Archive for May, 2011

Share #8 Shelia Hicks

Posted 23 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category shares

Shelia Hicks got me into wrapping a few years ago. It was great to see her work in real life. Go see this if you are in Philadelphia, it is beautiful –the immensity of the work–the physicality of the pieces–does not translate well in pictures.

ICA: Sheila Hicks: 50 Years.

 

 

The Dangers of Institutionalizing Tradition

Posted 23 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

For the past 42 years, I have been spending Easter Sunday with my maternal extended family in Pennsylvania. For me, and for many of my cousins, this involves a 2-4 hour drive, and work or school for our children the next day. Dinner is at 1pm. It has always been at 1pm. And even though the suggestion of Sunday brunch has been  thrown out a dozen times, dinner is at 1pm. We eat a first course of ravioli and meatballs, then a second course of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes–even though for the past 42 years, no one has touched the turkey. I love my family, and I love spending Easter with them. But the inflexibility and resistance to change makes this celebration a hassle to attend, and often these days I do not. What is more important–celebrating together as a family, or sticking to tradition?

In a school setting, sticking to tradition for traditions’ sake can be dangerous. Events happen as if on auto-pilot, even though from year to year families change, teachers change, environments change. Change is hard. It is unsettling and forces us to motivate, to act with purpose, and to own what we believe in. Stagnation, on the other hand, is what we face if we do not re-examine traditions with critical eyes, re-evaluate their purpose and meaning, and take action.

 

 

A good moment

Posted 20 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

All year children in the Jumping Jacks classroom have been talking about animals. After a recent trip to a small farm, children traced some of their favorites…

Adults thought that children might like to make their animals bigger–to play with size and scale. Children were very enthusiastic about this suggestion. The good moment came while C was enlarging and tracing the gosling–as he traced, he added with love and tenderness little lines all around the gosling suggesting fuzziness. His hands cared when he drew.  What made this moment important to me was the connection children had with their experience at the farm, the connection they had with the animals evidenced in their conversation, and the connection they had to the drawings of the animals–this wasn’t an isolated activity, but a way to reconnect with the experience at the farm and to make new relationships. The large drawings in essence, possess lives of their own. Here is C’s gosling:

 

 

taking myself up on the challenge

Posted 18 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

On a previous blog post-Dictionary of Resources–I said “I also believe that it is important that we do not discriminate against a material because of personal bias. Children/adults have the right to encounter all the materials of life.”

The other day I was ordering paints for the studio and I glossed over many colors I am not personally drawn to. Unconsciously I was discriminating due to my aesthetic bias. So I branched out–check out these neon paintings on black tissue paper!

Posted 04 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

How school reform damages poor children — Kohn – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

Posted 04 May 2011 — by Jennifer
Category Uncategorized

How school reform damages poor children — Kohn – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post.