This is the online stream for sharing conversations that happened throughout the Greater Bay Area from March through June 2012 around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

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Hello from Ann Wettrich

Name Ann Wettrich
Date of conversation Thursday, March 29, 2012
Conversation Participants Masako Kalabach
Kristin Palm
Amanda Wilkening
Brandy Gardner
Ann Wettrich
Meeting Topics? Interrogating the framing question, the group asked: what is the purpose of public education in the larger world and then discussed distopian realities and ideals aims, that led to consideration of the role of art within education.
Where are we now? Share key takeaways
Pushing back on the question, we discussed negative connotations and damaging perceptions of education based on personal experiences–issues of power and control, teacher as authority figure and expert showing the right and wrong way to do things. Issues of inequity and fragmentation were brought up. Ideas re education in a democracy were also discussed–it should be free, a right and not a privilege and should provide students with the tools to function in life, and the room to explore ideas and form their own values. We discussed the role of creative and critical thinking and how art education can be structured to support integrative thinking (or not).
Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways
Connections were made between art, entrepreneurism and technology and considered how this is opening alternative pathways to careers. We thought about this in relationship to class divides and disparity of access to resources and education–raising the question: Is it necessary to go to college to learn these skills? We discussed technology as a resource and code as a language and how education and the arts can help to support the creative and critical use of media and how the internet allows wide access. Do students need to be taught how to navigate and use it well or is this something they can pick up on their own? We discussed the pros and cons of video games and learned about video games that promote creativity like guitar hero and code hero/code academy.
How Should we get there? Share key takeaways The conversation was generative in helping us think more about these questions in relationship to our lives and work…expanding our head space beyond the day-to-day work concerns and deadlines.
Next Steps? MOCHA is entering into a strategic planning process in April.
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