Thursday, February 17, 2011

how to apply fundamental pedagogy

It is hard to sell that with which people have little or no understanding or personal relationship. And so it is with the arts. How can people get on board extensive school reform involving the arts if they have no clear grasp of how the arts perform to energize learning? One of the challenges these days is to get adults who have never used their hands in creative ways other than on the keyboard to understand the value and transformative effects of the arts. The "arts" are so abstract in people's minds. So how to make the arts "concrete"? We literally have to take them by the hand and lead them into doing it, just as we would take the hand of a small child to cross the street.

This week, my wife and I attended a Valentine's one act dinner theater put on by the students in the Eureka Springs High School drama department. Students served dinner and then performed, to a packed house. It was a comedy about relationships and dating and very funny. The acting was REALLY good. Timing between lines was meticulously rehearsed. And when parents turn out in force to support their children's performances, administrators get a glimpse of what parents and enthusiastic kids know to be really important in school. It is called learning first hand.

Last night we had a board meeting for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts and were working to develop a strategy for getting corporate interest and involvement in the arts. Once again, basic pedagogy applies.
Move from the concrete to the abstract.
The first necessity is to bring human resource directors and corporate CEO's onto the campus to witness first hand the kinds of personal transformation that takes place when their own hands are creatively engaged in crafting, and making. Make, fix, create. Share what you learn and thus transform the universe, one man, one woman, one student, one child at a time.

Today I am taking a break from the wood shop and taking beauty shots of cabinets for the book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Parents by their involvement make all the difference. But it's so much easier to blame teachers.

Mario