Sunday, April 6, 2008

Requiem

Last night, I saw "Requiem" at the Jubilee Auditorium. This unique collaboration brought together the Alberta Ballet, the ESO, the Edmonton Opera and the Richard Eaton Singers. It was profound, expansive and very moving. It filled me with joy and appreciation of the incredible talent and beauty we have here in our midst.

Oh, the things human beings can do!! We have such enormous potential for expression and innovation. People can move in ways you wouldn't think possible...they can sing in ways that are not logical...they can create and visualize in ways that shock, surprise, delight and sadden. They can communicate beyond words, beyond technology, beyond language and culture. They can connect.

Collective experience is powerful. It was far more meaningful to witness that performance up in the second balcony and share it with a thousand other souls than to watch it on TV, complete with close-ups, alone in my living room. We need community. We need to feel connected to other humans and to share joy and sorrow. We need art to remind us of who we are and what greatness (and cruelty) we are capable of.

What's all this got to do with education and being a trustee? Everything. If we want our children, the future of our society, to be healthy, productive and to live sustainable lives, we need to ensure that every child recognizes the importance of community. We are not built to live alone and pursue that which benefits us alone. We must recognize the shared and interdependent nature of humanity. We need each other...and we need to be able to express ourselves and communicate with each other. Every child should be encouraged to find the fullest range of expression, to be innovative, to risk, to explore and to strive to create something beautiful, unique or joyful for the benefit of others. It could be a perfected engine or a geometric proof or a soaring aria... art is not limited by form. To me, art is in the intent, the expression and the act of giving.

How do you think creativity fits with learning? How important do you think it is to develop the creative/innovative thinking skills of students?

For an amazing speech on creativity in schools, visit:
www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/66
Sir Ken Robinson delivers a thought-provoking and entertaining speech on the topic.

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