Thursday, November 24, 2016

Let's teach for mastery — not test scores

Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven't always grasped the basics? Yes, it's complicated, but educator Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace.
In 2004, Sal Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Twelve years later, Khan Academy has more than 42 million registered users from 190 countries, with tutorials on subjects from basic math through economics, art history, computer science, health, medicine and more.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Music and Memory

MUSIC & MEMORY℠ is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. They train nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories. In the video below you can watch and listen as John Jay High School student volunteers describe what it means to help residents of the Blue Skies of Texas nursing facility in San Antonio.
“It makes you feel good. And it makes you feel like you’re doing something to change the world. It’s an experience that every young person should go through.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Embracing Failure

At New Mexico School for the Arts (NMSA) -- a dual arts and academic curriculum -- failure is taught as an important part of the journey toward success. Understanding that mistakes are indicators for areas of growth, freshmen learn to give and receive feedback. By senior year, students welcome tough, critical feedback -- and even insist on it.
"Students have to take risks," says Cristina Gonzalez, the former chair of NMSA's visual arts department. "That’s something that is so unique to learning in the arts. Great art comes from risk taking, from being willing to fail. Maybe it will work. Maybe I'll discover something about myself, something about my capacity that I wasn't even aware of, and that's so exciting for a student."
-- Read "Embracing Failure: Building a Growth Mindset Through the Arts" on Edutopia

Friday, October 28, 2016

There once was a WALL

"..If you painted, or performed, or wrote, or engaged in any form of creativity, the very nature of the wall could change, and change you."
Creative Aging brings the arts to older adults where they live or gather. To do that, they hire professional musicians and other artists to perform and teach in nursing homes, retirement communities, senior centers and daycare facilities. Arts-related programs have a significant and measurable impact on seniors’ cognitive, emotional and physical well-being. Older adults who participate in arts programs report a higher overall rating of physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use, fewer instances of falls, and fewer other health problems than those who do not participate. Please watch this short but inspiring video.

The Wall with Credits from Spoke on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


"The arts tap into your soul, your love and your passion, and all those things that make you a well rounded human being"
ArtsEdNow is a a statewide campaign to increase active participation in arts education at all schools in New Jersey. Their campaign goals for 2020 include extend the access to arts education to all NJ students, increase the number of schools providing more than two art forms, increase arts participation in all schools and school engagement with community cultural groups.

ArtsEdNow Video from rosanna sanchez on Vimeo.

ArtsEdNow Voices from NJAEP on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finding your Voice through the Arts

"I think music is gonna help me achieve my dream"
Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project (PMP) is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. PMP provides intensive, low-tuition musical training to students throughout Paterson after school. Students study a primary instrument (violin, cello, viola, bass, clarinet, flute, or trumpet) and participate in ensemble practice and instrumental sectionals. Students also study music theory, music history, aural training, and singing. Students perform frequently for the school and community.
-- Read "Keeping the Promise, Arts Education for Every Child"

Monday, October 17, 2016

Studio Schools

"We feel we're on the beginning of a journey of experiment and improvement to turn the Studio School idea into something which is present, not as a universal answer for every child, but at least as an answer for some children in every part of the world."
Studio Schools are a new type of government-funded state school for 14-19 year olds of all abilities. It is a relatively new educational concept in the UK, which seeks to address the growing gap between the skills and knowledge that young people require to succeed, and those that the current education system provides. Studio Schools pioneer a bold new approach to learning which includes teaching through enterprise projects and real work. This approach ensures students' learning in is rooted in the real world and helps them to develop the skills they need to flourish in life.
-- Go to GOV.UK website
-- Watch "Nurture Your Talents! UK's Studio Schools" on the Learning World / Wise Channel