Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

NAEA Post # 3-Daniel Pink and the Arts

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 4:40 PM
The basis of this workshop was the book A Whole New Mind by author Daniel Pink.  I had read the book a few years ago and was really impressed and inspired by the way Pink advocates for the importance of creativity and creative problem solving.  The book isn't necessarily about the arts or the art of education but is really more of a commentary on how our current world is really in need of people who can think outside the box, who are visionaries, creators, and problem solvers, basically right brain thinkers.  You'll have to excuse my less than succinct recount of his book and although I don't remember the specifics I do remember that it was a good read, and now after having attended this workshop, I may just go back and re-read it!

Now onto the workshop.

The title was: Why My 5th Graders Will Rule the Future!
It was given by educator Bob Reeker, a Nebraska art and technology teacher, who provided his attendees with many great ideas related to creative problem solving, directly inspired by Pink's work. 
The description from the conference went like this:
"The work done by Daniel Pink about creativity is powerful. This Lincoln, Nebraska, practitioner took Pink’s work into his elementary setting allowing students to explore play, design, story, symphony, empathy, and meaning via sketching."

Here are some notes I took: 

·         5 Principals of Creativity: design, symphony, empathy, story, play, and meaning.
·         Each activity asked 3 questions:
o    What do we mean by it?
o   How can we develop this idea?
o   What is the art problem to be solved?
·         Design:  A ‘Thingamajiggy’
o   Draw a simple object, ask your students to define the function, make it aesthetic, and re-design and give 3 ideas for its use.
·         Symphony: Synthesize 3 objects into 1
·         Empathy: Shared drawings, (cannot deface prior drawing).  The first one is about 5 minutes long and the rest are 2-3 minutes long.
·         Story: Used visual puns to illustrate, you could do ‘and thens…’ like story endings.
·         Play: Use nouns: person, place, and things, in numbers.  I.E. four scuba divers,  2 mountains, and 3 lollipops. Students need to illustrate it.
·         Meaning: Bulls eye chart with most important things being place in the center and less important things go on the periphery.

For future reference, the Oprah website has a nice meaty excerpt from Pinks book, enjoy!