Sunday, May 1, 2011

What TED-Ed, Math-Ed and Arts-Ed Have in Common

I just presented at the Young Audiences National Conference.  Their theme this year was STEM to STEAM, exploring ways to add the arts to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative.  I shared my process for integrating math and percussive dance with executive directors and program staff from Young Audiences affiliates from around the country -- people who work every day to bring teaching artists like me into educational settings.  When I told them that just two weeks prior I had presented a 90-minute, hands-on workshop of the same material to 130+ math teachers from around the country (at the NCTM annual meeting) they CHEERED!

Here's what I know: The math education folks WANT math to make sense to their students.  They WANT their students to understand and apply and maybe even enjoy math, and they are looking for effective tools to make this happen. 

Here's what I know: The arts education folks know without a doubt that the arts are a perfect vehicle in supporting learners in the process of understanding and connection making. 

Liz Lerman, dancer/educator/human extraordinaire who was also at the Young Audiences National Conference, shared the work she's been doing with scientists.  Later in the day she lead a workshop in which she said multiple times:  "There is always a structure we can put in place to help solve a problem."    Today I found a structure that has great potential to bring the teachers, the artists, and the organizations together to realize our common goals toward a real, engaging, fulfilling education for all:
"The TED-Ed Brain Trust is a private online forum created to shape and accelerate TED's push into the realm of Education.  We aim to assemble a new archive of remarkable educational videos designed to catalyze learning around the globe. TED is seeking the expertise of visionary educators, organizations and creative professionals to help guide, galvanize and ultimately lead this exciting new initiative."
Here's the video that introduces this incredible moment in education:

You might also be interested in the conversation the math-ed folks are having right now about what they might contribute to this effort: Making mathematics real: A TED-ED series proposal


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