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March 21-23, 2015
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2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

2015 ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence

June 2628, 2015
Nashville, Tenn.

Invest in the power of great instruction and learn how to leverage it in classrooms and school districts.



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Habits of Mind Across the Curriculum

Edited by Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick

Table of Contents

Chapter 6. An Artistic Application of Habits of Mind

by Nadine McDermott

A firm grounding in the arts teaches practical skills and such characteristics as self-discipline and critical thinking. The arts naturally embrace paradox and ambiguity; to study them is to learn flexible thinking. Those who have trained in an art form are more likely not only to grasp the nuances in real life, say the experts, but also to persevere in finding novel solutions to everyday problems.
—Susan Gaines, "The Art of Living"

The schoolroom stage was set at the Bronxville School in Bronxville, New York: no windows, 52 black chairs, a Steinway grand piano, a portable chalkboard, students, and teacher. The students arrived to participate in a music class requiring multidimensional processes that were physical, intellectual, and emotional. The teacher's goals were clear to her: to teach these students to sing and to prepare them for a musical performance twice a year. The students' goals also seemed clear: to enjoy 48 minutes socializing with their friends and to spend very little time singing.


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