Monday, July 15, 2013

Sneak Peek: My Harvard Workshops

Oh, so excited!  In August I will be attending a Harvard Graduate School of Education professional education program called The Arts and Passion-Driven Learning (focusing on arts integration) on a very generous grant.  It's being led by Steve Seidel and members of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble.  Today I got to pick my workshops, and I thought I'd share which ones I chose.

After looking at the entire selection of arts experience and classroom practice workshops, I decided to go with experiences that can potentially deepen or extend the inquiry in which I've been engaged over the last year or more. Specifically:
Computer Programming as an Expressive and Reflective Medium
Karen Brennan, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

What is evoked when you think about mediums for expression – music, text, video? What about computation? In this session, we will explore how code (the instructions that computers follow) can serve as an expressive and reflective medium by engaging in hands-on design activities with interactive media. Using the Scratch programming language, we will create interactive, reflective scrapbooks that document our experiences in the “Arts and Passion-Driven Learning” Institute. No prior experience with designing interactive media is required. Participants are expected to bring their own laptops; please do not bring tablets(iPad, Android, etc.).
I have been reading Seymour Papert's work all winter and spring.  His LOGO program and, by extension, MIT's online visual programming environment Scratch, has had me thinking deeply about constructivism / constructionism and the meaning and purpose of education.  I am also quite interested in how his work and thinking can help frame, support and strengthen the ways we think about and provide arts education.  A pencil and paper kind of gal, I will probably not be very good at Scratch but it will be a great challenge to be out of my comfort zone.
Traditions of the Middle East
Shane Shanahan, Silk Road Ensemble (percussion), Kevork Mourad, Silk Road Ensemble (visual art), Allison Trombley, teaching artist and former Silk Road Project Education Coordinator
How do Middle Eastern traditions in visual art and music mirror and complement one another? What can we learn about a culture through its art forms? Visual artist Kevork Mourad and percussionist Shane Shanahan lead participants through a hands-on exploration of the relationship between art and music. In this workshop, participants will work with both visual art and percussion as they consider the central theme of the connections between these expressive art forms.
I am very interested in this one because of the specific cultural context and the exploration of relationships/connections between two different art forms. I'm also hoping that Islamic (geometric) art will be included (hint, hint).  Can't wait.
Powerful Partnerships: Teaching Artists and Classroom Teachers Working Together
Elise Gallinot, Program Director, KID smART
The classroom teacher/teaching artist relationship is a deep and powerful tool for student learning, but what are the key features of successful partnerships? In this workshop we will explore some approaches to the co-teaching relationship, focusing on structuring planning and post-lesson reflection meetings for mutual empowerment and deeper understanding. We will discuss setting goals to help us discover and develop deeper ways to work together as colleagues and examine and develop tools and strategies to guide the co-teaching relationship. Throughout the workshop, we will focus on the following questions:

• What are the features of successful teaching artist/ classroom teacher partnerships?
• What tools do we need to make sure partnerships are vital and focused?
• How can we work together to assess quality integration focused on student learning?
I am hoping this workshop will give me some new insights into building, maintaining and deepening relationships with teachers, something that is still a work in progress for me since my time in schools is always so brief.  I generally do not co-teach Math in Your Feet but, more and more, I am meeting teachers with whom I would like to collaborate more deeply.  I also think this workshop may also be helpful in my quest to refine the way I present and frame my professional learning experiences for teachers.

At the date of this post I will be experiencing all this in a little more than three week's time.  I'm sure it will be incredible on a lot of levels and I plan to share and process my learning in this space.


  1. This sounds really fun! I'm looking forward to reading about how the workshops are.

  2. Hi Evelyn, thanks for visiting! I think it'll be a really interesting few days. There are other sessions as well, for the whole cohort (teachers, principals and teaching artists), plus small group discussions throughout the day. I'll be sure to report back. :-)


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...