Little Brother that this was going to be the most fabulous party of the year. It would be attended by the rich, by the famous, and by several crowned heads of Europe. Best of all, it was to be a masquerade ball, where nobody skimped on the costumes. It was not to be missed. Dress up, they said, and join us!

Excited, Little Brother worked all week on a costume that he was certain would be a showstopper. He scoured Paris for materials and held back neither on the details nor the audacity of his creation. Then he rented a car and drove to the castle, there hours from Paris. He changed into his costume in the car and ascended the castle steps. He gave his name to the butler, who found him on the guest list and politely welcomed him in. Little Brother entered the ballroom, head held high.

Upon which he immediately realized his mistake.

This was indeed a costume party – his new friends had not misled him there – but he had missed one detail in translation: This was a themed costume party. The theme was a “medieval court.”

And Little Brother was dressed as a lobster.

All around him, the wealthiest and most beautiful people of Europe were attired in gilded finery and elaborate period gowns, draped in heirloom jewels, sparkling with elegance as they waltzed to a fine orchestra. Little Brother, on the other hand, was wearing a red leotard, red tights, red ballet slippers, and giant red foam claws. Also, his face was painted red. This Is the part of the story where I must tell you that Little Brother was over six feet tall and quite skinny – but with the long waving antennae on his head, he appeared even taller. He was also, of course, the only American in the room.

He stood at the top of the steps for one long, ghastly moment. He almost ran away in shame. Running away in shame seemed like the most dignified response to the situation. But he didn’t run. Somehow, he found his resolve. He’d come this far, after all. He’d worked tremendously hard to make this costume, and he was proud of it. He took a deep breath and walked onto the dance floor.

He reported later that it was only his experience as an aspiring artist that gave him the courage and the license to be so vulnerable and absurd. Something in life had already taught him to just put it out there, whatever “it” is. That costume was what he had made, after all, so that’s what he was bringing to the party. It was the best he had. It was all he had. So he decided to trust in himself, to trust in his costume, to trust in the circumstances.

As he moved into the crowd of aristocrats, a silence fell. The dancing stopped. The orchestra stuttered to a stop. The other guests gathered around Little Brother. Finally, someone asked him what on earth he was.

Little Brother bowed deeply and announced, “I am the court lobster.”

Then: laughter.

Not ridicule – just joy. They loved him. They loved his sweetness, his weirdness, his giant red claws, his skinny ass in his bright spandex tights. He was the trickster among them, and so he make the party. Little Brother even ended up dancing that night with the Queen of Belgium.

This is how you must do it, people.

     I have never created anything in my life that did not make me feel, at some point or another, like I was the guy who just walked into a fancy ball wearing a homemade lobster costume. But you must stubbornly walk into that room, regardless, and you must hold your head high. You made it; you get to put it out there. Never apologize for it, never explain it away, never be ashamed of it. You did your best with what you knew, and you worked with what you had, in the time you were given. You were invited, and you showed up, and you simply cannot do more than that.

They might throw you out – but then again, they might not. They probably won’t throw you out, actually. The ballroom is often more welcoming and supportive than you could imagine. Somebody might even think you’re brilliant and marvelous. You might end up dancing with royalty.

 

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Critical Value

July 18, 2015

TEDx Talk, Cindy Foley

This information is taken from YouTube accompanying Cindy’s TEDxColumbus

Published on Nov 26, 2014
What is the purpose and value of Art education in the 21st Century? Foley makes the case the Art’s critical value is to develop learners that think like Artists which means learners who are creative, curious, that seek questions, develop ideas, and play. For that to happen society will need to stop the pervasive, problematic and cliché messaging that implies that creativity is somehow defined as artistic skill. This shift in perception will give educators the courage to teach for creativity, by focusing on three critical habits that artist employ, 1. Comfort with Ambiguity, 2. Idea Generation, and 3. Transdisciplinary Research. This change can make way for Center’s for Creativity in our schools and museums where ideas are king and curiosity reigns.

Cindy Meyers Foley is the Executive Assistant Director and Director of Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art. Foley worked to reimagine the CMA as a 21st century institution that is transformative, active, and participatory. An institution that impacts the health and growth of the community by cultivating, celebrating and championing creativity. Foley envisioned and led the charge to open the 18,000 sq. ft. Center for Creativity in 2011. In 2013, the museum received the National Medal for Museums in recognition of this work. Foley guest edited and wrote chapters for Intentionality and the Twenty-First-Century Museum, for the summer 2014 Journal of Museum Education.

In 2012, Foley received the Greater Columbus Arts Council Community Arts Partnership award for Arts Educator. She was a keynote speaker for the OAEA (Ohio Art Education Association) 2012 Conference. She is on the Faculty of Harvard University’s Future of Learning Summer Institute.

Foley is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and The Ohio State University. Prior to joining the Museum, she was with the Institute of Contemporary Art at the Maine College of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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