Thursday, January 28, 2010

School of the Future Site visit

School of The Future: Group Site Visit 01-24-10
Notes by Angelina

Union Hall meeting with Site Visit to Sgt. Dougherty Park

The School of the Future was created upon the value that Teaching is part of the Artistic Practice. Often with schools losing budget and stressing tests, arts education has evaporated from the public school sphere. Recently, many schools hire artists to come in and supplement learning with creative activities. This versatile and pioneering person is known as a Teaching Artist. It has served as a way for an artist to have a consistent paying job, as well as test their creative adaptability within unpredictable situations. However, as this group of people have been more needed, the resources and networks for helping these pioneers have been slow to crystallize. First to form was the Teaching Artists Union, artists organizing and sharing solutions, experiences, and ideas to refine their process and develop their practice. Often,
a teaching artist feels like they have the whole art department in their backpack. Out of this need for a teaching artist community, a center without a nucleus, the School of the Future was birthed. For one month in July, the Teaching Artist will have a physical center in which to orbit, building their craft, testing their processes and pushing the roles of the teaching artist, welcoming the school as a place to belong for the TA to exhibit their work as well as their process.

The School is a way to showcase the adaptability and versatility of the TA- ability to respond to situation/location and develop creative solutions.

The School of the Future hopes to build a manual or standards by Teaching Artists for Teaching Artists in hopes of legitimizing the role of a TA. The project is a critique of Public Education as well as an action research collaboration to build upon, answering the question "How do you teach through your practice/art". The goal is to create a reproduceable model, this is the test run, and then refine, to collaborate with TA everywhere. The entire process will be documented and refined for future schools of THE FUTURE!

It is an exploration into ones own process, targeting a specific audience, and then bringing that audience into one's own.

The actual physical space of the school is going to be a collaborative space for creativity, a re-definition of where learning and art can take place, where "a few people in a park can count as school". All ages of students are encouraged. The stress on inter-disciplinary learning is part of the TA durability. This month, Cassie is using paper mache, wire and paint, to exhibit the environments in which mushrooms grow. The approach of teaching stresses "situated learning" in that learning is embedded within activity, context, and culture and that social interaction and collaboration are essential components.

One of the main goals of the School of the Future is to help the Teaching Artist meet their audience and teach that which you most want to learn. Using art education as a problem solving tool, The School of the Future will transform Sgt. Dougherty Park to be a lively place for discussion, creativity, and community while bringing education through art to a place that needs it.

In attendance:
Lisa, Roman, Hope, Autumn, Jonathan, Jose, Seth, Dave, Adam, Aaron, Kate, Kate, Valeria, David, Chris, Angelina, Dan, Colin, Kate (yes there were 3 kates!)

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