Saturday, May 31, 2014

Resources on Learning

Below find many resources that I have found useful in thinking about my own teaching. And troubling. Thanks to all those sending me resources-- I'll keep adding as I receive them!

If you haven't seen it yet, the most recent  SNAAP report offers insights into statistical information about arts majors after graduation. It took me a moment to orient myself and then I found it a well-organized and valuable set of interactive infographics. From the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.

You're probably familiar with Sir Ken Robinson, who suggests that it's time for a Revolution in the way we think about education, putting focus on student responsibility and choice in education. Many of his talks are available at links here. I particularly like the one animated by RSAnimate, below.

Another speaker I've found valuable, Sugata Mitra, mostly studies younger students than ours. I have found the insights he offers on the effectiveness of student driven education valuable and sometimes frustrating to work with in my own field of Art History. He has spoken several times at TED, his bio here, and below the talk that captivated me most.

Allison Gagnon mentioned a series on Canadian Television regarding the future of education. The programs are available here, and offer varied and, from what I've sampled, highly valuable resources.

Under Book recommendations, I included Dan Siegl's Brainstorm: the Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. Siegl also gave a comprehensive TED talk, below. (I haven't listened yet, but it seems highly relevant!)

Image by NanaGimenes
Daily Habits of Artists: their studios, their routines, their favorite meals. Here are a few that have caught my interest quite recently.

1. From one of my favorite online journals, Fast Company, started by former staffers at Harvard Business Review, a series of infographics about the daily routines of artists, here.

2. A very light article from the Huffington Post, which looks at behaviors of Highly Creative People, here.

3. I'm always talking about taking a walk, because that's how I solve problems. Apparently there's some science emerging that suggests exercise boosts creativity. An article from the Times, last month.

4. Value of Rest/Taking a break to learning/performance:

"Pre-Performance Apathy (or the Importance of Mentally Disengaging From Work and Practice)"

by Dr. Noa Kageyama
Cross Pollination: 
From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
 Visual Art program at the University of the Arts has transformed the way they think about foundations classes and crossing disciplines.

From American Radioworks, a piece on rethinking traditional college teaching methods..... and how students can learn online, text and video 

Teaching Creativity
On teaching creativity and raising 'art smart' kids (the latter directed toward younger kids, but still seem relevant!)
1. "Learning to Think Outside the Box: creativity becomes and academic discipline" from The New York Times. 
2. "Raising "Art Smart' Students in the 21st Century" from The Kennedy Center's Arts Edge, builds from the research of the Partnership for 21st century skills which labels the arts as a core area of study for preparing students for the 21st century.
3. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills also prepared a skills map which explores the relationship between the Arts and other skills and outcomes of their pursuit at different k-12 levels. I found it hard to read through this article but enjoyed poking around it for ideas.

On the importance of Reflection in Learning:
1. A very brief article summing up the major points from John Dewey, J├╝rgen Habermas, and others: "Why Reflect?"
2. A much more substantive (long) article about reflection, Professional Development, and Online Learning, here.
Another brief article on reflection and learning here:

Resources on for Young Adult Health

Sleep Needs of Young Adults
A brief kept by Stanford University suggests that those aged 12-22 need 9.25 hours sleep, on average. The study indicates that “Sleep deprivation can impair memory and inhibit creativity making it difficult for sleep deprived students to learn. Teens struggle to learn to deal with stress and control emotion -- sleep deprivation makes it even more difficult. Irritability, lack of self confidence and mood swings are often common in a teen, but sleep deprivation makes it worse. Depression can result from chronic sleep deprivation. Not enough sleep can endanger their immune system and make them more susceptible to serious illnesses.” You can find the full article here.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that average 16-24 years olds require about 8-10 hours sleep, though individual needs vary. Following period of sleep debt, it may take a long while to recover, during which time individual may need much more.
The NSF indicates that “Short sleep duration is linked with:
·       Increased risk of drowsy driving
·       Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
·       Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
·       Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
·       Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
According to researchers Michael H. Bonnet and Donna L. Arand, ‘There is strong evidence that sufficient shortening or disturbance of the sleep process compromises mood, performance and alertness and can result in injury or death. In this light, the most common-sense 'do no injury' medical advice would be to avoid sleep deprivation.’” You can find this resource here
Substance Use (Performance Enhancement and ADHD.)
Tom Murray suggested a couple articles to me earlier this year, writing that ADHD "is important to consider because a lot of students are either prescribed or buy these drugs because they think that they'll get an edge. I think some faculty may encourage it too, which is a problem."
Here and here are the articles on ADHD that Tom suggested. 
On the relationship between Rest, Stress, Activity, and Learning:
1. "Learning best when you rest", from Science Daily, here
2. A study planned at Wake Forest about stress, wellness, and learning. here.
3. And another article about Creativity and rest, from Psychology Today,  here.

Book Recommendations

Dan Seigel, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, 2014

Bill Backer, The Care and Feeding of Ideas, 1994

James Elkins, Why Art Cannot be Taught, 2001

Astin, Astin, and Lincolm, Cultivating the Spirit: How college can enhance students' inner lives, 2010

George D. Kuh, Jillian Kinzie, John H. Schuh, Elizabeth J. Whitt, and Associates, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter, 2010