“Steve is the heart of our Arts in Education master’s program. Without his warmth, his thoughtful leadership, and his incredible generosity of time, that program — and this community as a whole — would simply not be the same,” Ryan said. “Steve is also recognized internationally as an expert in arts education, working with organizations such as the Tate Museums in London and Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project here at Harvard. This promotion is a small measure of appreciation for the tremendous amount that Steve has given to his students and to the field of education over the past 16 years.”
Seidel joined the HGSE faculty in 1998. His research has largely focused on arts education and the improvement of teaching and assessment across elementary and secondary settings. Most recently, Seidel completed Arts Survive, a study of the sustainability of arts education partnerships.
“It is lovely to be acknowledged with this new appointment. I have spent over 25 years of my professional life on Appian Way, following almost 18 years as an actor, stage director, and high school teacher. It has been a nonstop learning experience for me from first day I arrived on this campus,” Seidel said. “I tend to learn from those around me and, here at HGSE, I’m surrounded by people — students, staff, and faculty — who have been exceptional teachers. I feel so fortunate and look forward to continuing my education here. Since my focus is on life and learning at the intersections of the arts and education, there seems to always be considerable work ahead to ensure that high-quality arts learning experiences are available to all through our public schools and out-of-school settings. Sadly, this isn’t the case, so it is wonderful that there is a space here at HGSE for those committed to this vision to come together, study, and build the skills and understandings required to move forward toward this goal.”
Before coming to the school, Seidel taught high-school theater and language arts in the Boston area for 17 years. During his time at HGSE, Seidel has continued to remain passionate about arts education and sharing his work with others. He also convenes a monthly discussion group on collaborative assessment for educators: ROUNDS at Project Zero.
In 2008, Seidel received the Crystal Quill Award from the Shakespeare Festival/LA for his impact using professional theater to enchant, enrich, and build community.