May 23, 2017
For those of you who have not engaged in the discussion of STEM and STEAM education, let me set this up before I make a few points. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach…STEAM adds ART.
Now that I am of the ripe old age of 56, I can reflect on my observations that reflect on over five decades (ugh…I really sound old now!) Having said that, I have never remembered a time when people raved about arts education…in my lifetime it has always been seemingly underfunded and underdeveloped. Having said that, it appears that we are really making progress in these other areas. But, do people really want STEAM?
When I Google “STEAM” Education”, there are over 75 million results to that Google search query. When I search for “STEM Education” there are only 16 million. How can you explain the fact that so many more people are wondering about how do we integrate ARTS into the mix and promote the connectivity between abstract thinking and practical thinking?
Frankly, abstract thinking is practical thinking. The more we train our brain to “create” the more we will train our brain to resolve problems, develop strategy AND create cool things. Art making is fun. It also builds critical thinking skills. And, in today’s times, critical thinking has never been in greater need to deal with the complexity of modern life.
What do you think???
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #STEAM #TransformingArtEducation
May 8, 2017
March 28, 2017
April is National Autism Awareness Month and we are trying to shed some light on the mission of supporting those with Autism in America. Despite all of the efforts that have been made over the last ten years, Autism remains a great mystery with no clarity around the cause and no method to prevent it. The tragic challenge of figuring out the “puzzle”…how to raise and advocate for an Autistic child, falls straight into the hands of people who simply have no preparation for this.
I know because I am one of them. My son Alex was diagnosed at 18 months of age and is now 21. He was diagnosed with severe Autism and despite all of our efforts he remains severely disabled today. Notwithstanding that fact, Alex has single handedly taught me more about life than anything else thrown my way. My wife and I fight everyday to provide the best therapeutic, educational and supportive tools we can uncover and he has stepped up and challenged himself to adapt to a world that is unbearably difficult for him.
As the Founder of One River, I am committed to using visual arts as a tool to drive developmental skills in people of all ages and all levels. We honor Autism Speaks and the great work they are doing with our April art project called “The Puzzle Project”. 60 students in our two schools made a dedicated “puzzle piece” and the work will be shown at the Westfield Garden State Plaza for the month of April.
‘The Puzzle Project’
Opening Reception: Friday, April 7th 6-8PM
Exhibition on View through May 15, 2017
Westfield Garden State Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ 07652
Near AMC Movie Theater Corridor
@AutismSpeaks #MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #ThePuzzleProject
January 10, 2017
No we are not starting a college. But, last Friday I visited Michael Rees and The Center for New Art at William Patterson University and I was so happy to see the innovative approaches to teaching art at the college level that exist right here in our backyard.
Michael Rees is the Associate Professor and Director of the program and I couldn’t be more impressed with his vision for his program and the innovative / comprehensive approach that is built into his curriculum. Mike is also a world-class artist…his work has appeared in two Whitney Biennial’s and he holds an MFA from Yale University. (Check out his work here.)
As I delve further into growing One River School nationally, I remain deeply committed to finding like-minded people to collaborate with. I also am hopeful that more of these people exist right here in our community. It takes a vision to build something special but even more important is finding people who can challenge my assumptions and add new ideas.
Take a look at the work Mike and William Patterson are doing. I believe they are on the front end of the curve…developing more creative young adults. And more creative people will simply make us a better society.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverUniversity #WilliamPatersonUniversity