The Horace Mann School in Bronx, New York, held the first Re-Imagining Education: The Teacher as Social Artist program June 14-16, 2012 and the second one June 12-14, 2014.
The conference was first envisioned in 2007 and evolved throughout the subsequent five years to become the first “Introduction to Social Artistry” designed specifically for school faculty, staff and administrators and the first to be sponsored by an educational institution.
Drawing on the work of Dr. Houston and Dr. Howard Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future, among other sources, the conference supported participants in exploring and developing their human capacities and the social analysis and social capacities that can enable one to look afresh at curriculum, classroom dynamics, schools and the societal expectations and systems that impact the educational process.
Participants had opportunities to work individually and in small groups on curriculum development informed by the practices and concepts presented at the conference.
This is a historic period of transformation. The knowledge, skills and ethical stances that students develop will be crucial to the future of the planetary community. As educators there is an amazing opportunity to make a difference.
For further information about the program, visit the Horace Mann School website:
What Past Participants Say:
I can say without hesitation that it was one of the best designed, thoughtfully researched, professionally presented, and innovative workshops I have experienced. The content was relevant to every aspect of the life of the School, every discipline and every office in the School that exists to support our collective efforts to nurture “great and giving lives” in our students.
—Environmental Educator & Administrator
I felt that I regained new energy, not only physically but spiritually as well…. I feel I can make a significant difference in my teaching, school, and community with my new desire, hope, energy, and tools that I acquired from this conference.
I felt that singing and dancing together brought us—all 50 unique individuals—together as one. … (and) made me forget my age—freedom within the structure!
Singing and dancing together created a joyful feeling among our group of strangers. It was the perfect way for us to feel comfortable with one and other.
The exercise of deep listening and imagining taught me how to be more receptive to others and how to expand my mind. It made me want to try it with family and friends.
I especially enjoyed the walk in silence around the campus. A walk I take most days turned into a journey of exploration of sky, shapes, colors, sounds, textures and feelings. For the first time, I noticed objects I had never seen before yet have always been there.
The pacing of the days worked well. Shifting from sitting and listening to speakers to actively dancing and singing kept everyone “on their toes”.
—School Library Staff Member