Vision Statement Draft ☆

| February 19, 2013

Performing Arts Learning and Teaching Exchange (PALxT) : Vision Statement (draft)

We know of no supportive environment in which performing arts educators, at any level of experience, may explore their craft freely and openly. All too often, performing arts teacher training—when it exists at all—is conducted in an unsystematic manner; worse, teacher trainers frequently use surprisingly constricting pedagogical methods that are at odds with the expressive and creative power of their subject matter. Inevitably, the pressure to achieve perfection all but destroys the wonder and awe creativity can engender.

We believe that when performing artists are not actualizing themselves in their training, their education falls far short of its transformative potential. However, when performing artists give their students more than just technical instruction, when they design and enact lessons with the same measure and quality of creativity they bring to their own work as artists, they transform themselves into catalysts that empower students to reach beyond their limitations and attain unimagined levels of expressive self-realization.

For this reason, we look to engage one another in a vibrant, dynamic community of performing artists, teachers, learners, and/or all of the above, who are actively and regularly engaged in honing the craft of teaching as a creative act. We envision a safe, supportive space in which this community may take shape, during informal gatherings in which its members

  • try things out
  • exchange ideas
  • allow themselves to be vulnerable
  • experiment with new ideas
  • explore new terrain and make discoveries
  • find out what works and doesn’t work, and why
  • fail without shame
  • grapple with difficult issues
  • take an honest look in the mirror, and fully accept what they see there
  • succeed
  • let go of insecurities and inhibiting habits
  • surprise themselves
  • share their insights, experience, expertise, and wisdom
  • bear witness to each other’s dance with uncertainty
  • open themselves up to the transformative power of artistry
  • raise questions
  • develop and test theories, philosophies, paradigms
  • remove barriers
  • create useful structures, scaffolding, or frames that enable students to grow
  • design and enact lessons in low stakes settings
  • let go of the plan when indicated
  • discard outworn beliefs
  • challenge assumptions
  • support and inspire one another
  • create fresh opportunities for each other and their students

We would love to hear comments, questions, additions, subtractions… All comments welcome.