A Masterpiece of Learning
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A Masterpiece of Learning is based on the ideas that artists are trailblazers on the intellectual frontier every bit as much as the physicists at CERN, and that art teachers are best equipped to fully explain how the arts concentrate and focus the most advanced learning. Art teachers prepare students for thinking outside the box by showing them how to think beyond personal experience—on the cutting-edge.
The philosophy of A Masterpiece of Learning is that authentically engaging students in the artistic process creates a need for knowledge and skills from across the curriculum, fueling a desire to learn and grow. Test scores rise in schools with quality arts education because students learn to find and orchestrate knowledge in personally relevant, conceptually rigorous ways. The arts provide the novel imagery that crystallizes the most intangible and essential aspects of our mental life into discrete ideas. Contemporary art plays a vital role in this process as more artists weave the language of economics, science, technology, sociology and math into their practice.
Too often, interdisciplinary approaches to art education reduce art to merely illustrating concepts in other subjects, eliminating the unique intellectual characteristics of the creative process that teach children to be pioneers on the frontiers of knowledge. A Masterpiece of Learning is based on the idea that the arts establish new intellectual horizons through the artist’s ability to: 1.) imagine new ideas by forming new images with unexpected meanings; and 2.) formulate new ways of thinking by orchestrating source material from diverse disciplines into new, coherent conceptual frameworks. Most students experience art through the pages of books, and typical museum visits bring brief, passing encounters with masterworks guided by impersonal audio-tours. This project is different by using a new model of creativity to help teachers bring students into direct, academically-rich, personal dialogues with the art of the High Museum’s permanent collection.
On the cutting edge of any discipline knowledge becomes tentative, imprecise, sometimes even murky. The arts specialize in the rigorous analysis and use of imprecise ideas in the creation of new meaning and world-views—in other words, they specialize in finding and solving those kinds of problems that are most like those encountered in life, and the kinds of problems that employers need solved in our 21st century economy.
A Masterpiece of Learning Workshop Videos
The following videos provide a glimpse into the professional development learning that occurred during the 4-day Masterpiece of Learning Workshop. You may have to click the arrow twice--once to activate the specific video, and then a second time to play it.