"We are living a public life on a global stage, the ones who can express themselves best, will be heard." -Laura Hill, Author The Great Story World Mix-Up, co-creator #whatisschool

Read the books I write with my children.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Contemporary Art In Education Spotlight

Memes, Dreams and Genes 

The spread of information likened to a virus, worshiped as an art, able to shape opinions and bring down or elevate the great and small alike.  Memes are the voice of a generation and their appeal is contagious.  

We live surrounded by art. It is fed directly to us every day.  We hold it in our hand.  It's allure determines where our attention is placed.  It shapes what we stand for, has changed to way we spend our time and the way we go to business. 

Art is the central focus of our world and as our ability to communicate on a global platform expands we find ourselves increasingly immersed in shared experiences rich in culture, color, sound and tone.  The art we view on visual platforms help determine which experiences we choose to partake in.  More and more the influencers are not large companies but diverse groups of youth and adults drawn together by media such as memes. 

So why is art one of the most diminished curriculum in many schools today?

It may surprise you to learn the term “meme” was first used in biology. It was coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his famous book, The Selfish Gene. The premise behind the phrase is that cultural ideas replicate and transmit from one person to another much like the way genes replicate and are passed on through generations. 

Memes reflect our innate desire to not only mimic but to belong and to build upon an idea that is presented adding our own unique twist.    Starting with small pockets of individuals the art mutates and changes as it is shared.  The audience grows and becomes global.

Memes as a learning tool can help students master and build on lessons.

The initial art can be a simple cartoon or an intricate painting.  It can be an everyday object, or celebrity photo.  Often the initial art uses animals or regular people. Regardless of its imagery the art is used to convey an emotional reaction that is tied to a popular statement or situation that is often thought provoking or controversial in nature.  As the meme becomes more popular its ability to deliver information increases rapidly infiltrating many disparate cultures with its message.  

Memes can stimulate discussion on controversial topics.  

Memes have evolved pop art so it is no longer a passive experience, images are no longer created simply to be admired and analyzed.  They take art to a new level of experience in which the audience shares in the role of artist and, as technology continues to evolve and the rules of creation are thrown away to make room for new techniques, the mediums of expression will continue to change promising to bring breathe taking innovations to the art experience and the way we communicate in the future.

Laura Hill (Timpanaro)

Monday, May 1, 2017

#Whatisschool Thursday, March 2, 2017 6pm EST
Creativity in the classroom, a tool for educators and future leaders.

What if the classroom you imagine was suddenly yours, what would it be like? 

How would you put the wheels in motion to create your classroom? Who would you enlist to help?

Entertainers, The Blue Man Group, sensing a gap in how schools operated strove to bring their love of creativity and inquiry to the classroom by creating the NYC based BlueMan School.  As part of the curriculum, students in grades 2 to 8 come up with ways to improve recycling, create 3D models of New York City, and fix home appliances.  It's a system of "dynamic learning" where students are taught that creating and implementing novel ideas is a critical set of skills.

What critical set of skills would you like to see implemented in your school?  And how can creativity be used not just artistically, but as a mindset through which educators seek out new ways to bring their ideas to life? 

This Thursday join me, Laura Hill (@candylandcaper) and celebrated educator and guest host Mark Weston (@shiftparadigm) as #whatisschool explores ways to implement "out-of-the-box" education that fosters creativity and won’t make you go out of your mind.

Questions #whatisschool Thursday March 2, 2017

1) How can you apply creativity to education to find new and better ways to teach students?

2) What resources could you use to help students and educators bring creative learning to life?

3) How can you foster and sustain a culture of creative learning in your classroom? 

4) How can you integrate a culture of creative problem solving into faculty meetings, PD days and peer-to-peer learning?

5) What resources, technologies, experts, entities or celebrities could you enlist to model and bring a culture of creativity to life in your classroom?

6) What is the singular, critical change you could make today that would make the classroom you envision a reality?

Got a creative school?  We want to know!  Post a link to your school's creativity in the comments section below and share it with the #whatisschool PLN and the world!  No idea is ever too big or too small and besides, one small seed can grow a mammoth tree.

Here are some of our favorites https://tinyurl.com/glx8h2n

Please support Mark and I as we share our views and our own creative expressions at

Join me, Laura Hill, for a new art show the month of MARCH at PJFL