Sunday, March 27, 2011

Big Ideas from Seattle

I said I would blog more about what I learned in Seattle and here it is.

1. My first session: How to Get Hired in Higher Education. This session was focused solely on the application process and how to conduct yourself through the extremely intense screenings that universities put educators through. Personally, I am still bouncing around ideas about what it would be like to teach a college course and which kinds of courses I would be interested in. I have not decided to pursue a Phd so this session was a little interesting, but not needed at this point in my career.

2. Fashion Design for High School, and 3. - - both very fun and things I hope to implement.

4. talking to my roommate Clare for the weekend, I learned a lot from her. She recommended a few things: the movie Beautiful Losers, a teachers blog who teaches with experimentation (I think), and some info about some Art programs and institutes in San Francisco.

5. Being an Artist while Teaching. I went to about 3 sessions on this topic. It's a popular topic for art teachers (most session rooms were filled to standing room only). We love art, live art, yet have no energy, after teaching 200 kids every day, to make our own art. I have been lucky enough to make about 3 projects this entire year. I have ideas though about creating a studio, keeping project ideas stored in writing, etc etc. I also realized if I am not an artist myself I would not know how to help students pursue the same career.

6. Robert Root-Bernstein. The absolute highlight of the weekend! This man has spent years researching how scientists have used artistic experimentation and art processes within their research. The list of examples was never ending, and fascinating. I wore my hand out writing as many notes as I could, and I am waiting for his book to arrive in the mail. I think his research will affect my teaching more than any other of the big ideas. More on him later and his book is called Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools……

7. 4 elementary lessons I can teach: robot printmaking, Islands using google earth, architecture design and floorplans, and pinch pot fish. I already have 3rd graders making the pinch pot fish. They are adorable!

8. Dr. Rex Jung. Not as remarkable as the other keynote speaker, but worth following up on as well. Jung researched what parts of the brain are active during the creative process. It's very interesting that to be creative, you have to be less inhibited. A person with frontal dementia has less inhibition because their frontal lobe is not telling them to be careful, to stay out of trouble, or that they should not do something. Basically they are crazy, and to be creative you also have to be a little crazy. Hehe, an interesting research finding. So how do you measure creativity? Give people creative tests. Then appoint judges to decide which response to the tests are the most creative ideas, and after he described the testing it sounded measured, accurate, and fun! Jung's research is fascinating, but he had not yet figured out what to do with the research, especially in the classroom.

9.Quiet. You Have The Right to Remain Silent. Ohhhhhhh how I love a quiet classroom!

10. Are Blogs the New Sketchbook? I am realizing that many truly advanced art programs include blogs, websites, and online showing of student artwork. Many high schools teach kids how to describe their own artwork by having them post their descriptions online. Of course! That's what an artist would do too. I checked out a few and they are underdeveloped of course, since they are a graded assignment and not a professional career, but there must be many many things a student can learn about sharing their creative process and their ideas online.

11. How to Get Published. Awesome session! What I learned from the people at this session will help my career so much. I am ready to work extra hours each week submitting articles, lessons, and ideas to magazines etc.

Well, a long post, but I wanted to cover some of the best sessions I attended at National Convention. Enjoy!

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