Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Faculty Should be a Collection of Artists

Many of us took something away from Steve Jobs' death. It wasn't his management style or his future vision I most appreciate. I look at Apple Computer as an organization that was run by a bunch of artists who approached their work as creative, cosmopolitan thinkers. Even the engineers were artists (think Wozniak). Apple thought of itself as an organization with interdisciplinary synergy. Shouldn't schools perceive themselves the same way?

Teachers and administrators who think in a content-integrated fashion will likely compel their students to react to problems with a broad, "global" perspective. Rather than seeing physics as a set of laws and principles, a globally-minded adolescent might see the science as an integral part of the way we live (think time, space, and energy as it relates to our search for immortality). Administrators who make cross-curricular connections might tackle problems with a newfound sense of creativity. A principal could take cues from history (what would Lincoln do?) and pull from his acquaintance with art (what are my creative "juices" telling me?) when resolving problems.

Apple Computer has proven that success can be bred from an intimate understanding of the interconnectedness of all subject-matter. It was the company's integration of science, technology, art, and music that had made it the most valuable corporation in the world. Schools should aspire to be the most valuable learning institutions by respecting the natural relationships among all of those things we learn.

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