Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sir Paul McCartney talks to Rollins College students

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night / Take these broken wings and learn to fly / All your life / You were only waiting for this moment to arise"
On October 23, 2014, Sir Paul McCartney visited Rollins College at the invitation of Rollins Winter Park Institute Senior Distinguished Fellow Billy Collins. During his visit, McCartney joined the two-term U.S. Poet Laureate on stage for an hour-long conversation about his influences, his education, and the art of songwriting. Listen to the story of how "Yesterday", one of the most covered songs of all times, came to life.. -- A must watch for all music students.
-- Read about this on Rollins360
-- Do you want to know about "Outliers: The Story of Success" and the 10,000 hour rule?

The therapeutic power of music

"The therapeutic power of music is the reason that I do music in the first place" R&B star Ne-Yo tells SoulCulture as they launch OK NOT TO BE OK -- a campaign to raise and spread awareness and support for the mental health of our generation.
"Music knocks down barriers, language barriers, race has the power to eradicate all of that, it is a very powerful force and can be used as weapon if not used the right way but also it can save a life.." 

Building respect through music

"Through learning about each other music we build respect""Whether it inspires an handshake after a concert in Turkey or dancing through the streets of Egypt, music sores across cultural barriers
Founded in 2005 by Juilliard graduate William Harvey, Cultures in Harmony (CiH) brings people together through music. Its main mission is to advance and promote international and cultural understanding through music and interaction. William is an American violinist, conductor, and composer and has appeared as violin soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony and performed concerti with orchestras in the Philippines, Mexico, and USA. He also served as the Violin and Viola Teacher at Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) and at the request of ANIM founder, Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, he founded the Afghan Youth Orchestra.

Building Structures of Hope,” is a multi-part documentary by the Cartwheel Foundation about CiH's work with them in the Philippines in 2014, when they joined them to help the Tagbanua indigenous communities on the island of Culion address issues of cultural vibrancy in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
- Watch “Liberating Bach’s Butterfly”, a documentary about their work in Pakistan

Music: a tale of compassion

"I shook the hand of the enemy. He was no enemy, because music soothed a savage beast."
World War II veteran Jack Leroy Tueller tells an unforgettable story about the power of music--and the power of compassion.  One evening, about one week past D-Day, after having witnessed the killing of women and children, Jack decided to play his trumpet to release some stress--even though he was advised not to do so because one German sniper was still out there, threatening his unit. Despite the risk, Jack decided to play a German love song, "Lili Marleen" by Marlene Dietrich. The sniper was so moved  by his playing that he couldn’t shoot and surrendered. The next morning Jack met the young German sniper, who said he couldn’t fire after being soothed by the love song. By choosing to play “his love song,” Jack had recognized the fear and loneliness common to all of us.

Friday, February 27, 2015

How Children Succeed

"The conventional wisdom that has governed our thinking about education for the past couple of decades has been misguided. We have been emphasizing the wrong skills and abilities in our children and we have been using the wrong strategies to help develop those skills and abilities...the idea that the one quality that matters the most in a child's success is his or her IQ, that success is all about that narrow band of cognitive skill that gets measured on standardized tests.."
In How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that children success cannot be measured only by their intelligence and ability to score highest on tests. Instead, the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. Scientists have come to understand that early adversity, not only affects the conditions of children’s lives, it can also alter the physical development of their brains. However, with the right support, children who grow up in the most painful circumstances can go on to achieve amazing things. Paul is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. He is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and a speaker on various topics including education, poverty, parenting, and politics.
-- Watch True Grit - Teaching character skills in the classroom

Closing the Motivation Gap

Because "content itself has become a commodity", Marina Gorbis (executive director of the Institute of the Future and author of The Nature of the Future.) believes that "the challenge becomes: what makes people want to dip into those flows? What makes you motivated to dip into those information and content flows and ultimately learn?" As Tom Friedman said Marina Gorbis' "motivational divide has the self-motivation, grit and persistence to take advantage of all the free or cheap online [resources] to create, collaborate, and learn."
(Listen to Gorbis'interview: The Future of Education)
However, according to this article by Tom Vander Ark (education advocate, advisor, and author of Getting Smart) "The motivation to learn is largely a cultural issue and it's unevenly distributed, particularly in America. On one end of the spectrum Tiger moms are stressing out their cubs with the race for selective colleges. On the other end, generational poverty has cut off entire communities from the "growth mindset" that connect effort and life outcomes." Tom identifies some recommendations to provide a good start at boosting student motivation, like "thoughtful standards that encourage thinking and application, assessment systems that promote learning rather than memorizing, high agency blended learning environments where students have some control over place, pace, and path, game-based tools and strategies to boost motivation and persistence, engagement of parents and community". "Grappling with generational poverty and changing community mindsets are daunting challenges. These societal changes are a heavy lift, but these recommendations are a good place for EdLeaders to start."
In the TED presentation below Tom talks about the new online and a blended learning approach in education. When teaching is done with the right modality, kids are more responsive and keen on learning. According to Tom personal digital learning will allow us to customize the learning experience, motivate students and equalize opportunities for learning.
-- Learn about Blended Learning

Great advice to our 21st century children

Please listen to these five pieces of advice to “Lean In” to this world of hyper connectivity:
1) Think like a NEW IMMIGRANT - new immigrants are "paranoid optimists": they are optimists because they left somewhere worse and came to somewhere they thought was better but they are paranoid, they always think that this can be taken away from them in a flash. Think like an immigrant, stay hungry!
2) Think like an ARTISAN. Take pride. Do your job every day as if you will put your initials on it.
3) Think like a STARTER-UPPER. The new "f' word is "finished". Reid Hoffman said "Everyone should always be in beta". Always see yourself as a work in progress.
4) PQ + CQ trumps IQ. Persistence + Curiosity is always greater than IQ.
5) Think like a WAITRESS at Perkins' Pancake House. Think entrepreneurial.
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and, columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six bestselling books, among them "The World Is Flat".
-- Read about it on the Daily Riff
-- Read on Fresh Dialogues

Globalization and Education

"The challenge for educators is to bring our bottom to our average so much the same time we need to bring our average to the global heights because we are now competing with people more and more from every locality in the world that can get on the network and that's another challenge..The first is a challenge of more of the three Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic), and the second is a challenge of more of the three or four Cs (creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking)..but either way everybody is going to have to up their game, relearn, reengineer and retool much faster and more often in order to sustain a middle class life style in this increasingly flat and fast world"
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist; recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes; and author of six best-selling books among which The World Is Flat, where he discusses the "flattening" of the world in the twenty-first century, what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. Friedman’s foreign affairs column in The New York Times, which he has written since 1995, reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflicts, international economics, environment, biodiversity, and energy. He has been with The New York Times since 1981.

"What was the most important thing to happen in the early 21st century? I would argue is that what historians would say it is the most important thing to happen in the early 21st century was the merger of globalization and the IT revolution..and what that fusion did was take the world from connected to hyper connected, from interconnected to interdependent"
"In a hyper connected world in ten years there will  be no digital divide..what you will have is a motivational divide: who is it in a world where all these tools are free, in a world where all this knowledge is available, who has the internal motivation and aspiration to not only put it together in different ways, but to keep learning and relearning
- Read "What Google and NY Times’ Tom Friedman Get Right About the Purpose of Higher Education" by Cathy N. Davidson

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, an educator born and raised in apartheid South Africa, where she witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights. The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace.
Children are the future. They need to know their human rights and know that they must take responsibility to protect themselves and their peers. As they become aware and active in this cause, the message travels far and wide, and someday universal human rights will be a fact, not just an idealistic dream. YHRI has now grown into a global movement, including hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters around the world.
-- Watch The History of Human Rights
-- Go to "UNITED" Music Video web page
-- Go to United for Human Rights (UHR)

Human Right #1:"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood"
-- Watch ALL Human Right videos here

Play, passion, purpose

"But I think above all, maybe what's most important for me is that I, as a teacher and a mentor, now think much more about where and how am I encouraging the play, the passion, and the purpose in everything that I do with the young people."
Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab. Prior to this appointment, Tony was the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, and the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author and also collaborated with filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60 minute documentary, "The Finland Phenomenon: Inside The World's Most Surprising School System."

In his most recent book "Creating Innovators" Tony provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. In profiling compelling young American innovators, Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern—a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: these are the forces that drive young innovators.
- Watch "Creating Innovators: a lecture by Tony Wagner"
- Watch "Creating Innovators : Tony Wagner at (co)lab summit 2013"

Entrepreneurial Learners

In 2012 John Seely Brown gave a keynote presentation at the DML (Digital Media and Learning) 2012 Conference in San Francisco, called "Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century". But what does it mean to be a entrepreneurial learner? “This does not mean how to become an entrepreneur. This really means, how do you constantly look around you all the time for new ways, new resources to learn new things? That’s the sense of entrepreneur I’m talking about that now in the networked age almost gives us unlimited possibility.”
John Seely Brown or as he is often called—JSB—is the Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at University of Southern California (USC). A master integrator and instigator of productive friction, JSB explores the whitespace between disciplines and builds bridges between disparate organizations and ideas.
- Read transcripts here
- Watch full Keynote Presentation here
- Read interview on Spotlight - Digital Media and Learning
- Watch "New Ways of Learning in a Rapidly-Changing World"

A New Culture of Learning

"The teacher's job becomes creating context. Our job is to create a context where we can cultivate imagination, where we can honour passion and where we can help people connect their passion to the things they need to learn"
Douglas Thomas is Associate Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California where he studies technology, communication, and culture. He is co-author of the book "The New Culture of Learning", in collaboration with John Seely Brown. By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, the authors create a vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. The result is a new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving, the personal is both enhanced and refined in relation to the collective, and the ability to manage, negotiate and participate in the world is governed by the play of the imagination (from website) - Excellent presentation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Labels limit learning

"We should be using them (labels) to describe the actions, the things that children are doing rather than the things children are"
Educational consultant James Nottingham draws attention to the problem of labelling children - even when those labels seem positive. He describes the impact of labels - good and bad - on student expectations and how this affects learning. He then offers us alternatives - to focus on student progress (rather than rank order) and to use labels to describe actions rather than people.
James Nottingham specializes in transforming up-to-date research into best practice for teaching and learning. Initially a teacher and leader in schools for 3-18 year olds, he now runs his own company, Challenging Learning, with a team of 20 consultants across Scandinavia, the UK, and Australia.
Very interesting presentation, please take the time to watch.
-- Watch James discuss how encouragement leads to learning

Transforming Schools through the Arts

One of the signature programs of The Center for Arts Education, the School Arts Support Initiative is a pioneering approach to middle school transformation, using the arts, professional development and peer to peer mentoring to improve test scores, attendance, and the life of the school community. This four-year research project, made possible by the US Department of Education's Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination grant, is independently documented, and can be replicated in any school district committed to creative learning for their students.

Closing the Achievement Gap with Arts Programming

Ramon Gonzalez is principal of Middle School 223, located in New Yorks poorest Congressional District—the South Bronx. MS 223, formerly identified as the most dangerous intermediate school in New York City, underwent a transformation. With the help of the School Arts Support Initiative, funded by the Center for Arts Education and the New York Times Company Foundation, the arts took their place as a basic subject along with English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Technology. Through interviews and classroom footage, Mr. Gonzalez, teachers, Teaching Artists and students discuss the transformative elements of the School Arts Support Initiative and lay out the nuts and bolts needed for a successful arts-rich school environment.

Are we failing our students?

"We have relied on the wrong kinds of questions to drive our policies. We have been asking how to raise achievement when what we should be asking is how to get kids excited about learning. We have been asking how do we hold teachers accountable when what we should be asking is how we hold everyone accountable, parents, students, politicians for educating our children. And we have been focusing on closing the achievement gap and asking what it will take to close the gap, while what we should be asking is how do we create schools where child race or class does not predict how well they would do"
We have featured Pedro Noguera in many of our posts, but we would like to do it again as he is an one of America's most important and respected voices for healthy public education with a deep knowledge and commitment to equity and social justice. He is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and and his research focus on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in urban settings. He's an expert on school reform, diversity, and the achievement gap.
According to him EQUITY does not only entail equal opportunities in terms of access to education and learning, but has to be measured in terms of outcomes and results as well. In schools that are really focused on equity they are trying to meet the different needs of kids and do so with a focus on outcomes. Schools should be set up to be the equalizers of opportunity, but they often are not.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Merit is not a test score

"This talk is about challenging something far deeper, the underlying ideal that merit is a singular score..independence, variety and our prioritization of ethics help promote the idea that the strengths of a society come from the diversity of ways we define merit and reward it"
Adora Svitak, is a young author and motivational speaker. Since the age of 4, Adora has been exploring what she can do with the written word: everything from championing literacy and youth voice to working with the UN's World Food Programme to raise awareness about world hunger. Hoping to instill her love of writing in others, she taught her first class at a local elementary school the year her first book, Flying Fingers, debuted; since then, she has spoken at hundreds of schools, classrooms and conferences around the world. Her 2010 TED talk "What Adults Can Learn from Kids" received over 3.3 million views. According to her the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism and kids' big dreams deserve high expectations starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.
In this more recent talk Adora explains how the idea of merit being determined by test scores, grades, or checkmarks on standards is a crucially flawed one. Pulling from research in both the business and education worlds, personal experience as a senior in high school, and the experiences of other students around the nation, she discusses how narrowing our focus on one definition of "merit" has damaging consequences for creativity, good citizenship, and the perpetuation of socioeconomic inequalities. She emphasizes the role of student voice in promoting equality in America's schools--particularly, how the perspective of students like her in classrooms across the nation is vital for education reform that truly puts "kids first." By becoming directly involved in how their schools are changing, students can become advocates in an issue that directly impacts them. (from youtube) - Very eloquent talk.
-- Read interview at 2014 WE day in Seattle

How Thinking Works

"We are as curriculum designers and teachers and educators over engineering the content curriculum and we are surgically removing the thinking so that our kids are simply following instructions painting by the number and getting the grade. We need to get thinking back on every desk
Dr. Derek Cabrera is an internationally recognized expert in metacognition (thinking about thinking), epistemology (the study of knowledge), human and organizational learning, and education. He completed his PhD and post doctoral studies at Cornell University and served as faculty at Cornell and researcher at the Santa Fe Institute. He leads the Cabrera Research Lab, is the author of five books, numerous journal articles, and a US patent. Derek discovered the DSRP Theory (Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives) and in this talk he explains its benefits and the imperative for making it part of every students' life.
Great presentation, please watch.

How to think, not what to think

"Creative and critical thinking are two sides of the same coin, two parts of an equation that add up to have to think. What is really interesting is that something happens when our mind is trained to think both creatively and critically because that equation adds up to more than just the sum of its parts"
Jesse Richardson is the founder of The School of Thought, an online education platform that will provide courses, content, and other resources that teach creative and critical thinking skills to anyone and everyone, for free. He believes that we are entering one of the most pivotal times in human history, and our ability to adapt and think rationally is becoming increasingly important to our economy, society, and survival. "We need to teach children how to think rather than what to think" (Margaret Mead). Jesse is also a creative director with over 15 years industry experience, and around 20 years experience arguing with people on the internet. Very interesting talk.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Music Education Actually Matters

A great article on the benefits of music education on Trust Me, I’m A Scientist, a non-commercial “music magazine for people who make music” by Blake Madden, writer and musician. The author asks the central question "Why do we need music education anyway?" and provides a lot of evidence that in fact in order to improve the reading, science, and math skills of our children, and to improve their overall chances in life, we should be providing them with more music education, not less of it.
He also quotes Thomas Südhof, 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine who when asked about his most influential teacher in an interview with The Lancet, he said: “My bassoon teacher, Herbert Tauscher, who taught me that the only way to do something right is to practice and listen and practice and listen, hours, and hours, and hours.
And if you listen to the voices of the kids in this first promotional video below by VH1 Save The Music Foundation this is exactly what you will hear: “Music is challenging” “With an instrument, you have to be very focused, and that’s the same with schoolwork”“Drums just make me concentrate”.

Education for Human Rights

"We have to teach people that war takes us nowhere. If we fight war by war, conflict by conflict, it will lead to a total destruction. everyone should teach one another that we need to treat each other with compassion" - student in Dominican Republic
UNESCO Associated Schools in 10 countries were selected to participate in this film project which aims to raise awareness on key issues related to human rights in schools around the world. Secondary school pupils were asked to reflect and express their opinion about issues such as gender, diversity, violence, exclusion and participation. The film invites the spectators to internalize, at an individual level, the issue of human rights education and the way in which these concepts and ideals are understood and lived by young people.

Multiculturalism in the Modern World

"Doing multicultural education at the end of the day is about empowering our children to be really prepared to participate in our diverse democracy" - Jen Holladay
Understanding and embracing multiculturalism and teaching students cultural competency is critical for competing and succeeding in our diverse democracy. How can you ensure that cultural competency is an outcome of your students' education? Interesting presentation.

A Bridge built on Hope

"The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status, the spirit of this bridge connects the kid from the south side of Chicago dreaming of a better life, to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression, to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy, this bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings." (John Legend and Common's Acceptance Speech, Oscar 2015)

We have been talking about how the concept of education has evolved into one that is more flexible and adaptable to the needs of the 21st century. We have been voicing the urge for an education reform that takes into account the individual versus the whole, because “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel” (Socrates). But we should not forget that if education is crucial for human progress, then human and civil rights, equal opportunities and social justice are prerequisites to any aspiration for a good quality education, one that creates good citizens of this world or just good human beings. There will be simply no human progress if we as a whole don’t embrace human race as one, diversity as cultural enrichment and if we don’t fully support a true culture of peace and harmony in this world, in our community and within ourselves.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Philosophy of Creativity - John Cleese

John Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer and film producer. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
In this talk from the 2009 Creativity World Forum in Germany Cleese states that creativity is not a skill or an aptitude, it is a “childlike mood” which is difficult to acquire but not impossible. “We get our ideas from what I’m going to call for a moment our unconscious — the part of our mind that goes on working, for example, when we’re asleep. So what I’m saying is that if you get into the right mood, then your mode of thinking will become much more creative. But if you’re racing around all day, ticking things off a list, looking at your watch, making phone calls and generally just keeping all the balls in the air, you are not going to have any creative ideas.”
So we need to create “oasis” among the stress of every day life where our creative mind can safely come out and play, and these oasis need to be guarded by boundaries of space and boundaries of time.
-- Listen to Cleese's 1991 Lecture On Creativity

Taking Notes: Saving Music Education

A nice documentary series about music education by Grace Paulus, film student and freelance music marketing representative.

Disrupting Education

Andrea Doane "Ondi" Timoner is an American film director, producer, editor and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of Interloper Films, a full-service production company in Pasadena. Besides releasing films in a conventional manner, Timoner continually releases content through her online video portal, A Total Disruption. This is a network for innovators, artists and entrepreneurs, that document about leaders and doers who are driving the greatest revolution in the history with technology and share their insights in order to empower and educate everyone so we can make our visions real with the democratizing power of the Internet.
"One of the most exciting areas of disruption is occurring in the field of education. If you're a parent or a teacher, you're certainly painfully aware that the agrarian education system of cannot compete with the Ipad, mainly because of the ability that games have to track the progress of the user and present them with new challenges and rewards, sustaining the user's attention and interest. This isn't just a problem in K-12, community colleges, with their limited funding and lack of motivated teachers, can't provide the attention to detail and personalization that an online course can, for a myriad of reasons. First, they aren't tailored to the student. Secondly, they dictate to the student when and where to learn - and often there aren't even enough seats for the demand. MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) NEEDS STAT. Once MOOCs achieve the ability to give accreditation for completed courses, the disruption of education through technology will transform our entire economy" (from youtube)
-- Read about her on IDA
-- Watch her TED Talk "When genius and insanity hold hands"

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Every Kid needs a Champion

"Every child deserves a champion — an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be."
Rita Pierson was a professional educator since 1972, and taught elementary school, junior high and special education. She was a counselor, a testing coordinator and an assistant principal. In each of these roles, she brought a special energy to the role -- a desire to get to know her students, show them how much they matter and support them in their growth, even if it was modest. For the past decade, Pierson conducted professional development workshops and seminars for thousands of educators especially focusing on the students who are too often under-served. (from TED website)

The Transformative Power of Classical Music

"For most people success is measured in wealth and fame and power. For me, success is measured by how many shining eyes are around me."
Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping people realize their untapped love for it — and by extension, their untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. Since 1979, Benjamin Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. He is known around the world as both a guest conductor and a speaker on leadership -- and he's been known to do both in a single performance. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues. His provocative ideas about leadership are rooted in a partnership with Rosamund Stone Zander, with whom he co-wrote The Art of Possibility. (from TED website)

Changing the Education Paradigms

We would like to dedicate today's posts to three of our favourite talks, among the many that we have shared in this past year. These presentations touch upon the main reasons we decided to start this blog. The first one by Sir Ken Robinson covers a new vision for education, the second one by Benjamin Zander the transformative power of classical music and the third one by Rita Pierson the need for every child to have a role model, an inspiring teacher that is able to connect with them on a real, human, personal level.

Sir Ken Robinson  is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and in business. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers on these topics, with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. The videos of his famous 2006 and 2010 talks to the prestigious TED Conference have been viewed more than 25 million times and seen by an estimated 250 million people in over 150 countries. His 2006 talk is the most viewed in TED’s history.
In this talk from RSA Animate, he lays out the link between 3 troubling trends: rising drop-out rates, schools' dwindling stake in the arts, and ADHD. An important, timely talk for parents and teachers.
"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with gold and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half-light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." (W. B. Yeats) And every day, everywhere, our children spread their dreams beneath our feet. And we should tread softly.
-- Watch "How schools kill creativity" (2006)
-- Watch "Bring on the learning revolution!" (2010)
-- Watch "How to escape education's death valley" (2013)

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Arts can transform students' lives

"I believe that the arts can transform students' lives in ways that are unprecedented and in ways that have the potential to change the very society in which we live"
Linda Nathan was the founding headmaster of Boston Arts Academy, Boston’s first public high school for the visual and performing arts. Under Dr. Nathan’s leadership, Boston Arts Academy has won state, national and international awards and recognitions, and consistently sends over 94% of its graduates on to college. Dr. Nathan is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in education reform, and has lectured and written widely on topics ranging from the importance of arts education to developing schools centered on equity to developing strong structures that support teachers and leaders. Her book, The Hardest Questions Aren’t on the Test: Lessons from an Innovative Urban School, was published in 2009, and her articles have appeared in numerous publications.
In this talk, she explores the importance of the arts as key to a complete educational experience and claims that arts education is central to rethinking how schools can engage students in the learning process.

We Are What We Art

"We Are What We Art" was produced and edited by the young artist, César Martinez, during the National Guild's 2012 Conference for Community Arts Education in Dallas, TX. The short video features the perspectives of students, educators, and arts and social justice experts on the key topic of creating equitable access to arts education. César is a high school student studying media arts at SAY Sí, a year-round, arts-based youth development program in San Antonio, TX. His video speaks not only to the benefit of providing and enhancing arts education opportunities for all, but also—as a youth-led media piece— illustrates what is possible when you engage the unique creativity of young people.

The Importance of Drama

Pearson and Shakespeare's Globe have been working together to produce a series of short films on the importance of drama. They have spoken to a number of eminent practitioners from the business and performing arts sectors about the skills that can be acquired and developed through studying drama and creative subjects. The video below provides information on how a qualification in drama can provide relevant transferable skills for use in working life.

Inspiring Curiosity

“I support drama in schools because it develops confidence, self-belief and a voice with which to be heard in an increasingly complex and challenging world.” - Tony Jackson
Every child should have the right to drama as a regular part of their curriculum. However, drama has been increasingly marginalised within the school curriculum as a non-essential subject. A good education needs to provide a balance between being taught facts, and being provided with the opportunity to explore and learn for oneself. Drama is an essential way for children to reflect on and understand the world in which they live.
2015 sees the 50th Anniversary of Theatre in Education at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, marking 50 years since the establishment of a company dedicated to using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political and moral significance as part of a free service to schools and the young people of Coventry. Theatre in Education encourages children to investigate challenging situations for themselves, to search to find the answer, rather than be given it on a plate. To mark this significant anniversary, the Belgrade is arranging a year of events to celebrate and promote theatre made for and with young people (read here)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Models of Creativity

"I believe the future of education is a lot different than the one we are experiencing right now. It is not about bloated degrees, physical classrooms, it is about skill-based, real-life learning. And it is independent..right? I believe the future is about the democratization of our most important resource which is creativity"
At 2012 PSFK Conference San Francisco, Chase Jarvis elaborates on the importance of a creative education, and how our current education system is broken. As a young and struggling photographer, he vowed that if he was ever in a position to help young creatives like himself, he would do so. So once he made it, he decided to share all of his trade secrets with anyone and everyone, raising a lot of criticism. He decided to take this one step further and expand his audience bringing out the potential of people who would not otherwise consider themselves as creative types. He created an app called ‘Best Camera’, which allowed users to take a picture with their phone, add filters and adjust the image, and then publish that image directly to social media sites. It was a model that would later become huge through apps such as Instagram and Path. From this came the idea of CreativeLIVE, an online teaching space bringing together some of the top creative leaders in their industries. Their classes are taught live + accessed for free, and provide in-depth knowledge by following the teachers around for hours or even days. Jarvis sees this growing access to creative education resources as not just an evolution, but as a revolution that will help overturn outdated education practices. (Read full article by Nora Woloszczuk HERE)
-- Watch "Creativity is the New Literacy" by Chase Jarvis

PressPausePlay, is an free 80 minute film by the House of Radon, which explores the recent extraordinary democratization of creativity enabled by technology, and its implications. It features interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era.

How To Be Creative

"Whatever we can do to extend our capacity for uncertainty, that's a wonderful preparation for creativity"Julie Burstein
Creativity has always been essential for our cultural growth, but there are still many misconceptions about this elusive process. Not the left-brain/right-brain binary that we've come to believe, being creative is considerably more complex, and requires a nuanced understanding of ourself and others. Being a powerful creative person involves letting go of preconceived notions of what an artist is, and discovering and inventing new processes that yield great ideas. Most importantly, creators must push forward, whether the light bulb illuminates or not (documentary film by OFF BOOK, a PBS web series that explores cutting-edge art, internet culture, and the people that create it.
Extremely interesting.
-- Watch "Julie Burstein: 4 lessons in creativity" (TED talk)
-- Read about Keats' Negative Capability

The Future of Learning

"This is the first generation of people that work, play, think and learn differently than their parents..they are the first generation to not be afraid of technology. It is like air to them." 
- Don Tapscott
Can ICT (Information Communication Technology) redefine the way we learn in the Networked Society? Technology has enabled us to interact, innovate and share in whole new ways. This dynamic shift in mindset is creating profound change throughout our society. The Future of Learning looks at one part of that change, the potential to redefine how we learn and educate. Watch world renowned experts and educators talk about its potential to shift away from traditional methods of learning based on memorization and repetition to more holistic approaches that focus on individual students' needs and self expression (documentary film by Ericcson)
Ericcson is Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services. They envision a Networked Society, where every person and every industry is empowered to reach their full potential. "Capturing The Networked Society" is a film which is part of a global Ericsson project where they have traveled to over 25 different countries in order to find the real-life change-makers who are transforming our world through mobility.

Below a clip from "Capturing The Networked Society" film (do it yourself -
Kids today are born into a digital world. They have grown up in an online environment where sharing and connecting online is part of daily interaction. But they are still kids, with imagination, curiosity, creativity, and a whole lot of potential. is a platform and community where children can learn new skills and find others who share their unique interests.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Does Arts Education Matter?

"...You are giving access to different ways to express what is going on in your life and to me that is the most important thing about arts in schools because kids are so often in trouble...and when we take a way all of these tools that we have to express our feelings or to see in a play maybe someone else going through what you are going through, you are really depriving kids of an opportunity to survive" - David Hyde Pierce (actor and comedian)
In 1971, Center Theatre Group launched its award-winning arts education program, Performing for Los Angeles Youth (P.L.A.Y.), as a means of amplifying the diminishing state of arts education programming in Southern California. Currently one of the most active theatre education programs in the country, CTG’s Education and Community Partnerships Department reached over 19,000 students, teachers and community members in 2012-2013 from 134 schools and 194 community organizations throughout Southern California. They are dedicated to the development of artists, educators and young people’s skills and creativity through the exploration of theatre, its literature, art and imagination. In this video the CTG Student Ambassadors Advocacy Team asked students and professionals a simple question: Why does arts education matter?

Art gives a Voice to the Voiceless

"Art is the only subject in schools in which the kids have all the right answers. If you set up an art project in a school are going to get as many different answers to that single question as there are children in the room..and if you have constructed your answer, if you have come up with the answer, then you believe in your answer, so art teaches kids an idea about selfhood and it makes kids powerful"
Bob and Roberta Smith  is a contemporary British artist who sees art as an important element in democratic life. In 2013, he founded the Art Party, a grouping of artists and organizations that seek to advocate the importance of art to the British Government. In this TED talk, Bob and Roberta Smith uses 5 objects to explain the role of art in society and advocate for art and design to be taught at schools."Give a child pencils, paper, paint and brushes and you teach her or him to sing! Art makes children powerful"

Don't cut the Arts!

"Creativity, culture and the arts are being systematically removed from the education system, with dramatic falls in the number of pupils taking GCSEs in design, drama and other craft-related subjects, a new report has revealed. A year in the writing, the newly published Warwick commission report examines all aspects of the creative arts sector and describes arts audiences as overwhelmingly middle class and white...""The artist Bob and Roberta Smith said CP Snow’s “two cultures distinction of 50 years ago – that society was split into science and the humanities – had been made “irrelevant by the emergence of the power of digital technology”. “We must totally overhaul the importance of art, design, dance, craft and drama, and teach them in a more contemporary and computer literate way to every child so that we do not deny our young people access to a £76.9bn economy...""The report insists that arts education should be an entitlement for all children. It believes the government’s focus on science, technology, engineering and maths needs also to include the arts. It says: “Policymakers are obsessed with a siloed subject-based curriculum and early specialisation in arts or science disciplines that ignores and obscures discussion around the future need for all children to enjoy an education that encourages creativity.” -- Read entire article on THE GUARDIAN

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finding your Voice

"Music has been one of the things that has freed me from a lot of the trials that I have been gone through my whole life"
Kassandra Caines, known as K Gabrielle or simply Kassie grew up in Philadelphia, surrounded by music throughout her childhood. She vividly recalls the soundtrack of her youth being filled with Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Reggae music. Thanks to the encouragement of her grandmother that believed in her talent, she started singing professionally and in in less than 18 months she became one of the most memorable performers at the 2012 John Lennon Tribute Concert in Bermuda. With focus and determination, she has found her voice. She sings "I'm Losing You" for the Lennon Bermuda CD. She also performed at the Lennon Bermuda Peace Day Concert in 2013. Gracious young lady, nice presentation and great singing.

The Transformative Power of Music

"What has once started as a love for the piano has now grown into a love for all things music, because music can open pathways to healing that I never knew were possible"
Robin Spielberg, a renowned contemporary pianist and composer, tells a very personal story about the healing power of music. Her experiences inspired her to share how music makes an impact on our well-being and helps us through difficulties. Very nice presentation.

The Arts Teach Us to See

"We marginalize the arts in society, we limit the opportunity of young people to study music at our peril, it limits not only our emphaty and our connection but even our ability to perceive.."
Nuvi Mehta, the San Diego Symphony Special Project Director, reveals how music has a unique power to bypass the conscious mind and touch us directly within the subconscious. Accompanied by the guitar work of Pepe Romero, we're drawn in as Nuvi talks about the power of music to help us feel, using fun and engaging examples to help us understand just how powerful music can be. Widely considered one of the finest speakers on classical music, he has a gift for capturing minds and hearts. Mehta’s multi-media Symphony Exposé concert series, combining drama and education with symphonic music is building a new generation of classical music lovers.
Pepe Romero is a world-renowned classical and flamenco guitarist, particularly famous for his outstanding technique and colorful musical interpretations on the instrument. Pepe has premiered works by some of the finest composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and has appeared with leading symphony orchestras throughout the world. 
Extremely eloquent talk, MUST WATCH.

Music Can Change the World

"That was the first time I experienced the power of music to heal and I recognized that there was a connection between the power of music to heal and the power of music to unite. The two of them were intertwined and you could not have one without the other" (talking about 200,000 people gathered in Central Park singing "Imagine" in perfect harmony after breaking a 10 minutes silence in honour of John Lennon in 1980).
For more than 25 years, Todd Mack has made a career as a musician, songwriter, and producer based upon his unwavering belief in the power of music to change the world. In October 2005 Todd organized an informal backyard jam in honor of his friend and band mate Daniel Pearl, the late Wall St. Journal reporter abducted and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. Fueled by a resonating belief in the power of music to bridge divides between people, that backyard jam has grown into an internationally touring non-profit organization called Music in Common, whose mission is to strengthen, empower, and educate communities through the universal language of music. By producing publicly accessible concerts, school programs, and multimedia productions with an interest in underserved communities and areas where there is a history of conflict, MiC provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and collaborations that can lead to positive social change. To date, Music in Common has served thousands of people in more than 200 communities across the US, Middle East, and Far East and operates multiple programs locally, nationally, and internationally.
-- Watch more videos by Music in Common

Eighteen American, Palestinian, and Israeli teens ages 13-18 gathered at Bard College at Simon's Rock for the 2014 MiC International Youth Summit in August 2014. Over the course of 8 days they worked, lived, and played together, collaborating to write and record an original song and produce a music video that speaks their collective voice and message. Through communication, cooperation, respect, trust, and understanding these youth discovered their differences and found their commonalities and translated those into the song and video presented here. The inter-cultural, multi-faith experience and their commitment to working together represents their vision of a world where change is possible.

Monday, February 16, 2015

This Is Your Brain On Music

Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language. And here's something else unusual about the study: where it took place. It wasn't a laboratory, but in the offices of Harmony Project in Los Angeles. It's a nonprofit after-school program that teaches music to children in low-income communities - Read MORE
-- Watch "Turning Point - Harmony Project"

A few notes can change your life

"Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there: weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep ... music is a part of the fabric of everyday life" - Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music
Daniel J. Levitin, Professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at McGill University, talks on CBS - produced by Michael Rosen, Brendan Conway. December 8, 2012.

Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus

Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? John Schaefer, scientist Daniel Levitin, and musical artist Bobby McFerrin engage in live performances and cross-cultural demonstrations to illustrate music’s noteworthy interaction with the brain and our emotions (2009 World Science Festival).
John Schaefer is the host of WNYC’s innovative music and talk show Soundcheck, which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests. Bobby McFerrin is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at McGill University. Prior to entering academia, Levitin was a record producer and engineer working with artists such as Blue Oyster Cult, Chris Isaak, and Stevie Wonder. As a musician, he has performed with a variety musicians including Mel Tormé, Sting, David Byrne, and Blue Öyster.

Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind

Tufts University neuroscientist, Aniruddh D. Patel, explains how music is one of the most powerful ways to activate most of the brain...from our emotions to memory, motor control and more. This is an excerpt from "The Art of the Score: The Mind, Music, and Moving Images", a co-presentation of World Science Festival and the New York Philharmonic, moderated by Alec Baldwin.
Aniruddh D. Patel is associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Tufts University. His research focuses on how the brain processes music and language, especially what the similarities and differences between the two reveal about each other and about the brain itself.
-- Read "Exploring Music’s Hold on the Mind" on The New York Times
-- Watch "Music and the Mind - Health Matters"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How Playing Music Affects the Developing Brain

Very interesting article:
Ani Patel, an associate professor of psychology at Tufts University and the author of Music, Language, and the Brain says that “there’s now a growing body of work that suggests that actually learning to play a musical instrument does have impacts on other abilities.” These include speech perception, the ability to understand emotions in the voice and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Patel says that music neuroscience, which draws on cognitive science, music education and neuroscience, can help answer basic questions about the workings of the human brain. In addition, Patel says music neuroscience research has important implications about the role of music in the lives of young children.If we know how and why music changes the brain in ways that affect other cognitive abilities,” he says, this could have a real impact on the value we put on it as an activity in the schools, not to mention all the impact it has on emotional development, emotional maturity, social skills, stick-to-itiveness, things we typically don’t measure in school but which are hugely important in a child’s ultimate success.

At the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, every student receives music instruction. “It doesn’t matter whether they have had music instruction before or not,” says Diana Lam, the head of the school. Lam says music is part of her school’s core curriculum because it teaches students to strive for quality in all areas of their lives — and because it gets results. “Music addresses some of the behaviors and skills that are necessary for academic success,” she says. “Since we started implementing El Sistema, the Venezuelan music program, as well as project-based learning, our test scores have increased dramatically.”

Beasts of the Beat

About Beasts of the Beat:
"Raising boys to men through community, relationships and hip-hop. Beast of the Beat's members were not invited to be part of this group because of their skill level or achievements in school. It is not a group for the leaders in the school. It's not a group for the best behaved kids. It is not a group of the best rappers or drummers in the school. Each member was picked specifically for their character traits. Each personality in the group exists for another; to uplift, challenge, equip, encourage or develop another leader. The best leaders do not have the greatest statistics, score the most points, gain the most fame or make the most money. The greatest leaders will inspire those around them and make them greater. This is my hope for Beasts of the Beat. This is a rap group specifically designed. An artistic community carefully pieced together to cultivate a strong, dedicated, masculine spirit inside each person."  -- Joe Vercellino
Joe Vercellino is a the Music Teacher at Northpointe Academy in Highland Park, MI. He teaches K-8 music with an emphasis on the creative process and strong character development and on the side he oversees a group called "Beasts of the Beat", a Hip-Hop group dedicated to raising up strong men through community and mentorship.
-- Read about them on MyFox Detroit
-- Read about them on MyFox Atlanta
-- Read about them on The Blaze
-- Watch Beasts of the Beat "Bully"

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day to All!

Northpointe Academy Chorus collaborates with the PS22 Chorus, singing "Love Somebody" by Maroon 5 for a special Valentine's Day video. The result is an innovative video submitted to promote music education, connectivity, and some seasonal love!
-- Read about this

Creative education - how to keep the spark alive

"Children love to learn, to create, to perform. The power to create well requires skills and knowledge of rules, and free time and space in which to play. To foster creativity you create that environment where courage is not punished, where others are free to find their own way to the goal. Where toys are tools and tools are toys. And where the goal is to make good things, good systems for other people to enjoy"
Orson Scott Card is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for science fiction. He is the author of the novels Ender’s Game, Ender’s Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools. Card is a professor of English at Southern Virginia University.

Reality Pedagogy

"Transforming the role of education is not about what people outside education do and think about to make it different. It is about what you do in the lives of young people to allow them to envision new possibilities...Choice means creating a possibility for yourself and embarking on a mission on your own, it is not taking what somebody else has created for you"
"If we want a better world, a healthier world, what we have to do is confront young people with the realities of the world around them..make them realize that people are making decisions about them without them...let them realize that there is pollution in the environment..let them understand that climate change is happening, not just have them memorize information..memorizing information and being comfortable in that space, means that you are not being innovative. You will never fight and to fight you first have to feel the pain...we remove the pain from the experiences and this just makes them feel better, but if you make them feel better but you are not giving them a thing to fight for, a new opportunity, a new future, then what is the purpose?" -- Great inspiring presentation.
Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has teamed up with the GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan in a Hip-Hop meets science project titled Science Genius, aimed at utilizing the power of hip-hop music and culture to introduce youth to the wonder and beauty of science.
In the second video Chris breaks down FIVE steps that could revolutionize teaching and engage students in learning. He calls this method REALITY PEDAGOGY -- This is all very fascinating.

Friday, February 13, 2015

How Hip Hop Can Foster the Scientific Mind

Hip hop has unequivocally captured the imagination of young people in a way that no other phenomenon ever has. With that strong belief, Columbia professor Chris Emdin launched ScienceGenius, an initiative that is focused on utilizing the power of hip-hop music and culture to introduce youth to the wonder and beauty of science. His reasoning is deductive: "If hip hop can grab them like that, and if science is a piece of who they are, and if there's so much science in hip hop, then why not make those connections?" (interview by Mindshift)
Christopher Emdin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University; where he also serves as Director of Science Education at the Center for Health Equity and Urban Science Education. He is currently a Caperton Fellow and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the WEB DuBois Institute at Harvard University.
-- Watch his TED presentation "Teach teachers how to create magic"
-- Watch "Urban Science Education for the Hip-Hop Generation"
-- Watch "ScienceGenius in Action at Bronx Compass High School"
-- Watch "The genius of science: GZA & Science Genius at TEDxTeen 2014"

Hip hop, grit, and academic success

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”- Audre Lorde
In this impassioned talk Dr. Bettina L. Love explains how students who identify with Hip Hop culture have been ignored or deemed deficient in schools because of mainstream misconceptions associated with Hip Hop culture. Through Hip Hop, these students embody the characteristics of grit, social and emotional intelligence, and the act improvisation- all of which are proven to be predictors for academic success. So where is the break down between formalized education and the potential for success for these students? Dr. Love argues that ignoring students' culture in the classroom is all but an oversight; it's discrimination and injustice that plays out in our culture in very dangerous ways.
Dr. Love is an award winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate Hip Hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and social justice. Her research is focused on transforming urban classrooms through the use of non-traditional educational curricula and classroom structures.
"When we deny students the opportunity to express their culture in classrooms we are spirit murdering them. When I am asking you every day to walk through that door and be something that you are not, I am murdering your spirit. When I am asking you to stop being who you are so I can do my job, I am taking away something from you and I am murdering your spirit piece by piece"
Extremely interesting talk. Something to think about.
-- Visit "Real Talk: Hip Hop Education for Social Justice"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Moving Public Education Forward

"The purpose of public education is not to serve a public, it is to create a public" - T. Jefferson
Larry Rosenstock is CEO and founding principal of High Tech High, a network of innovative and high-achieving charter schools and President of the High Tech High Graduate School of Education in California. As the former director of the New Urban High School Project, Larry and his team created 3 design principles they found common in successful urban high schools. These design principles are personalization, real-world connection, and common intellectual mission. High Tech High is the first school in the country to be designed based on those principles.
-- Watch "Innovative Teaching and Learning: Lessons from High Tech High's Founding Principal" by Edutopia
-- Watch "Larry Rosenstock on creating a school, starting to think about dualities"
-- Watch Project-based learning at High Tech High

Amidst the national obsession with raising test scores, Larry Rosenstock offers a simple suggestion: "Have kids doing work that's important to them instead of this antiquated notion of content."

Most Likely to Succeed

Our education system was perfectly prepare workers for routine jobs that no longer exist. As we try to out-drill and out-test Korea we are leaving millions of young adults ill-prepared, uninspired and lacking the skills they need to thrive in an innovation economy...
Dissatisfied with his daughter’s schooling, director Greg Whitely documented his exploration of alternatives in this documentary about the project-based learning approach at High Tech High, a charter school in San Diego, California. Through interviews with students, parents, and teachers, viewers are asked to consider what types of educational environments will best equip students to succeed in the 21st century.
-- Read "Most Likely to Succeed': An education story for students" on Daily Mail
-- Go to Movie website
-- Watch all INTERVIEWS here

CLIP 5 from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Linda Darling-Hammond from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Sal Khan from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Tony Wagner from One Potato Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Arts Education is Crucial to the New Imagination Economy

"Engagement with art – with the product of someone else's imagination – can change your life, often for the better, and sometimes profoundly"
Advances in scientific knowledge, communications, culture, and the global economy make it clear that humanity has the potential to make momentous positive advances in the design of its future as a race. If we wish to develop the flexible thinking and wisdom that will enable future generations to come to terms with this potential and these challenges, we must transform the way we learn, bringing the arts, creativity, and imagination to the centre of the educational curriculum, and making it the focus of a broad social agenda. Max Wyman delivered this lecture, called "Times of Crisis: Why Arts Education is Crucial to the New Imagination Economy," at SFU Vancouver in October 2008. Wyman is a Vancouver writer and arts policy consultant, and one of Canada’s leading cultural commentators. He was dance, music and drama critic for The Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio for over 30 years, and is the author of a number of books on the arts in Canada, among them Dance Canada: An Illustrated History and The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters, a passionate manifesto asserting the central importance of the arts and culture to modern Canada.

What Studying the Brain Tells Us About Arts Education

George Lakoff, Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at U.C. Berkeley, emphasizes that the bridge between existing knowledge and new ideas is imagination. In this talk, he stresses the importance of educators incorporating the arts into educational curriculum, in order to nurture creative thinking. Lakoff is an American cognitive linguist, best known for his thesis that lives of individuals are significantly influenced by the central metaphors they use to explain complex phenomena. Very technical but interesting talk if you have time to watch.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Music can heal your soul

"While I'm enjoying my life as a happy musician, I'm earning a lot more recognition than I've ever imagined. But it's now your turn. Changing your perspectives will not only transform you but also the whole world. Just play your life with all you have, and share it with the world."
In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again - showing her that her goal needn’t be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible.
- Watch also "Ji-Hae Park: Bringing joy through the violin"