This is the 22 foot mural in its entirety.
Note: I wrote this on Monday but decided not to post it until today (Saturday). This conference was a challenge for me in that it travelled roads I don't know I've gone down as a teacher. I've spent the better part of the week processing what I've seen and how it can be translated into the classroom. Unlike the Presidential Academy, there was only a little prep for the Insitute. We selected a painting to research and did a short reading. It has been an intense week and I will do my best to highlight what we did. I'm still processing though so if my thought seem more incoherent thatn normal ...
Day one of the Smithosonian Institution's Clarice Smith National Teacher Institute. I have to admit, I was worried about burn out. The Presidential Academy was intense. So much preparation and a packed schedule. To sit for an hour and listen to art historian and tech people might be problematic. I shouldn't have worried. I walked out of the American Art Museum with more energy and excitment that I thought I had in reserve.
The big idea behind this conference is an exploration of how teachers can integrate art and technology in 'traditional' classroom. We were asked to select a piece to focus on and I chose a Thomas Hart Benton piece called Achelous and Hercules. Its the piece at the top of this entry.
The keynote today was by Ron Richhardt from Harvard University. His research looks at effective communication strategies in the classroom. His suggested that there were five types of questions in a class:
- review: content, terminology, process...
- procedural: classroom management; directing the work of the class; not content-based information
- generative: exploration of the topic or 'wondering out loud' questions;
- constructive: questions which help build understanding and
- facilitating: questions which promote the learner's own thinking and understanding.
Dr. Richhardt also outlined what he thought were four key qualities for classroom instruction:
- Novel application-it has to be more than just 'practicing what they know'.
- Meaningful inquiry-they need to wrestle with new understandings and insights
- Effective communication-lock in understanding by talking, sharing, debating, ...
- Intrinsic value-a sense of accomplishment or appreciation