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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: education

Day 105: Empowering Kids

After yesterday’s post about education and creativity a la Sir Ken Robinson, my mom clued me into this really cool program that provides free weekly dance classes to kids.

Everybody Dance Now! was founded by by 14-year-old Jackie Rotman in 2005, in an effort to bring dance to kids who couldn’t afford expensive studio classes in Santa Barbara, California.

Seven years later, she has expanded Everybody Dance Now! into eleven cities across the county. In each city, the program is directed by local high school and college students. They mobilize teachers, connect with schools and organizations, and bring empowering and fun dance classes to students who may not otherwise have access to dance instruction.

I love this program. Aside from the incredible educational and brain-health benefits of dance (see Ken Robinson’s 2006 TED Talk), teaching kids to dance helps them develop confidence, self esteem, respect for their bodies, and appreciation for all of the different cultures of people who inhabit this planet.

And the program is run by youth. Amazing.

Chicago Public Media station WBEZ interviewed the young Chicago coordinators yesterday. You can listen to it below (to get straight to the interview, you may want to start about one minute in).

Day 104: Weekend Watching

Sir Ken Robinson is a creativity expert, an author and an international advisor on arts and education. While you’re juggling ballet classes, naps, farmer’s markets, shows, errands and absolutely nothing this weekend, get comfy in your favorite chair and watch his presentations from the 2006 and 2010 TED Talks. You’ll be so glad you did.

He makes a compelling and humorous case for an education revolution—a new way of thinking about learning that exposes and nurtures children’s natural talents, rather than squishing them into linear and not terribly creative systems.

Without innovative children, we will lack innovative adults. And without innovative adults, our species is sort of screwed.

TED 2006: Do schools kill creativity? 

“We have to rethink the fundamental principles on which we’re educating our children. There was a wonderful quote by Jonas Salk, who said, ‘If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.’ And he’s right.”

 

TED 2010: Bring on the learning revolution!

“…education, in a way, dislocates very many people from their natural talents. And human resources are like natural resources; they’re often buried deep, you have to go looking for them, they’re not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves.”