Monday, August 31, 2009

"Connecting Creativity Applications into the Classroom"

In July, I entered a blog commentary regarding adding creativity through puppetry with choral speech into the classroom to help children learn faster. Unfortunately, there are still teachers and schools who resist creative applications, even if they are so-called "proven." This factor has always been a puzzling factor to me, as I have instructed critical thinking skills with creative applications for many years successfully with various demographic classroom groups and ages.

This resistance is because they are unsure of what to protocols use and how to use them. Administrators and educators also worry they will be criticized for being creative when there are pressures for making annual yearly progress achievement with their students.

Recent educational change articles published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's Educational Leadership, September 2009 | Volume 67 | Number 1
Teaching for the 21st Century Pages 22-26 "Why Creativity Now? A Conversation with Sir Ken Robinson," by Amy M. Azzam. Subtitled: " Creativity: It's been maligned, neglected, and misunderstood." But it's finally coming into its own. Here, creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for creativity as the crucial 21st century skill we'll need to solve today's pressing problems.

It goes on to say, "It's interesting that people see creativity and critical thinking as being opposed. It's partly because people associate creativity with being totally free and unstructured. But what we really have to get hold of is the idea that you can't be creative if you don't do something. Creativity is a process of having original ideas that have value."

It is important that the applied creative applications are not mere time consuming "fluff," but are used as a tool for teaching critical thought central to academic achievement.

Teachers now have the resources for finding both creativity and critical thinking. Of course, they are pressed for time with budget constraints to find and use them. What professionals and parents can do is find reliable, documented resources such as this website, where it is all spelled out for them. This site can point parents and educators in the right direction to achieving success both at home and in the classroom.

This may sound like a "no-brainer," but creative applications are the tool for how you make annual yearly progress (AYP), or showing student academic yearly improvement. Now, I am not trying to sell my own researched The Bridge To achievement program. Unfortunately, it is at this time unavailable for implementation, as it will be adapted to a e-Learning platform.

At some point in the future it will become available through publishing houses. Nevertheless, it is crucial for parents, teachers, and schools to become informed of "what works," and how to use proven methods to make their own lives more fruitful.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Multi-Sensory Training in the Traditional Classroom?"

Many schools today are embracing change to help learner's perform easier and at a faster rate. There are multitudes of commercial programs, yet few have in-depth scientific documentation. This is because it takes years and years of experimentation to obtain it.

Multi-sensory education has been around for many years, even before I applied it in 1980, nearly thirty years ago, having learned from the experts and textbooks of that time.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a push for sensory integration through auditory-visual-motoric-kinesthetic applications, led by Jean Ayres, Chalfant and Scheffelin, and others. (in Lerner, J. W. 1976, 1971; Children with Learning Disabilities, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston p. 180). Inter-sensory exercises were emphasized during the 1970s, then they were abandoned. Other, often lesser effective, methods replaced them.

The missing link was the creative inter-sensory Accelerated Learning applications that could be applied to these theories. In 1980, I applied them with The Bridge To Achievement program, and it has taken me nearly thirty years to show documentation that they work. Traditionalists were skeptical and children , especially those with learning difficulties, often floundered, as they stayed within a narrow educational mindset.

Now, brain science is verifying the early works of the eminent professors and the practitioners, like myself. The last several issues of Brain in the News by the Dana Foundation, Washington DC, tout how Neuroaesthetics and Neuroeducation are moving forward together. They state that the elements of the theater through simultaneous use of several sensory inputs, work for activating the brain for learning (July 2009, p. 3).

The multitudes of published learning applications may very well move in this direction, because they do create the academic achievement change that is now not only necessary, but mandatory.