• Past Book Club: Arts with the Brain in Mind

    book cover for Arts with the Brain in Mind

    I invite you to join a panel of experts and me to reflect on a valued component of our school district's curriculum -- the arts.
    ~ Bob O'Donnell, SCASD Superintendent of Schools

    Panel Members

    • Darrin Thornton, Penn State School of Music

    • Bob Drafall, SCASD Music Curriculum Coordinator

    • Danielle Crowe, SCASD Art Curriculum Coordinator

    • Graeme Sullivan, Director of Penn State School of Visual Arts

    • Bob O’Donnell, SCASD Superintendent of Schools

    Video Recording of the Event
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 7-8 p.m., Schlow Library Community Room


    Goals
    • We hope to bring community members together and reflect on a valued component of our K-12 program.

    • During a portion of our conversation, we will be looking at the arts using a brain development perspective.

    • We hope the conversation supports an increased understanding of the value of the arts and what SCASD is doing to support student learning within the arts.

    • We hope the thinking shared will spark ways which will help SCASD to improve arts-related learning experiences.
     
    All community members are invited to participate in the conversation. Here's how:

    Step 1: Consider reading the book Arts with the Brain in Mind by Eric Jensen (not required).
     
    Step 2: Please submit comments and questions to us via our website comment box.
     
    Step 3: Attend the book club's panel discussion on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, from 7-8 p.m., in the Schlow Library Community Room
     
    To support a portion of our conversation, we are taking a look at Eric Jensen's findings from neuroscience and cognitive science research. The book presents many instructional strategies and classroom activities that promote the musical, visual, and kinesthetic arts in school, as well as recommendations for assessing arts instruction.   
     
    Discussion Questions

    1. In what ways has education changed over the past 30-50 years that may make arts more valuable today?
    2. What is the value of the arts in a world where technology, efficiency, and speed is highly valued? 
    3. Do arts help develop the brain?
    4. Are there special age groups important for introducing the arts to children?
    5. What are the effects of a fully-implemented arts program?
    6. How do/can we use the arts to help develop students who are poised for happy healthy lives?
    7. What are the neurological benefits of arts experiences for children?  Are the ripple effects of these benefits felt across content areas in our district?
    8. What benefits have arts experiences provided our graduates in their academic and personal lives?
    9. Do parents in our community want the arts to be regarded as a major discipline at all levels, some, or none? 

    Book Purchasing Options

     
    Note: Schlow Library also has a few copies of the book! 
     
    Additional Resources
     

    Past Book Club: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

    Purpose:
    To engage our district community in matters relating to the many roles in the development of young people for their future success.
     
    Book NuBook photo mber 1: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
    Why do some children succeed while others fail?

    All community members are invited to participate. Here's how:

    Step 1: Consider reading the book: http://www.paultough.com/
    Washington Post interview with Paul tough: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/10/23/how-children-succeed-qa-with-paul-tough/
     
    Step 2: Please submit comments and questions to us via our web site comment box.
     
    Step 3: Attend the book club's panel discussion on Thursday, April 11, 2013 (7:00 - 8: 00 p.m)
                Location: Mount Nittany Middle School Library
     
    Purpose: To engage our district community in a conversation about the many roles we all have in the development of young people, including the ways in which the district may best improve our role in our students' positive development.
     
    Panel Members:
    Bob O’Donnell - Superintendent
    Brian Peters - Curriculum Director K-8
    Jackie Edmonson - Associate Dean of PSU College of Education
    Dotty Delafield - MNMS Librarian
    Ron Kauffman - GW Grade 4 Teacher
    Peter Montminy, Ph.D. - Child Psychologist, MidStep Centers for Child Development
    Jennifer Rand - High School English Teacher
    Katie Shoemaker - Corl St. Kindergarten Teacher

    Pre-reading Questions:
    What should schools be doing to help young people legitimately learn and possess valuable character traits?
    What should we be thinking about that we should do to help instill Grit (persistent pursuit of goals) in our students?
    What can we do to steer an individual child - or a whole generation of children - away from failure and toward success?

    Additional Information on Topic (FYI):
    Consider reading the book “How Children Succeed” : http://www.paultough.com/
    Washington Post interview with Paul Tough: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2012/10/23/how-children-succeed-qa-with-paul-tough/
    Blog: How to Foster Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: An Educator’s Guide
    http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/how-to-foster-grit-tenacity-and-perseverance-an-educators-guide/
     
    Much More Information including a list of books referenced in How Children Succeed, accessible websites that relate to the material in the book, as well as links to the GRIT surveys and practical applications for Gabriele Oettinger's research on Mental Contrasting.
     
     
    Book Purchasing Options

    Hardcover (Amazon) -- $15.62
    Paperback (Amazon) -- $10.85
    Kindle (Amazon) -- $9.45
    Audio (Amazon) -- $16.49

    eBook (Follett) -- $24.99  (a single user edition)

    Apple iBooks
    Full book: $12.99
    30 minute version: $4.99

    B&N has the following editions:
    Hardcover $15.93
    Nook $13.50

    B&N also has the 30 Minute summary
    Paperback $6.99
    Nook $4.99
Last Modified on February 9, 2016