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Valuing Work
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November (2012)
Learning Styles
October (2012)
Finding Time...
Proctor’s breadth of programming allows students to explore more than 135 academic courses, including more than 30 courses in the arts. Ranging from ceramics to boat building, to digital media, to metal sculpture, our art curriculum is integral to each student’s experience. However, despite being one of our greatest assets as a school, the breadth of programming can also present obstacles from time to time.

During last week’s faculty meeting, we engaged in a lengthy conversation exploring how we can better expose our freshmen and sophomores to the arts at Proctor. For our underclassmen, core requirements, Learning Skills tutorials, and freshmen seminar limits available class blocks during the academic day that could otherwise be used for art electives.

We often wish we could do it all, but as I work with advisees to fill out four year plans during advisory tomorrow morning, we will once again bump into the unfortunate reality of scarcity and finite time.

Proctor’s academic options are incredibly broad; no student would ever be able to take even half of the courses offered. However, despite this breadth of curriculum, our hope is that students also find disciplines into which they want to develop depth. Striking this balance of exploration and indepth study is what makes a Proctor education so enticing.

Integration of the arts into other classes and afternoon programming provides additional access of the arts to all students. This past week, Spanish classes welcomed a group of Nicaraguan dancers from Compas de Nicaragua into classes on before attending a dance performance Friday evening in the Norris Family Theater. While our guests from Nicaragua were dancers, they shared far more than their ability to dance with our community. As ambassadors of their culture, their stories of life as women living in Managua left a lasting impact on those of us who had the privilege of visiting with them.

Our conversation around the arts is not one that will be resolved overnight, as it will take a combination of historical precedent, integration into the overall curriculum, and creative solutions to address the issue. Regardless of how this ‘problem’ is solved, we know this is a good problem to have. We are thankful we have such a strong arts program and excited about all the different options to which we want each student exposed during his or her time at Proctor!
The arts at Proctor are integral to each student's experience.
However, for some of our younger students, we have observed competing academic requirements limiting the number of 9th and 10th graders accessing the arts.
Faculty spent considerable time discussing solutions to this 'problem' last week, and will continue conversations well into the future.
Integrating the arts into other areas of study is one way to bridge the 'access gap' for younger students, just as Spanish classes did this past week by having a group of Nicaraguan dancers visit for the day.
As we work collaboratively to figure out how to provide greater access to the arts for younger students, we acknowledge this is a good problem to have as students are excited to engage in the arts AND are excited about so many other academic offerings.