Mindful And More

I decided, after listening to an interview of Ellen Langer, to read more about her mindfulness research. Having done so, I certainly appreciate her insight into mindfulness generally, and for education specifically, but I’m skeptical about her proposed solutions.

Her research, Langer explains, focuses on the costs of mindlessness and the benefits, including greater control and more opportunities, of mindfulness. “Mindlessness,” she (2014) maintains, is “pervasive” and contributes to “virtually all of our problems” (xiii). Mindfulness, which as Langer understands it involves attention to context and variability, creates heightened awareness of and more control over contexts, as well as increased authenticity, new possibilities, and more hope and change (xviii, xxv-xxvi). Moreover, it can make work more like play and play as important as work, and it can lead to changes in the ways see others and ourselves, as well as our health, abilities, and even happiness (xxvi).   Continue reading “Mindful And More”

Sculptors As Storytellers

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I always thought that sculptures were more like snapshots, but I learned, after exploring the Rodin exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago, these art works can embody stories.

On one wall is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, who claimed that people were weary, in 1886, of “statutes that say nothing” and that Auguste Rodin offered statutes “that live and speak, and speak things worth uttering,” which was clearly evident in this exhibit. These selections by the AIC from its own and private collections showed me how sculpture can, in the serpentine twists, for example, of Eve’s body, evoke and create context. In so doing, it can situate these artworks in the world of storytelling and other forms of meaning-making.  Continue reading “Sculptors As Storytellers”