Evidence of Creativity

Since Americans for the Arts is having a blog salon on Arts Education, this seems like a good opportunity to call attention to one possible solution to the question of how you integrate the arts and creativity into academic subjects.

While he isn’t specifically integrating the arts into instruction, teacher Larry Ferlazzo is using episodes from the National Geographic show Crowd Control to inspire his students’ projects.

His goal is to get his students to investigate a question and create their own evidence.

“Another that is considering the role of imagination in art talked about their creating various items and having people evaluate them using an imagination “criteria.” One other group taking on the topic of if technology is truly necessary in order to “advance” society said they might come up with a list of technology achievements and ask people which one they think would be most important if they had to choose one for a brand new country they were creating.”

This approach gets students invested a project they care about and helps them learn from the experience. The questions they ask and the results they receive might be flawed, but the process they engage in will inform future learning.

Besides, arts organizations can’t cast too many aspersions. The questions and methodologies used in audience/community surveys are frequently just as flawed.

A creative approach and an empirical approach to problem solving are not mutually exclusive. The poop-o-meter in the Crowd Control video Ferlazzo uses in his post could have been just as easily used to incentivize the submission of samples for a canine health study instead of getting people to clean up after their dogs.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.

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