This article originally appeared in the Harvard Gazette.
“We all live at the intersection of art and learning, and there’s always more to learn,” Steven Seidel told a group of educators at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on Thursday.
Seidel, director of the Arts in Education masters program at HGSE, spoke in Askwith Hall about the lack of passion-driven learning in so many schools, and called for learning approaches that focus on joy, allowing students to be inspired and supported in their desires. “Nothing without joy,” a quote from the Italian educator Loris Malaguzzi (1920-94), is a guiding principle that Seidel would inscribe atop the school entrances.
There had been much joy on display the previous evening at the kickoff of the second annual professional development program for educators and artists presented by the Silk Road Project in collaboration with the HGSE. At the Farkas Hall event, Seidel engaged in a passion-driven discussion with renowned cellist and Silk Road Project founder Yo-Yo Ma about how the arts can enhance learning. The conversation was followed (or perhaps continued) with a crowd-delighting musical performance by the Silk Road Ensemble, under Ma’s artistic direction. Affiliated with Harvard, the Silk Road Project explores connections between the arts and academics. The ensemble has performed at many schools, supporting its goal of promoting arts and education.
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