Teachers across the country face mounting pressure to help students achieve state and national standards. With expectations continually increasing, these teachers are searching for strategies that incorporate new curriculum standards in creative, meaningful and purposeful ways. As I listen to requests from teachers and librarians in my district and throughout the nation, I hear them ask for materials that help accomplish these goals. While the curriculum ― the what ― is set by local, state and national standards, the delivery ― the how ― is left to the classroom teacher. For our educational system to work, it is vital to teach content with a thematic approach that employs authentic material designed to excite and to stimulate the student. The Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide is a dynamic interdisciplinary tool for just such an approach.
This pioneering multimedia guide engages students in active learning in two vital ways. Not only do students meet diverse real people telling their stories, performing their music and demonstrating their richly varied crafts, they also explore the traditions and cultural heritage of their own families and communities through easily adaptable activities and lessons that teach important literacy skills. The most effective learning occurs when students develop an in-depth understanding of knowledge that they can use in school and in life. To develop this kind of understanding, learners must extend and refine the knowledge that they initially acquire in a way that helps them to make new connections, discover or rediscover meanings, gain insights and clarify misconceptions. The Masters of Traditional Arts Education Guide lays out the process for such meaningful instruction by offering creative methodologies and multi-layered, authentic content in several media forms.
Educators, students and parents can use this guide to discover many people, ideas, art forms and ways to link youths with their elders, families, neighborhoods, other cultural groups and the larger community.
Director of Library and Media Services
Irving Independent School District, Irving, Texas
2000 ALA National School Library Media Program of the Year