Jennings Institute Session 3

Teaching for Creativity & Civic Capacities

Date: Saturday, October 31, 2020
Time: 8:00am – 12:00pm
Presenters: Cindy Meyers Foley, Executive Deputy Director, Learning and Experience, Jennifer Lehe, Manager of Strategic Partnerships; Columbus Museum of Art

What thinking capacities matter most, now and for the future? How do we nurture imaginative, critically-aware agency, with the student at the center? While change has always been a defining characteristic of civilization, contemporary society is changing at a vastly accelerated pace. We must ask: how do we prepare youth for a largely-unknown future? Fostering the dispositions of creativity and a sense of community with room for disagreement and dialogue are essential.

This session activates a decade of evolving research between the Columbus Museum of Art and Ohio-based K-12 teachers, across disciplines, exploring creativity in learning. Using targeted thinking routines and creativity challenges, and exploring examples from a wide range of K-12 contexts, participants will explore what creativity looks like in learning, how it can be fostered, how it connects with empathy and community-mindedness, and how creativity can empower us all as agents of change toward purposeful learning.

Meet the Presenters

Cindy Meyers Foley - Executive Deputy Director, Learning and Experience

Cindy Meyers Foley is the Executive Deputy Director for Learning and Experience at the Columbus Museum of Art. She envisioned and led the charge to open the 18,000 sq. ft. Center for Creativity in 2011. In 2013, the museum received the National Medal for Museums in recognition of this work. Foley co-authored a chapter for The Manual for Museum Learning, 2015 as well as guest edited and wrote chapters for Intentionality and the Twenty-First-Century Museum, for the 2014 Journal of Museum Education. Foley is on the faculty of the Harvard Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute and regularly keynotes a variety of Museum, Library and Art Education Conferences. In November 2014, she was a TEDX Columbus Speaker presenting Teaching Art or Teaching to Think like an Artist and in 2016, she was asked to again take the TEDX Stage to present The Benefits of Boredom. Foley recently received the 2018 Ohio Distinguished Educator for Art Education award.



Jennifer Lehe - Manager of Strategic Partnerships; Columbus Museum of Art

Jennifer Lehe is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the Columbus Museum of Art. There she oversees learning programs for audiences of all ages, especially PreK-20 students and teacher professional development. Jen directed a three-year research-practice collaborative between the Museum and classroom teachers, the Making Creativity Visible initiative. Making Creativity Visible, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, investigated ways to model, foster, and authentically assess creativity in K-12 settings.

With support from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Jen has tripled the size of the Museum’s signature teacher professional development program, the Teaching for Creativity Institute, and launched the Leaders in Creativity fellowship to build teachers’ capacity to advocate beyond their classrooms. In 2018, Jen co-launched two ambitious new initiatives at the Museum: Wonder School, a laboratory preschool to develop and disseminate quality practices for early childhood educators, and the IMLS-funded Center for Art and Social Engagement – a gallery space, programming stream, and strategic framework for using art as a catalyst for civil discourse around issues of relevance to contemporary life. This year, Jen is collaborating with central Ohio teachers and researchers from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to develop a framework for Cultivating Creative and Civic Capacities.

Jen holds a Masters in Arts in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from New York University. When she’s not at the Museum, she’s gardening with her pit bull, Chompsky.

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