Jennings Institute Session 1

Creating Cultures of Thinking in Classrooms and Schools: Stuff You Can Use on Monday

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2020
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Presenters: Jason Blair, Elementary Art Teacher & Creativity Specialist; Dr. Fred Burton, Associate Professor of Education, Ashland University

In order to challenge the status quo, and continue to push our society forward, we need to grow the creative capacities of each and every child and adult. This workshop will show teachers, principals, and support staff how to create a culture of thinking in their classrooms and schools. Participants will learn:

  1. How to apply the 8 Cultural Forces to classroom instruction across the curriculum;
  2. Experience and be given several “thinking routines” that can be immediately used in the classroom with students (and staff); and
  3. Learn how to make learning and thinking visible to others inside and outside the classroom.

Participants will learn that creativity is not just a product to admire, it is a process and a way of experiencing and contributing to the world.  Attendees will participate in a variety of experiences, see the concepts demonstrated in various classrooms, and receive handouts that can be followed up after the workshop.  Finally, participants will learn practical ways to grow the creative capacities of all learners, while growing their own as well.

Meet the Presenters

Jason Blair - Elementary Art Teacher & Creativity Specialist

Jason Blair believes the creativity of our children will change the world. A 15 year veteran arts educator, everyday he steps into his arts studio, he learns from the creative geniuses he teaches. He believes to empower students to tap into their creative capacities, educators must nurture their own growth as creative change agents. To empower creativity in his students, Blair believes the educator must be the classroom creativity whisperer, building a community in which creativity is valued and being different is not just safe, but celebrated. Jason received his MA in art education from The Ohio State University. Currently, he teaches elementary art at Eli Pinney Elementary School in Dublin, Ohio.




Dr. Fred Burton - Associate Professor of Education, Ashland University

The “throughline” of Fred Burton’s 40 years as an educator has been progressive education. In addition to being a long time PZC Summer Institute faculty member, he has worked as an elementary school teacher in public progressive schools in Wyoming and Ohio. His favorite educational experiences include: attending the first PZC Institute in 1996; studying at the Mountain View Center with the late David Hawkins; attending a Reggio Emilia Institute in Italy; and editing a book and producing a dvd on Making Learning Visible with Mara Krechevsky and Melissa Rivard. For 13 years he was the principal of Wickliffe Progressive Elementary School, a public school in Upper Arlington, Ohio. He is currently an associate professor in the college of education at Ashland University and is the Visiting Education Scholar at the Columbus Museum of Art. Although he has published various articles and given talks on what he has learned about the integrated curriculum and school culture, he believes his experience as a guitarist in a “classic rock” jam band has taught him a great deal about the value of group learning and improvisation in education. It’s also gotten him a lot of free food and drinks.


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