Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cans Get Creative For a Cause

In another life, I used to work and teach simultaneously in 2 architecture museums in Washington, DC. Although, I don't have a degree in architecture, like many people assumed at the time, I do however have a passion for the built environment.

Another organization with a similar passion, Canstruction enlists competing teams of architects and engineers to create sculptures out of canned food, which are later donated to local food banks for distribution to those in need.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Write it Down

Do you have a notebook for catching great ideas? If not, why not? Inspiration strikes all the time, especially if you are incubating an idea. If you don’t catch it right away it may be gone for good.

  • Find more ways to record your ideas here.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Why the Arts Rule

As an advocate of art education, not only for children, but for adults too. I think we can all learn something new from the arts. The National Art Education Association agrees with me. Here is their take on the benefits of studying the arts:

Ten Lessons the Arts Teach
By Elliot Eisner

"The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor number exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important."

SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications
  • Find art education resources here.