Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blianadh Bha Ur and Arrivederci

Blianadh Bha Ur; that's Scottish Gaelic for Happy New Year and it's arrivederci to Professor Jonathan Silverman who, along with his family lands in Italy this week to complete his six month sabbatical leave. Jonathan is the coordinator of the Arts Education programs in the Education Department at St. Michael's as well as an active leader in Arts Education on the national level.

In his own words, Professor Silverman's research has a focus on "interdisciplinary learning through dance and clay". To my own naive mind it sounds like he's making clay models of ballerinas but knowing Jonathan it's something far more exciting and valuable to the profession. I have always thought Professor Silverman's ideas embody the interdisciplinary essence of the Teacher Education programs at St. Mike's. Jonathan, his wife Martha Ming Whitfield and his two daughters will be living in Bassano del Grappa. He will conduct his research with students at the International School in Rosa just outside Bassano.

There are actually two Arts Education programs in the Education Department at St. Mike's. One program leads to Arts licensure in the full preK-12 range while the other is just for those who want to focus on PreK - 6. Jonathan works really closely with faculty members in the Art Department as well as those in the Education Department. Professor Silverman also helps direct the Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler School in Burlington. This is a collaborative project between the Burlington School District and St. Mike's.

We all wish him a wonderful six months in Italy.

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