To thrive in today’s complex world, skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity are essential. To build such skills, more and more schools are focusing on STEAM approaches that offer integrative learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. For decades, researchers at Project Zero have explored how the arts offer unique and powerful opportunities to cultivate these and other powerful skills and dispositions.
What does it mean to think critically in the arts?
How do creativity and collaboration thrive?
How does learning in the arts cultivate a student’s sense of voice, ethics and agency?
This two-day conference will offer plenaries and workshops that explore these questions and offer pedagogical tools, strategies, and frameworks developed by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero. The conference will specifically highlight practices that address one or more of the following strands of research at Project Zero:
Artful Thinking & Studio Thinking: The arts offer unique opportunities to develop habits of mind that have positive impacts on student learning across the curriculum. How can the arts strengthen student thinking and learning? How do teachers use the arts as an opportunity for developing students’ thinking dispositions? What are the core intellectual behaviors grounded in the arts that can be extended to classes across the curriculum?
Arts & Civic Participation: How do arts experiences help learners develop skills for local and global civic participation such as voicing ideas, understanding perspectives, telling stories, giving critical feedback, and taking action on issues that matter most to them? How do the arts offer opportunities for learners to develop global competencies necessary for democratic and connected societies?
Agency by Design: How do designing, tinkering, hacking and making support student thinking and learning? How can we develop students’ disposition to look closely and the explore complexity around them? In what ways do maker pedagogies go beyond engagement and develop student empowerment and agency?
Collaboration & Participatory Creativity: How do teachers and students come together to co-create and innovate? What insights can be gained from artful co-creation? How do schools support more distributed and participatory forms of creativity with learners?
The first day of the conference will take over the Woodruff Arts Center campus, with a focus on Atlanta’s wonderful High Museum of Art. The second day will be held at the Atlanta International School, located in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Buckhead neighborhood.
Project Zero is an educational research group at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Project Zero’s mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels.