Category Archives: Art and Learning

Small but Important Elements of Being with Others

I’m reposting this…..just because.

World of Possibility

In Community: The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block wrote that the key to creating or transforming community is to see the power in the small but important elements of being with others. Community and belonging have been at the center of my interest for quite some time and I’m learning to pay attention to and learn from present day interactions that provide keys to creating and transforming community. But, I’ve not thought much about past interactions from my childhood. When I did, my neighbors Kate and Ollie came to mind.

My visits with Kate and Ollie were filled with conversation.  Each time I knocked on their door, Ollie would graciously welcome me inside even though my visits were random and unannounced.  I would sit in their overstuffed chair, we would talk about our day. Kate was not well. I remember how lovingly Ollie cared for her.

What memories do…

View original post 27 more words

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Misc

Love ….Again

ValentinesDayDoodle

Leave a comment

Filed under Misc

the soil of appreciation

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”

Dalai Lama

1 Comment

Filed under Art and Learning, Community, Misc, My Art

What’s this on the cover of Janice Fialka’s new book?

Image

Why it’s my painting “A Conversation with Katie!”

3 Comments

Filed under Misc

Visual Expressions of Meaning

Last post, I shared a bit about the important difference between explanation and expression and some of my experiences with these differences. I also promised to share what happened when I invited students in my college classes to visually communicate the meaning of their learning experiences.   Here are a few amazing expressions of knowledge and insight.

Pam’s visual expression….. in her own words (condensed)

It’s name is the USS Contemplation.  Each mast contains a genre and the sails equate the outline of what I have learned during this quarter. 

The mirrors placed throughout the ship represent  ”reflections” of what we have learned.  A couple of the mirrors are placed so that individuals can see themselves.  This is to show that we have not only learned about giving speeches but have also learned things about ourselves.  I find myself  thinking and contemplating  that if the attitude of support, encouragement and kindness were displayed by the majority of people in our communities, in spite of our differences, just how much could be accomplished.  People finding common ground and working together, building each other up, helping each other, growing together for the good and betterment of everyone’s future.

Want to see more?>>>>> keep going….



6 Comments

Filed under Art and Learning, Community, Misc, Teaching

Making sense of our experiences

Sometimes, you run across an idea that jumps out and grabs your soul, not once, but again and again, resonating in thought and practice. The result is a rattling, a seismic shake-up, a new possibility that dares you to experiment with your own interpretation of the idea.  That’s what happened to me when I read Peter Reason’s and Peter Hawkins’  ‘Storytelling as Inquiry.” Reason and Hawkins take apart and reveal differences (and opportunities) between explanation and expression.

Explanation, wrote Reason and Hawkins,  is the mode of classifying, conceptualizing, and building theories from experience. Here the inquirer stands back, analyzes, discovers and invents concepts, and relates these to a theoretical model….orthodox science is an exercise in explanation – endeavoring to answer the question of what and why.

Expression is the mode of allowing the meaning of an experience to become manifest. It requires us to partake deeply of an experience, rather than stand back to analyze. Meaning is part and parcel of all experience – although it may be so interwoven with experience that it is hidden. It needs to be discovered, created, or made manifest and communicated. We work with meaning when we tell stories, write and act in plays, write poems, meditate, create pictures…..

Soon after I read this back in 2002, I started experimenting with a fresh understanding of expression and meaning by inquiring into my own experiences in pictures, in my case visual art. I ‘tried’ to enter the experience,  sense its shape, color, patterns and make it visible. Below is one example of my inquiry.

Later,  I experimented more with ‘expression’ when I invited participants in my college classes to communicate the meaning of their learning experiences.

More about this in my next post.

Reason, Peter & Hawkins, Peter 1988, “Storytelling as Inquiry” in Peter Reason (ed), Human Inquiry in Action: New Developments in New Paradigm Research, London: Sage.

4 Comments

Filed under Art and Learning, Misc, Teaching

Today is more than just another day in your life…..

 

I’m happy to pass this along.

With many blessings.

By Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg,busic is by Gary Malkin and narration is from Brother David Steindl-Rast.

2 Comments

Filed under Art and Learning, Community