Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Getty Museum Educators Site

The Getty Museum Education Department gives a variety of teacher support to bring the arts into the classroom. A free Getty Teacher Update e newsletter currently offers the curriculum titled "Historical Witness, Social Messaging" which explores works of art "depicting aspects of social impulse,war, and unfair labor practices." On some lessons there are segments that include audio clips with curator interviews and features that allow the viewer to zoom into details of featured works of art.
The Education Department has another section called Teacher Programs and Resources which assists teachers in creating arts-focused lessons. They even include step by step guidance in teaching visual arts by grade level. There was a free 3 1/2 day institute for secondary-level teachers conducted July 13 - 17, 2009.
The Getty also has established the Teacher Art Exchange, an online community of teachers that discusses issues related to art education through e-mail. A new thread can be started by e-mailing a message to the listserv at teacherartexchange@lists.getty.edu.
Simply log on to The Getty Museum for more information and to sign-up for the free Getty Teacher Updates.

21st century skills

Hi All,

I finally figured out how to do this! I've been gone for the past three weeks working with The California Arts Project. One week was leadership training and the last two were working with our participants in the institute we put on. The institute will actually meet nine more days through January, so we're only half done. Yikes.

During the course of the meetings we had a lot of lively, engaging and provocative discussion around a lot of teaching issues and processes such as academic literacy, differentiated instruction, standards and assessment and 21st century skills. All participants are writing a unit of instruction with a model demonstration lesson that will be presented throughout our next meetings. I had to present mine last week. I'm soooo glad that's over.

We read a white paper one day that was written by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills called "21st Century Learning Environments." It's a very interesting position paper which suggests that the way we look at schools and how they're set up presently for learning needs to completely change. The position really shakes up the way things presently are which, as we know are not effective. In America, students attend school on average over 1100 hours per year which students in most developed nations attend on average 701 hours per year, yet most of them outperform us on international tests. Why? What do they know or do that we don't?

This article has a lot to do with technology as part of learning in the 21st century. It discusses the type of technological infrastructures that best support the teaching and learning of 21st century skills. Technology can enhance learning in many ways on a much more in-depth level than a white board or a couple of computers in the back of the room. Among the most notable ways technology can enhance student learning and promote mastery of 21st century skills:
1. Promoting greater student achievement
2. Increasing student engagement
3. Assessing student performance
4. Facilitating communication and collaboration
5. Maximizing administrative effectiveness
6. Building student proficiencies in 21st century skills

The article gives specific descriptions as to what this looks like, and it's not a typical classroom setting as we know it. As far as technology is concerned, it reminds us that research shows time and again that tools are only as effective as the tool users, so we have to provide support for growth and development for both students and adults. This is a component that's sorely lacking for us to advance with technology in our schools.

This article is really good food for thought, but also frustrating because how and where do we begin to make the huge paradigm and pedagogical shifts that need to take place to bring us into 21st century learning?

You can look up partner for 21st century skills on line and find even more information.

See you all soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A teenager's guide to Italy and Greece

It is so wonderful to travel with teenagers and see them begin to look beyond the walls of their own experiences as Americans. To really see the world without the lens of ipods, cell phones and my space! It was an honor as a teacher to be with them as they touched history in the great cities of Rome, Florence and Athens. The little things that they took for granted at home were all of a sudden a new experience when they struggled to figure out to order gelatto and find their way through narrow cobblestone streets. My art and art history students were always the first in line to wonder at the amazing art and ask the guides detailed questions. The trip was as much of a challenge as it was a life changing experience for all of us because sometimes it is the challenges that allow for the most personal growth. In the fall I plan to enlist my students to put together their own digital story on their experiences to share as a "Teenager's guide to Europe". Who knows maybe it will be our next reality show! I also wanted to share two great art resources. The first is a book, The Quotable Artist by Peggy Hadden. This book is filled with quotes from famous people on topics such as: creativity, art and nature, genius, architecture, painting, etc. I put up a different quote each week on my whiteboard and use them for discussion and writing responses. I also use the web resource www.artchive.com/ for images and art history information.

Ciao and enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Library of Congress and Primary Sources

Hi everyone!
I hope you have had a good July! I found a website I really got excited about.
It's the Library of Congress site. I was amazed at the wealth of materials available, in so many subjects. The basic site is loc.gov. You will find Teaching with Primary Sources, Classroom materials, full lessons. Some are for elementary classes, and some for upper grades, There are great thematic units and lessons on the depression, Lincoln, women's suffrage, poetry, and literature. You can also check at memory.loc.gov/lear/lessons/theme.html. I found a great unit on the American Song. There is also a page I saved on Using Primary Sources, if I can figure out how to attach it.
See you this coming weekend.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hi! from Rosemary

Hi Gals!
How's everyone doing? How are your vacations going? I just returned from Lake Tahoe and if you've never been there, believe me, you need to go! That lake is gorgeous, varying shades of blue with tall evergreens coming down to the shoreline and the temp. was 70 - 73 F. Terrific! It was so relaxing.
Now that I'm back, I am a bit stressed over our current assignments. I'll probably be bugging you for help. I had a great time interviewing my Dad. He regaled me with stories from his 20's and I have so much info. it's a bit disconcerting to try to select one topic. Hope you are all having fun with your interviews.
Bye for now!