Friday, May 16, 2008

NYC Deputy Chancellor's Speech: All Talk?

Today, at a workshop on arts education, the keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Lyles, Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the NYC DOE.

Some of her key points:

We know that learning is in direct correlation with:
  • Imaginative thinking.

  • Discovery. Allowing students to find things out for themselves and supporting their exploration). Thinking about the things that are important to our students and exploring them together.

  • Doing. Understanding through active participation.

  • Expression of the individual. Who am I? What do I do best?
She continued, "it is very difficult to learn when you fail."
I agree.

And more: we want "excellence for every child. Every school. It's every child as an individual. I want our children to take ownership over who they are and how they learn."

I agree again.

When asked why the DOE doesn't push an active learning/arts-based literacy component to principals, Lyles answered: "It may not work for every school--there may be another way."

Fair enough, but this isn't what we hear about any other piece of school curriculum.

It all sounds nice, doesn't it. So why aren't we doing it? What happened?

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