29 October 2010

Imprimis: Links and Tidbits, 29 October 2010

I think I could call this weeks' round-up "What Are the Arts Worth?" The topic seems to have been on a lot of minds over the past few days.

  • Because Monday was the Feast of Crispin and Crispinian, have some facts about the saints. Cass says: Providing this for the history geeks (like myself). I hope you all stripped your sleeves and showed your scars to your neighbors on Monday.
  • SoundSeen: Dramatic Play + The Developing Brain. Sarah says: This short, narrated slideshow follows a class through a couple of creative drama activities and discusses the way the body and mind are linked in the development of executive function. One more argument for maintaining the arts in public schools. And a great example of how clear instructions, expectations, and coaching can make “out of the seat” activities a vital (and not difficult to implement) tool for mind development.
  • Intro to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan Context. Sarah says: This site (which is free but does require you to sign up) offers pre-made powerpoints including some on Shakespeare. The two that I looked at were pretty swell. Just be sure that you mix in some staging when you use them.
  • An article in Forbes suggests teaching business leadership as fine art. Sarah says: Yet more fodder for advocating for Arts education. If MBA programs are using Shakespeare and Art to teach creativity, doesn’t it just make sense that we begin it early? Our leadership program, which incorporates Shakespeare, could be the jumping off point in high schools rather than a special training for career leaders...if we start it then, don’t we end up with leaders who are prepared to lead with creativity from the get go?
  • Similarly, the UK Guardian suggests looking at Shakespeare with new eyes in light of recent economic downturns. Cass says: I like this article because it looks not only at advice within the plays -- King Henry V being a favorite model for effective leadership -- but also at Shakespeare's own life, at his role as a sharer and the success that his (apparently shrewd) acumen brought him, as opposed to other writers of the period who weren't quite as financially soluble.
  • The University of Kansas produces Shakespeare in original dialect. Sarah says: Little bit of OP (that’s Original Pronunciation) for those who are interested in such things. A nice resource to have for explaining the “missed” rhymes. A scene from Midsummer demonstrates the effect aptly.
  • A homeschooling mother talks about “tackling” A Midsummer Night’s Dream with her 9- and 7-year-old daughters. Cass says: She has some great ideas for creative approaches to the play that are suitable for younger children -- and she includes a video of her daughters retelling the story using their Polly Pockets, which is just pretty darn adorable. Best of all, she seems to have infused her kids with a love for the play -- one of her daughters is adapting a script for her friends to act out in the park. We're big fans of getting to them early -- hopefully it will foster a life-long love of Shakespeare. They’re doing Twelfth Night next -- best of luck to them!
  • A student at Truman State University asserts that money should not motivate education. Sarah says: In this well written article, a student at Truman (a stopping point for ASC on Tour, thanks to Professor Murray Ross) writes eloquently about the joy of learning. He argues that we are too specific in our educational system and that as a result we train students for vocations “but neglect to prepare students for the wondrous adventure we call life.” I am particularly enamored of his notion of a “brave educator” as those who “have held to the principle that learning is not just a means to an end. It is the end itself.” Cass says: This article goes to what I’ve always said about education for education’s sake -- we so often view learning as a means to an end. I have to get these grades to get that degree to get that job to get that better job. I wish we placed more value on learning just for the joy of it, for the satisfaction of just knowing something, of being a well-rounded individual who can have lots of exciting conversations. I’m with the author of the article; we should be aiming for a “rich, integrated, fulfilling education.”
Enjoy your weekends!

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