Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Music, Creativity and Problem Solving: Part IV

I just returned from the Orff Jazz Course by Doug Goodkin and it was everything and more that I could have hoped for or imagined.

In my early years I enjoyed ten years of musical instruction but it was this 5-day class that helped me understand music and creativity as never before.

If America or any other nation wishes to develop children's creativity and problem solving skills, we should be including Orff musical methods under the direction of Doug Goodkin and his colleagues at the San Francisco School and the JaSeSoi Orff Foundation in Finland. Truly, these teachers are artists in their ability to scaffold lessons and inspire creativity.  Amazing.  These teachers are not alone, either, as they've been working with teachers from around the world for many years - at our 5-day class we had teachers from Thailand, China, Japan, Canada, Germany, and the U.K.  In the next room were people from Venezuela, Brazil, and I don't know where else, but it was a rich and varied group.  And this has been going on for many years.  Such a talented and varied group!

I'm feeling anxious about compiling in video and written form what I learned in Finland before I get back to teaching my students but I had to take this class when it was offered and I'm so glad I did.  I'm better for it, and more creative, too.  :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"The Blueberry Story"

This is a beautiful explanation for why schools can't be run like businesses.  

CLICK HERE to read the complete story in the Wall Street Journal.  

Prepping the Video

You, Finns!  You've given me so many meaningful interviews! Look at my list of useable clips (so far)  and I'm only through about one-sixth of the stack!  Either I'm going to have a movie the size of a Ken Burns documentary or I'll have to do some serious editing.   (I guess I'll do the editing.)  It's a joy to go through all the interviews but I'll have to cut some pieces...or the video will be so long no one will want to watch it!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Secrets" behind the Finnish Educational Success

I was asked to write an article for the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., and compare the American and Finnish education systems.

It's a short and concise beginning - but I promise - there will be more:

Link to my article on the Embassy of Finland's webpage:  "'Secrets' behind the Finnish Educational Success"