PATRICIA FRISCHER, the coordinator of the San Diego Visual Arts Network, writes these occasional notes. You are invited to comment on them and all comments will be read. SDVAN has the ability to choose which comments to publish and anonymous comments will not be posted nor will links to commercial or spam sites. We are grateful to you for taking the time to read this blog and invite you join this mailing list or that of www.sdvisualarts.net
Holistic Education: Civic Innovation Challenge for the Innovation Incubator
The US is 26th in the world in average internet speed. We look out at a powerful ocean but do not harness its energy to be relieved of the need for fossil fuel or convert it to make us fresh water independent. Our infrastructure would be devastated when a large earthquake strikes our region.
The challenge of finding solutions for these problems depends on our creativity and the ability to work as a team and stop political posturing and greed. We do need to develop the ability to really communicate and collaborate.
My civic challenge is how we restructure our educational system in such a way to teach holistically instead of teaching subject by subject. How would the curriculum change, how would the schools physically need to be altered, how would teachers need to communicate in a new way, how would standards need to be responsive to needs instead of an ideal set of criteria?
San Diego is still like the Wild West, fluid in its development and not as set in its ways as any other large city. That is why it is possible for this to happen here. San Diego could finally take pride in a really remarkable achievement which could be a pilot for a new way of educating in our future. We could lose the fun and sun only label and take pride in our community on every level.
It appears that many San Diegan have the idea that if we were to become more advanced, we would lose our small town feel and all the cozy comfort that provides. But I see a future where we still have our small communities but we also have the advantage of a true big city. Sophistication does not need to be “either or”. It can be “and”. We don’t need to choose one or the other, but we can be amongst both. For my challenge local and region wide educational bodies would come together. Schools teachers, advisors, administrator, school boards, advocacy group and students and parent would all be impacted.
A small example of a solution would be to devise a way for art studios and science labs to share the same space. Start teaching these subjects together instead of separately. Stop assuming that some people are artists and some are scientist. Both subjects can be learned and learning them together will aid the creative flow. Working together means solutions to the multitude of large challenges facing us becomes a hopeful activity.