Leonard Bernstein Center
Artful Learning, supported by the Leonard Bernstein Center, has worked with Wright staff to implement this school reform model based on Bernstein’s belief that that the process of experiencing the arts, provides a fundamental way to instill a lifelong love of learning in children. The model; experience, inquire, create, reflect, starts with a Masterwork experience. Students learn about a painting, photograph, song, or other art piece. This immediate engagement leaves students curious to learn more. The Significant Question guides the inquiry and students use a variety of research techniques to delve into the content. As students inquire, new understandings develop and connections are made. After the learning, students design and complete an Original Creation – a tangible, artistic manifestation that demonstrates their understanding of the new knowledge. This final product is then ready for presentation. Finally, students reflect on their learning. This process is documented through narratives, maps and metaphors that enable students to make connections to their lives and the world around them.
Wright teachers have completed three phases of training. Teachers mapped their standards in order to develop interdisciplinary units and create inquiry centers for learning. Teachers were introduced to more than a dozen arts-based strategies that will be infused across the curriculum for increased student understanding and cognitive development. Although the training was intense and took the teachers out of the classroom, every teacher left feeling renewed as teachers and anxious to employ this new model of instruction.