Friday, August 10, 2007

Finished Review!!! (Arts Ed around the Globe)

Beloved People,

Help me celebrate!

I just finished writing this review for the Teaching Artist Journal, published at Columbia College in Chicago. The "Resource Roundup" section is edited by my dear poet-friend-colleague, Becca Barniskis, who asked me months ago to write a review on "The Wow Factor: Global research compendium on the impact of the arts in education" by Anne Bamford.*

Lalala! Fancy case study and research on arts education from around the globe. Hey hey! I am a global person. I like art. I am a teacher. This seemed to sort of be a good fit. ?!

So, of course now I want to share this with everyone I know! Because I'm so thrilled to be done! And because Becca Barniskis is probably the BEST EDITOR I've ever met in my life. The woman makes me sound smarter and smoother than I am. (Not funnier ---but definitely more CONCISE!)

What follows is a tiny excerpt from the review and a quote from the book on this Namibian concept, "Ngoma" - which ROCKS MY WORLD!

At the heart of this global analysis, we need to be able to articulate how and why teaching in and through the arts is an important thing. "The results of this world study suggest that a community—and education—pays a clear price for "blind" practices." Part of our job (as teachers, artists, administrators, policy makers) is not to be blind. We begin by first and foremost naming for ourselves the value of an education in and through the arts. Here is an example from Namibia:

The Namibian Term, "Ngoma" sees the arts as being a united whole. While this same term can mean any one of the art forms, (e.g dance, music, visual arts and drama) it also stands for the communication between the arts and spirit. Ngoma can also mean "drum", but under this notion it implies the rhythm or beat of a drum that charges life with energy. It implies a transformation, where the individual becomes transformed by the arts. It encompasses the individual becoming part of the community, linking the past with the future, the heaven with earth, ancestors to children, and the mind to the spirit. The term Ngoma also implies that the action of the arts has a purpose or function larger than the art form itself. It prepares the individual and community for the task, be those tasks the mundane or the profound, the educative and spiritually enlightening. Ngoma also sees the arts as integral to society (p. 51).

Couldn't we all benefit from adopting such a philosophy?!
Had to share! Go buy the book, or order the Teaching Artist Journal!! (The entire review will probably go to print in 5 or 6 months!)

Smiles, Good times!

*The Wow Factor: Global Research Compendium on the Impact of the Arts in Education
By Anne Bamford
Waxmann, 2006
ISBN 3-8309-1617-5

EUR 24.90, paperback

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