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reflective thinking in art


From: Stacy Lord (stacylord_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 18 2005 - 03:23:10 PST

Hi all,


I'm looking for a little help on the benefits of reflective thinking in art. I am a third year teacher at a middle school in Worcester MA and went to my first NAEA conference this year and had a blast! The amount of information I received was over whelming and most beneficial. I learned about this list through Maggie White. Hi Maggie.


My principle asked me the other day if I would give a talk on reflective thinking at our next staff meeting. This was after I was telling her of some new (to me) techniques to use in my classroom. Seeing that I am not one to do a presentation when I feel unprepared, I am asking, the teachers on this Listserv, for some advice. Does anyone know of any stats on the benefits of reflective thinking and/or the arts on children? I am making a power point presentation and as much concrete information I can present to the staff the better. I would like to go into this presentation with as much knowledge about the benefits of art/reflective thinking on children as possible and right know I do not feel confident in being able to talk about it.


This presentation is fairly serious to me because it is my chance to push the arts in my school. I work at Worcester East Middle school here in Worcester MA and if anyone lives here you have been reading about the school in the paper. My school has been deemed under performing and the DOE and EQA have both come in and stripped the moral of the teachers and staff away. We work with an extremely challenging population of inner city youth with 70% on reduced or free lunch. 56% are ESL with a turnover rate that is skyrocketing due to kids being Suspended/in and out of Lock-up and bouncing from Foster home to Foster home so the amount of baggage these kids come to school with is mind blowing.


And as a lot of us have encountered, it is usually the Arts that suffer when a school is in panic mode to improve. My principle is not very supportive of the arts and has used us (I feel) as strictly a way to provide the classroom teachers their CPT. Our classes are double everyone else's (last year it was an average class size of 34, this year is much better with an average of 30). It is not uncommon for us to have 6 classes in a row out of 7 when she asked me to give a presentation I jumped at it. I love these kids and I work best with the alternative classroom students'.resource/BD/Emotional. Art is something these kids NEED and the respect I get from them is amazing compared to the other teachers. I am on a crusade to push the benefits of the Arts at my school and long story short I am looking for some advise.


Thanks for letting me go on and on and on,

Stacy Lord