The Architecture of Wonder: Literacies, Languages, and the Imagination
And I think that if I and other teachers truly want to provoke our students to break through the limits of the conventional and the taken for granted, we ourselves have to experience breaks with what has been established in our own lives; we have to keep arousing ourselves to begin again.
Are you ready for a professional adventure?
The Habla Summer Institute is a professional development experience in Merida, Mexico, for all educators interested in activating their own creativity and finding new ways to make the arts part of the daily life of their classrooms.
Work with international leaders in the field of education and the arts at the weeklong Habla Teacher Institute. Habla documents and shares best practices for using the arts to transform schools and communities. At this institute you will experience these best practices, share your own, and learn ways to fuse the arts with literacy in your educational setting.
What will we do?
The Habla Teacher Institute will be led in English and Spanish. No Spanish language background is necessary.
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.” - Rachel Carson
The 2013 Habla Teacher Institute will explore the ways we can nurture wonder and imagination in our classrooms for students of every age. We will examine aspects of “wonder” as both a sense of the marvelous and as a catalyst for inspiring inquiry. At the beginning of the week participants will develop their own inquiry questions that will serve as a roadmap for reflecting on their own teaching practice. Throughout the Institute teachers will have ample time for sharing their own work with other educators from around the world.
Unlike many professional development experiences, the Habla institute is not a series of disconnected presentations and workshops. A team of leaders in the fields of literacy, language and the arts collaborate on a continuous series of experiences, each building on the previous, modeling an integrated and continuous process of learning. Reading, writing, and creating through art forms are presented holistically, inviting connections between disciplines.
To see the itinerary for this year's institute click here.
How you will benefit
Who is the institute for?
In past Teacher Institutes participants gathered from Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Canada, England, France, Italy, and Australia from a range of professional backgrounds including
Although everyone of any professional background is welcome, the institute is especially relevant for
How safe is Merida?
Merida is a very safe city where it feels comfortable to walk on the streets any day or night. We are far from the drug violence in other parts of Mexico. This article in CNN points out that Merida is safer than Wichita, Kansas in the United States. If you have any hesitation regarding safety in Merida please write us at email@example.com and we will answer your questions or put you directly in touch with people who visited for previous education programs and can tell you about their experience.
This is a current list of confirmed presenters.
Patricia Sobral was educated in Brazil and the United States and has lived all her life between and in the midst of several cultures. She holds a Ph.D. in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies from Brown University, where she is currently a faculty member. She is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies. Patricia teaches a number of courses in Portuguese via the arts (intensive, intermediate, media, film, and performance), and two courses in English, a first-year seminar, Belonging and Displacement: Cross-Cultural Identities and Artful Teaching: Integrating the arts and foreign and second language acquisition. Patricia Sobral is the recipient of the 2012 Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning at Brown and the Undergraduate Student Council Award for Teaching and Advising. She is co-author of Ponto de Encontro and Viajando através do alfabeto and the upcoming Mapeando o Português através das Artes (Nov 2013). She integrates the performing, visual, digital and literary arts to enhance language acquisition, deepen cultural awareness, and demonstrate how the arts can promote change.
Cynthia Weiss Cynthia is an award-winning public artist, painter, and educator. She directs the Arts Integration Mentorship Project, Project AIM, at the Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Columbia College Chicago. Cynthia is co-editor with Amanda Lichtenstein of a new Columbia College publication; AIMprint: New Relationships in the Arts and Learning, and co-editor with Gail Burnaford and Arnold Aprill of Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning, 2001. Cynthia is fluent in Spanish and always inspired by translations across art forms, language and culture.
Larry Scripp is a senior faculty member at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where he created the nationally recognized Music-in-Education Concentration for teaching artists, led the formation of a national learning laboratory school network, and produced the Journal for Music-in-Education. He is also founding director, senior researcher, and principal ‘guided practices’ consultant at the Center for Music-in-Education.
Kurt Wootton is a co-founder and director of Habla and one of the founding directors of the ArtsLiteracy Project in the Education Department at Brown University. He has piloted several lab schools in the United States, Brazil, and Mexico and worked with Boston, St. Paul, Providence, and Central Falls on multi-year, district-wide initiatives. Wootton is often called upon to give university lectures and keynote speeches including recent talks at Harvard University, the Arts Education Partnership, and the International Conference on Arts and Functional Illiteracy in Rio de Janeiro. He is the coauthor of A Reason to Read: Linking Literacy and the Arts published by Harvard Education Press. The New York Times writes, "Mr. Wootton remains every bit as convinced of education's power to transform lives. He has changed his tool of choice, however, from a mirror in which students see only reflections of themselves to a window that opens onto the rest of the world."
María del Mar Pátron-Vazquez is a co-founder and director of Habla and a PhD candidate in the Hispanic Studies Department at Brown University. She specializes on the intersection of community and Latin American literature and the arts. She has lectured internationally and led teacher workshops on language, art, and culture in partnership with the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University and the ArtsLiteracy Project at Brown University.
Arnold Aprill is the Founding and Creative Director of CAPE, comes from a background in professional theater as an award-winning director, producer and playwright. He has taught at the University of Chicago, National-Louis University, Columbia College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is one of the co-editors with Cynthia Weiss and Gail Burnaford of Renaissance in the Classroom: Arts Integration and Meaningful Learning. He consults nationally and internationally on the role of the arts in effective school improvement. He has been recognized for exceptional leadership by the Chicago Community Trust and by the Leadership for a Changing World initiative supported by the Ford Foundation.
Nick Rabkin is a Senior Research Scientist at Academic Research Centers, NORC, in the University of Chicago. Nick Rabkin’s career in the arts began with work for Chicago’s Organic Theater Company, producing new works for the stage. He was the deputy commissioner of cultural affairs for Chicago under Mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley. Rabkin was also the senior program officer for the arts and culture at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for a decade. He directed the Center for Arts Policy at Columbia College Chicago until 2008. His priority in all of those positions was advancing the arts in communities and education. He has written widely on arts education, including Putting the Arts in the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century (2005), and a recent monograph on arts education and arts participation for the National Endowment for the Arts. Rabkin recently completed the first large scale study of teaching artists at NORC at the University of Chicago, and is a research affiliate of the Center for Cultural Policy at the University.
João Kulcsár has pioneered approaches to teaching photography in Brazil working with students of every age. For the last fifteen years he has taught photography to blind high school and college students and has offered university-level photography courses for students with a range of disabilities. He has received a Fulbright for his work and was a Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He has also been identified as a “cultural agent” by the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University. He has experience in photography, visual literacy, citizenship through art-making, and has worked on initiatives in Brazil working with economically disadvantaged youth. He is currently a professor in the Faculty of Communication at Senac University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Laura Reeder is an art education faculty member at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. For 20+ years, she has advocated for creative engagement: as a K-12 art teacher, arts education funder, community worker, ALT/space editor with Teaching Artist Journal, and now as a trainer for future arts education professionals. Laura instigates arts-based reform with an urban, dual-language school in Syracuse, NY. She is curriculum coordinator for a US Department of Education arts education research project with rural schools on Long Island, and a facilitator with the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education. Her art explores effects of schooling on artistic development.
Darcy Rogers is the Founder of Organic Language Acquisition (OLA), a revolutionary methodology for second language learning. Her work focuses on creating a space for second language to be naturally acquired. Students develop language through movement, play, complete immersion and a strong emphasis on the importance of creating community in the classroom. She has 14 years teaching experience and for the past two years has been presenting at national conferences and working with schools to implement OLA internationally.
Darío Bernal Villegas is a drummer, composer and improviser, originally from Mexico City, trained in Mexico and London. Improvisation is an essential part of his job as a music creator, both in his openly improvised pieces and his compositions. He seeks to create an intense and creative interaction between musicians and the score, fostering the conditions for a fruitful dialogue between performer and composer. He is known for helping students create original, modern compositions using a variety of instruments and found objects.
Dates: July 13-19, 2013
There are many beautiful hotels and homes for rent in Merida. Here are a few of our favorites. Hotels do fill up quickly for this time of year so book your hotel room as early as possible.
We recommend the following:
Partners for the Habla Institute Include
Comments about past teacher institutes:
"The institute was so planned out and professional but also offered that personal touch. The environment allowed for immediate vulnerabilities to be shared and for long-lasting friendships to be forged. I am permanently changed as a person and teacher as a result of the institute - and that has not usually been the case with teaching seminars/institutes. I will be back!!!!!!"
Kelly Lane, 1st Grade Teacher
"When I reflect about the institute, I cannot think of it as divided by days and hours and sessions, moments of work, or conversation, or performance. In retrospect, it seems to be like a timeless intense moment in which we went from one layer of depth to another, guided by discovery and wonder. Working and collaborating on equal footing with everyone, regardless of who we were and what we did, was truly revealing, profound and inspiring for me. It gave me a glimpse of what could be achieved by working in this manner with our students and colleagues. I had never before had the opportunity nor the privilege of working with such talented yet humble, wonderful artists and other educators from different walks of life. It was as if all of a sudden, I had become another person or maybe the real me that had been hidden, fearful of showing itself to others. It was an experience of deep joy, peace, inspiration and energy."
Nidia Schumacher, Director of the Language Program in Hispanic Studies at Brown University
"I learned how well the exploration of text and writing could be enriched through work in the art forms. Sometimes we focus too much on the medium and technique in the arts – not on what you will use the medium to express. The opportunities to read and write during the institute gave me something I wanted to have images for. This was very apparent as everyone eagerly worked on their book projects. I was amazed in how rich and personal the final products were."
Ruth Piispanen, Arts Education Director, Idaho Commission on the Arts
"What I think it changed the most in my teaching, is the way I see myself now as a person in front of a class, how I am committed to the moment and the confidence to experiment and be more creative."
Dani Evia Duarte, Language Educator and Yoga Instructor, Mérida México
“In all honesty, my experience at the Habla Teacher Institute reaffirmed my decision to become a teacher. Being around so many dynamic educators awoke a passion that I had, until now, been stifling. The Institute made me see teaching itself as an art form and one with incredible opportunities for creativity and imagination.”
Rebekah Bergman, Brown University Student
“At the institute there was no hierarchy between the professors from Brown University or Columbia College and elementary school teachers like myself. This is extremely unusual in an education conference setting. The culture and structures at Habla echo Paulo Freire. The teachers and the students were co-learners and co-teachers in the truest sense.”
Anne Thulson, Visual Arts Educator and Artist, Denver, CO
For more information:
Photographs by Sophie Barbasch, Arnold Aprill, Morris Bowie, and Kurt Wootton
For questions about the teacher institute contact Karla Hernando at firstname.lastname@example.org