PROJECTS THAT BRING STUDENTS TOGETHER TO SOLVE REAL-LIFE CHALLENGES
As a teaching artist Everett Hoag’s aim is to get students to think and learn more organically, skillfully, and responsively.
The best way to learn new skills is through action - actually doing things – by growing, embracing creativity, and remaining connected to your personal values. The goal is to prepare students to contribute to decision-making and problem-solving required of professionals in the 21st century: Design thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.
Teaching artist Everett Hoag develops individually-designed arts residencies and academic enrichment programs that bring students together to solve real-life challenges and improve the well-being of our school communities. In the classroom and after-school Everett offers a wide variety of hands-on workshops on creativity, identity, and communication in which students understand science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they relate to creativity, and that also supplements language arts, historical perspectives in social studies, and business/entrepreneurial curriculum.
Hoag feels that project-based learning challenges contribute to students’ self-confidence, critical thinking, and self-esteem. It fosters risk-taking, problem-solving, and innovation as benefits not only for students, but educators by incorporating "making" into their teaching methods, and turning their classrooms into maker-spaces.
Workshops focus on each student finding his or her own voice, no matter how big or small that is and developing a respect for other students’ voices, values and world view. We work on how we communicate in collaboration to connect with fellow students and the community while focusing on design thinking and innovation. Take risks, problem solve, make decisions, and collaborate to develop your designs. The emphasis is always on the need to be authentic to engage one another and to be encouraged for their skills and abilities.
Students experience first-hand that their role as a designer is to be thought-leaders and leave the world in a better state than you found it. Design students are making things people need and want.
Create projects that bring students together to solve real-life challenges
Engage in exciting arts experiences that develop cognitive, social, emotional and ethical skills
Activate team-building challenges with interactive activities that respond to participant decisions
Move during theatre improv games to unite with mind and the body
Connect self-esteem with identity to share ideas with peers face-to-face and on social media
Learn from author, speaker, educator, teaching artist, and professional development mentor
"At a time in the late 1970’s when educational theater was known for simplistic answers, I believed that students who develop social-emotional skills like cooperation, assertiveness, and empathy can achieve more personally and academically; preaching about morals was boring and pointless. I insisted on dramatic excellence and powerful stories that stood alone as theater becoming a leading writer and producer of original professional theater for young audiences and a leader in the burgeoning arts-in-education movement. Having moved into design and production, I think every student needs design thinking and solid entrepreneurial foundations to succeed in today’s world." – Everett Hoag
Developing a specific rubric for each project can alleviate fears and uncertainty for both teachers and students. While specific rubrics may have more categories, projects involving design thinking and the arts include three basic categories for assessment:
A student reflection, whether written or spoken, serves as a valuable tool when assessing what the student learned and how well the product ties to the content.
You've probably heard good stuff about design thinking and the maker movement such as how making helps students learn through embodied cognition, creates a mindset that's empowering, and builds creative confidence. You're interested in crafting some maker lessons but don't know where to start or how to do something that works in your classroom.
Arts Residencies in the classroom and after-school serve as a gateway for student engagement, motivation, and creativity. Not only will students benefit, but teachers also reap the rewards of having students use critical thinking skills and flourish in learning content through relevant and individualized residency projects.
Allow students to shine in front of some type of audience. Experience as a teaching artist has proved learning best occurs when students become the teacher, and while sharing a project doesn't seem like formal teaching the experience offers a chance to showcase learned information.
We've exhibited projects not just in the classroom but throughout the school, especially for open house or other special events; we've also hosted gallery walks to display visual arts. Dance, mime, mask and theatre performances have been held for younger classes or during lunch. Local coffee shops, county offices, or civic-minded businesses are often willing to display work or host school-sponsored readings of original works or dramatic interpretations.
The merging fields of arts, technology, costume, fashion and storytelling allow students as young artists to utilize design thinking to push boundaries far into the future with unusual materials like 3-D printing and LED technology to create designs inspired by identity and imagination. What will students do with this inspiration? Let's put it to good use evolving and changing the world.
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1822 Mineral Spring Avenue, First Floor Front, N. Providence, RI 02904, US
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