Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The big C the big I and Diversity

We had a grant meeting in DC last week for currently funded AEMDD and AEPD grants (alphabet soup and a mouthful). It was great being back in a room that included so many people who are facing similar challenges, concerns and joys. The fairly large group spent the better part of the day working in small groups which was a very productive choice. The ability to talk to each other and further our understanding and action was exceptional.
On the positive side we really could be moving forward in our agenda and the ways we integrate the work we do. At the same time I think that lurking under the surface are some meaningful differences. These are differences that we danced around at the meeting but may actually reveal fairly significant divisions in approach.
In my mind it is the big C (creativity) and big I (Integration) groups. I am a big I person- for me it is all about integration. I do not mean that I do not care about creativity, nor that I do not think pure learning in the arts is not important. Instead it is simply not what I do. I support learning in the arts in schools (kids in drama and instrumental music) and need be will fight for it- but when I write, think and teach it is all about integration.
Hopefully we will come out of this year with a conference and possibly publications that will openly discuss some of these approaches and generate some new (or old) insights and ideas for research, advocacy, and most importantly educational practice!
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