What might it look like?

By Eric Booth
Moy, if you had your druthers, what do you think such a gathering might look like if it were to be effective? What do others think?  Richard has mentioned to me some models of this kind of process that he has experienced and knows. 

Here are my two cents about a few of the key design features...I think it would take a week (otherwise we skim where we usually skim, and miss the greater truth underneath the seeming polarities and stint the luxury of time mucking about in the messy uncertain places--our lives have developed a persistent case of cut-to-the-chase). I think it should be a smallish group, no more than 15-20. I think it should be given a very focused question or assignment. I think the groups represented need to be a broad array (many, if not all, have been mentioned in this blog), and not all organization heads--maybe few organization heads. I think there needs to be a lot of visibility for the event before it begins to capture the imagination and credence of the field. I think there needs to be a really skilled facilitator. What else would make it effective, credible and wise?
December 4, 2008 5:27 PM | | Comments (1) |


Coming Out from the Inside

This week-long exchange has been invigorating to follow. Earlier I was reading the posts about a possible meeting among arts educators. But then I did school homework with a thoughtful six year-old. “If there are five fish in our aquarium and we add three more….” Impatient with the lack of challenge, he and I joked, “ If a boy builds four Bionicles* that come out of four boxes and sit on one table, near three extra Legos, how many flashlights are there in the room?” Suddenly, the meeting proposal – and the week’s exchange -- appeared in a different light.

There are huge urgencies in contemporary education where arts educators need to take a leading role – and not by talking to each other. Among the most pressing issues is this: “Who gets the chance to do original work -- whether that is in history, in science, in mathematics – or in music, visual arts, or dance? In fact, the equity issue of this generation is “Who has the opportunity to incubate, pursue, refine and share new knowledge/visions/ or interpretations?

So a major way in which arts education might come in from the margins is to begin to talk – not amongst ourselves – but widely and as active agents – about how educators champion young people’s need (right?) to learn how to generate new ideas, works and views. That meeting could be initiated, chaired, even designed by arts educators, but just one homework session later. I want mathematicians, historians and world language teachers at the table.

*Super-duper construction figures, built of many small interlocking pieces, with great names like Phantoka.

Dennie Palmer Wolf
Writer, Researcher

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This Conversation For decades, as teaching of the arts has been cut back in our public schools, alarms have been raised about the dire consequences for American culture. Artists and arts organizations stepped in to try to... more

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Dennie Wolf commented on What might it look like?: Coming Out from the Inside This week-long exchange has been invigorating t...