"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Learning Link, 93

Emily Pilloton, who wrote Design Revolution, presents a compelling case for using design in re-shaping both the spaces in which education takes place and the shape of education itself.

Pilloton's talk is based on her work in a 'rural ghetto'--the poorest county in N.C.   The work her group is doing, at the intersection of design and education, uses three different approaches:

1. Design for education: "the physical construction of improved spaces and materials and experiences for teachers and students" --renovating mobile classroom trailers, closed-in classrooms which limit mobility, co-creating outdoor 'landscapes for learning'.  (That's all the detail I'm going to give, because there are great pictures and more information in her talk.)
2.  Re-designing  education itself:  'a systems-level look at how education is  administered, at what is being offered, and to whom...not so much about making change as creating the conditions under which change is possible, and the incentive to want to make change"....asking the community to grow, but also asking the "school system to envision how it might become a catalyst for a more connected community...to reach outside of the school walls, to play a role in the community's development...connect the classroom and home and extend learning beyond the school day'.

3. Design as education: teaching design "Community-focused design curricula and shop class renaissance"....an antidote to verbal instruction, this hands-on learning 'allows kids to apply the core class learning in real ways'.

Pilloton also talks about bringing back shop class but infused with a 'more critical and design-thinking curricula' with actual projects...elderly house improvement, farmers' markets, and more.

 Pilloton is hoping that Studio H, this project, will serve as a pilot project in engaging students, schools and community in real learning, community building, and a 'way to develop skills'  so that students can 'give back in a meaningful way'.


Check it out--the TED talk is  here.

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