Posts Tagged ‘Lindsay Pinchbeck’

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My Helsinki – Part 3

November 21, 2018

The days were full

This is one of a series of blog posts about the trip that Lindsay Pinchbeck and I took at the beginning of November 2018. We were invited as Ambassadors to attend the HundrED Summit in Helsinki. We were inspired by the amazing educators who shared their innovations in education.

Each day was live streamed and fortunately archived and made available for free to the world. Along with the events being available so are the 100 innovations that were selected this year. The innovations are available on the HundrED website and this short video below provides an overview of HundrED that explains their mission.

We Seek and Share Inspiring Innovations in K12 Education – HundrED

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.

To learn more about the content of the summit please go to the HundrED website and click at the top of the page on each of the dates – 7.11 – 8.11 – 9.11 to see the live streamed presentations. These will provide you with a clear picture of what took place.

More blog posts will follow with details of the learning opportunity that took place in early November.

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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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My Helsinki – Part 1

November 19, 2018

What an experience

Pinch me – is this real? Over and over that question entered my mind as I set out for Helsinki, Finland for the HundrED Innovation Summit during the week of November 4th. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the summit. Lindsay Pinchbeck, Sweet Tree Arts founder and director of Sweetland School and member of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Design Team and I were selected as Ambassadors for the HundrED organization. I arrived early so I could take in as much as possible.

I’ve been asked dozens of questions about the trip so I’m writing a series of blog posts to share this amazing educational experience. In this post I share some of the “exploring” parts of the trip as well as the school visit.

BOSTON – REYKAVIK – COPENHAGEN – HELSINKI

Nicholas and I with my Danish family members

My son, Nicholas and I left Boston on Friday evening. We had a quick plane change in Iceland and flew on to Copenhagen, arriving mid-morning. I studied in Copenhagen during my junior year in college (MANY moons ago) and lived with a Danish family. My Danish mother, now 87 years old, met us for lunch with some of the family. It was such a treat to see them and have Nicholas meet them! Afterwards we started walking through Copenhagen along the Strøget – the pedestrian, car free shopping area, down to the 17th-century waterfront –  Nyhavn, and to visit the bronze statute, the Little Mermaid sitting at the waters edge, created by Edvard Eriksen. We found a lovely spot outside to eat – most of the restaurants have outdoor heaters – pretty much ignoring the cold and damp air.

Nyhavn

We stayed one night and boarded the plane the next afternoon for Helsinki. We stayed in an Airbnb that was located in a short walking distance to almost everywhere we needed to be. I was happy to have Nicholas along since he has traveled extensively with his back pack. He had done some research and we were out and about the next day learning about the history and cultural opportunities. We stopped at two beautiful churches, very different from each other. The Uspenski Cathedral which originally was Russian Orthodox and is now Finnish Orthodox. It sits high on a hill overlooking the city and makes the brick facade look monumental. The second, a Lutheran church – delightfully elegant with hundreds of steps leading up to the entrance. Inside we found simple, clean curved lines and strong columns. On our way out we  met the Boys Choir Director and learned that the 500 member choir representing ages 15-25 has performed throughout the world. I had to imagine their sound in the church that seats 1,200. I was told that the Finnish were serious people but if you asked them a question they were warm and wonderfully helpful. I found that advise to be very accurate so I didn’t hesitate talking to people to learn as much as possible.

Paavo Johannes Nurmi was a Finnish middle-distance and long-distance runner. He was nicknamed the “Flying Finn” as he dominated distance running in the early 20th century. This statue is outside the Olympic stadium.

As we continued walking we passed the presidential palace, historical monuments, the outdoor markets, and stopped at the amazing Helsinki Music Centre (just 7 years old). On to the site of the 1952 summer Olympics where they are refurbishing the well used stadium, tracks and other venues. We were wowed at the sculpture that honors the

Finnish composer and violinist Jean Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957). Even though Sibelius created little music for organs the piece is made to look like stylized organ pipes. It consists of 600 hollow steel pipes welding together. Visiting the piece as the day light disappeared made it all the more dramatic.

The late afternoon was chilly and damp, and the sky was grey so we headed for a delightful small cabin called Cafe Regatta. Located just next to the water it was originally built to hold the Paulig family’s fishnets. In 2002 it became a cafe and it may have been chilly outside but the wood stove warmed up the inside and the hot chocolate was a wonderful helper. We actually sat outside by the fire pit as the sun set. We imagined what it must be like sitting outside during the summer watching the boats on a lazy afternoon.

Interestingly enough Helsinki is a city of about 631,695 (2016) and Copenhagen (2017) has about 602,481. Helsinki has a Design District, several amazing museums, lots of shopping, and great little restaurants. Later in the week, Lindsay and I visited the Ateneum Art Museum with new artists and many well preserved older works as well. The place was packed – the Finnish out and about enjoying their Saturday. We stumbled upon the open studio where everyone was invited to create styrofoam prints. Young and old mixed in and all seriously focused. We had a delightful meal at the museum which included the best salmon chowder I’ve ever had! We visited a great little stationery store and were directed to a wonderful fabric store called Eurokangas where we bought some Marimekko fabric. It is beautiful!

JUMPED RIGHT IN 

I was invited to the HundrED Master Class where we had the chance to hear from amazing educators from India, New Zealand, California, and Arizona. Fascinating conversations over a delicious lunch of reindeer with educators from Australia, Hawaii, Brazil, New Zealand and Helsinki! I was so humbled. Their stories were amazing – everyone was abuzz sharing ideas and their passion for making a difference with their innovations. The class was held at Supercell which is one of the sponsors of HundrED. We entered an amazing space where we took off our shoes and stashed our coats. It oozed with imagination and prompted everyone to connect!

SCHOOL VISIT

I had a choice of visiting several different schools and chose one that had a focus on visual arts, digital arts, and Chinese. Meilahti Comprehensive School: ages 13-15, grades 7-9, 468 students, 45 teachers, 9 other staff. The 7th graders are grouped by interest and in grades 8 and 9 students select from a variety of options to focus. For example, an 8th grader can focus 7 of their periods per week in visual arts or music. The principal was a gracious host, sharing and answering our questions and was very well connected to the students.

Meilahti Comprehensive School music class

In addition to Finnish, 6 other languages are offered. Everywhere we went in Helsinki everyone spoke English very well. There are 24 different nationalities and languages represented in the school and homes. The school focus was on the success of each student with this years emphasis on Positive Interaction. Grade 7: Cultural, interaction and self-expression, grade 8: Managing daily life and taking care of oneself, and grade 9: working life and active citizenship. They follow a national curriculum but there is a ton of freedom so the teachers can determine how to deliver the curriculum and how much they focus on what. Teachers are trusted and supported to offer the best learning for students. In turn their empowerment encourages student empowerment. In Finland teaching is well respected and it is competitive to get a job teaching.

The school visit was definitely a highlight of the trip. Tomorrow’s blog post will be written by Lindsay where she’ll provide her reflections on the trip. And, the the post after that will dive into the actual summit.

Art work on display at Meilahti Comprehensive School

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A Bit of Helsinki

November 13, 2018

HundrED

I traveled to Helsinki, Finland last week for the HundrED Summit. An amazing group of  gathering of inspirational educators from around the world participated exchanging ideas, sharing work, and learning from each other. And, learn did I do! Below are a few photos with more information and details to come – just as soon as my jet lag is behind me and I catch up on my sleep! You can start by going to the HundrED site and see the live streamed recordings from all three days.

Visit to a music class on Tuesday

Lindsay Pinchbeck and I were selected as Ambassadors for HundrED

Finland Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen

Young people were present and their voices were loud and clear!

There were amazing presentations with thoughtful ideas including this one by Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell

 

 

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Journey

November 6, 2018

Learning, learning, learning

Baltimore – I was fortunate to travel to Baltimore last week where I participated in the State Arts Agency annual professional development institute (PDI). It was an outstanding learning opportunity in both the formal sessions and informal conversations to connect with my colleagues who do similar work across the country. They all care deeply about arts education. The purpose of this year’s PDI was to continue to explore issues related to diversity, equity, access and inclusion in arts education by focusing on the intersection of different types of structural inequity and individual and community trauma, and the ways in which arts learning can promote individual and community resilience and improve equitable educational outcomes.

Our guiding question: How can state arts agency (SAA) arts education managers address trauma and individual and community resilience through arts learning? 

It guided us well and we’ve returned to our individual states with knowledge that will impact our roles at each state art agency across the US.

Helsinki, Finland –  I’m in Helsinki this week attending the hundrED Innovation Summit. Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts, and I were invited to attend the HundrED summit in Finland after recently being selected as Ambassadors for the program. We are excited about the learning opportunity.

You can attend virtually – the event is being streamed online. If you can participate please REGISTER!

It is Education Week in Finland so I have the opportunity to spend time in schools. I’m looking forward to learning more about their education program and specifically arts education. Fact: I learned recently that Finland has more heavy metal bands per capita than anywhere else in the world.

Finland is celebrating their hundred year birthday and the summit brings together educators from around the world to learn from each other. I’m looking forward to meeting the innovators; among them Pasi Sahlberg.

What is HundrED?

HundrED.org is a not-for-profit organization that discovers inspiring innovations in K12 education. HundrED’s goal is to help improve education and inspire a grassroots movement through encouraging pedagogically sound, ambitious innovations to spread across the world.

The purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life. In a fast-changing world, education must adapt to keep up. The world is full of inspiring innovations, but they can struggle to spread beyond their immediate environments. That’s why HundrED discovers, researches and shares impactful and scalable K12 innovations with the world, for free.

I hope you will have a chance to look at the HundrED website and check out their resources. Of course, I will be sharing my learning on the blog.

Education Week

Helsinki Education Week is an annual, week-long festival with a dual purpose: to make visible all of the exemplary work done in the capital’s schools, while also learning lessons from the rest of the world by collaborating with international education specialists visiting the city. The Helsinki Education Week’s lead organizer is the City of Helsinki and its Education Department and its official partners are HundrED and Helsingin Sanomat.

Embracing Education in All Schools 

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Story Slam

October 25, 2018

Congratulations Kaitlin

The story tellers at Sweet Tree Arts fund raiser at the end of an amazing evening of stories.

Laughter, tears, surprise, wonder – all emotions I felt last Friday night at the Sweet Tree Story Slam. How I got here was the theme provided by Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder and director of Sweet Tree Arts Center and Sweetland School in Hope. Each story was amazing and had the 100 or so folks in attendance sitting at the edge of their chairs. Our own Kaitlin Young, music teacher from Sedomocha School in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader, and Maine’s 2018 Teacher of the Year was amazing as she shared her story of an amazing year.

The event was held in the barn at Hope Orchards – a cozy spot to spend a Friday night after a long and busy week. The tasting of apples, eating and drinking of apple cider and pie topped off the night. The story slam was a fund raiser for the greenhouse that the school is purchasing. If you’d like to contribute contact Lindsay at sweettreearts@gmail.com.

If you’re considering holding a Story Slam with your students or perhaps for a fund raiser go ahead, don’t hesitate – its a great opportunity for learners of all ages. Not to mention a great way to bring community together around a topic on a cozy Friday night!

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Pre-MICA Arts Ed Conference

September 6, 2018

Opportunity to learn 

At the HEART of Arts Education

Biennial conference – Thursday, September 27, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

USM, Portland campus, Abromson Center

Arts educators, teaching artists, community arts leaders, youth advocates, and community arts leaders are invited to attend the Arts Education Pre-Conference: At the HEART of Arts Education.

The cost to attend is $50 and includes a full schedule (see below), lunch, performance by The Extension Chords, students from the Midcoast Music Academy, the Maine International Conference on the Arts Opening Reception: A celebration of the arts with Keynote Speaker Maryo Gard EwellRural Community Development in and Through the Arts, and possible 12 contact hours.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

The Arts Education Pre-Conference participants will:

  • learn skills to improve teaching and learning in the arts;
  • make connections among the arts disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing;
  • network with other educators and reconnect with old friends;
  • make connections between school and community, including arts organizations, artists, and other arts education supporters.

Description

The 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year, Kaitlin Young, will provide an engaging keynote and guide participants in creating action steps for educators and their work in schools and/or communities. Attend as an individual or consider bringing a team from your school or organization. The day will start and conclude with creative art and music making.

The conference will be a joyous occasion to learn together and celebrate who we are! We are educating the future, the next generation of artists, arts educators, and appreciators of the arts. To do that we need to:

  • instill purpose/passion;
  • ensure high quality instruction;
  • provide relevant and real-world learning experiences;
  • empower our students to become the teachers of their generation.

Facilitators: Kaitlin Young and Catherine Ring

Morning Session Descriptions (Concurrent)

A. Celebrate Community Through Music

Communities thrive when opportunities are given to connect, communicate, create and celebrate.  The arts are the perfect vehicle for bringing communities together. Come prepared to sing, dance, move or play, there will be something for everyone!

If you choose the Music Making session participants will have the opportunity to learn:

  • Basic African drumming and singing
  • Simplified steps to an African dance

And put it together to make an African processional and use later in the day as part of the MICA processional.

FOLI  – “Foli”is the word used for rhythm by the Malinke tribe in West Africa But Foli is not only found in Malinke music, but in all parts of their daily lives. FOLI: there is no movement without rhythm

Facilitators: Kris Bisson and Kate Smith

B. Lantern Making and Creative Exploration

Come prepared with your creative energy to make lanterns using simple materials and be ready to play with the possibilities.

If you choose the Visual Art – Lantern session participants will have the opportunity to learn:

  • How in some cultures light holds a symbolic meaning and is an integral part of traditions
  • How to create a lantern

And, use it later in the day as part of the MICA professional.

Bon Festival – In Japan this annual festival honors deceased relatives while people spend time with their living family members. At the culmination of the festival families place lanterns on the river to be carried away symbolizing the peaceful return to the afterlife.

Facilitators: Lindsay Pinchbeck and Argy Nestor

If you attend with a team from your school/district or community please consider splitting up your team during the morning sessions so the learning can be shared between your colleagues.

Facilitator Bios

Kaitlin Young is the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches music to students in prekindergarten through fourth grade and choral music to students in fifth through eighth grade in the RSU #68 school district in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Kaitlin graduated from The University of Maine at Orono with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2010, and completed her Master’s Degree in Music Education with a concentration in Kodaly Pedagogy at The Hartt School in Hartford, CT in 2017. Kaitlin enjoys spending her free time at her family camp with her husband Bob, cat Zoe, and dog Gabby.

Catherine Ring is Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education and teaches graduate level courses to educators across the state of Maine. She is co-founder of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative and has served on the core leadership team since it was established in 2010. Catherine completed her Education Leadership studies at the University of Vermont and received her Master of Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University. For her thesis, entitled “Education and the Arts, Toward Creative Intelligences,” she researched the role of the arts in learning and has worked closely with classroom teachers, helping them to integrate the arts into their regular curricula. As Principal, Catherine helped to bring to her school district the Kennedy Center’s National Partnership program. She assists school districts throughout Maine with differentiated instruction, arts integration, and gifted and talented programs. Catherine is the 2014 Advocate of the Year by the Maine Art Education Association. Catherine returned to the art classroom in 2016 and is teaching on Isle au Haut.

Kris Bisson is Director of Choruses and a music educator at Marshwood Middle School in Eliot, Maine. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine and has served as adjudicator and guest conductor for several district choral festivals. She is a teacher leader for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, and a member of the National Association for Music Education and the American Choral Directors Association. Her passion for student engagement is reflected in each class she teaches.

Lindsay Pinchbeck has been teaching with and through the arts in a variety of settings for the past 20 years. Lindsay is the director and founder of Sweet Tree Arts a community arts organization in Hope, ME and began Sweetland School a K-6 Arts Integrated elementary program in 2013. Pinchbeck gained her Masters in Education through Lesley University’s Creative Arts and Learning program. Creatively Lindsay works as a printmaker and photographer. Lindsay believes the creative arts should be accessible to all. She encourages us to be active participants and keen observers with the hope of enriching our communities through the arts.

Kate Smith is an energetic music teacher currently teaching music to preK-third grade students in South Berwick, Maine. Kate earned her music education degree from USM and a Master’s degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University. Kate was honored as 2014 York County Teacher of the Year for her passion for innovation and creativity. Kate serves as a teacher leader and design team member for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, the Parade Coordinator for South Berwick’s annual Lanternfest and a coordinator for Central School’s farm-to-table program. Kate lives in southern Maine with her husband and three children.

Argy Nestor is the Director of Arts Education at the Maine Arts Commission. She earned a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Maine, Orono. Much of her career has been spent in a middle school where visual arts was at the heart of all subjects. Argy has been recognized for her accomplishments in teaching, leadership and advocacy including the 1995 Maine Teacher of the Year. She has authored many articles and presented workshops at the local, state, national, and international level. She serves on the education council for the Americans for the Arts. Argy is most proud of the accomplishments of the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, MALI, (formerly the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) and the work (and play) that all arts educators do in classrooms across Maine. When she is working to further arts education in Maine Argy can be found on a pond somewhere in Maine or making mosaics.

Questions? Please contact Argy Nestor

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

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