An Attack on the Tower of Babel

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Resource, What's New? | 0 comments

Beverly Levett Gerber and I co-authored An Attack on the Tower of Babel: Creating a National Arts/Special Education Resource Center Excerpt: A reciprocal relationship exists between educators of the arts and educators who work with students with special needs. Arts educators far too often lack necessary information about students with diverse special needs. Special educators and classroom teachers, meanwhile, need information both about the arts and working with teachers of the arts. This observation was a recurring and frequently discussed goal at the 2012 Kennedy Center forum, “Examining the Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education: A National Forum.” Arts and special education information and research literature are currently housed in a variety of settings nationwide, rarely easy to access. How can we make that information accessible to all? Most teachers do not know that information about the arts for students with special needs exists. Arts teachers who seek information about students on the autism spectrum in their classrooms, for example, should be able to tap into that information easily (Gerber & Kellman, 2010; Kellman, 2001). The same holds true for a variety of learners. Teachers of the arts, who have had to navigate their own complicated relationships with paraeducators (paraprofessionals) in their classrooms have been without guidance and support. They should know that information about paraeducators in the art room is now available (Guay, 2010; Guay & Gerlach, 2006). In this paper, we share our professional stories to demonstrate why access to this information is so important. We offer perspectives on our rapidly changing world of information accessibility. In addition, we reflect on the differences in professional languages, an unintentional Tower of Babel. These differences are confusing. For example, the plethora of special education acronyms caused one art teacher to refer to the field as “alphabet soup.” In addition, not all categories of special needs are alike. A “one- size-fits-all” approach for students in special education has never worked and should not exist. Information should be readily available for teachers to help all students meet their potential. A national arts/special education resource center can dismantle that tower and bridge separate, but related, professions with accurate information and professional training. The visual and performing arts and arts therapies overlap in their goals to bring success to students with special needs through the arts. All have their own resources. Currently, the availability of arts/special education information is problematic. While members of a professional organization are more likely to hear of new research and publications in their own field, relatively few professionals belong to two or more organizations to access information in special education and the arts. There is a crucial need for a national arts/special education resource center to make that information accessible to all. That is the goal of this white...

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To Lead a Workshop in Chicago School District

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in What's New? | 0 comments

I’ve been invited by a Chicago-area school district to lead a staff development workshop focused on best practices for teaching art to students with special needs! Read about it here.

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Sandy

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in ArtWork, What's New? | 0 comments

Sandy

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Graduate Program Manager Participates in National Forum on Arts and Special Education

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Press, What's New? | 0 comments

I was invited to participate in a National Thought Forum to discuss a national agenda on the intersection of Arts and Special Education held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.   You can read more about it on the Moore College of Art and Design website.

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Sky, Water, Land #5

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in ArtWork | 0 comments

Sky, Water, Land #5

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