Fashion Art

A couple of instant coffee granules miss the cup as they often do first thing in the morning. With slow sleepy swipes, I mop them up while I wait for the kettle to boil. If I've managed to convey the right number of coffee granules from the coffee jar to my mug, and added precisely the right amount of sugar, milk and hot water, then it will be a good cup of coffee. But if I don't get ratio exactly right, it's yuck, which goes to show that there's an art to making a decent cup of java. Or is there? An art to making coffee, I mean.

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

Fashion Art

The question of what constitutes "Art" with a capital T has been around for a long time. People pretty much agree that making a good cup of coffee is not an art but there is still a lot of dissent about certain modes of expression like writing, movie making and fashion. There is the idea that fashion cannot be an art because it evolved from sewing and tailoring which is a craft even though tailoring has been referred to as "architecture" and the draping of fabric across the body as being "sculptural". Many designers make references to art and artistic theories and concepts in their work yet are nevertheless relegated to the ranks of the frivolous where haute couture is viewed as the fetish of the financially well-to-do. And once haute couture and runway collections have been watered down for consumption by the general public then they are seen as nothing more than financial commodities and functional apparel in the marketplace.

Another reason why fashion is not considered to be art is because, as with film making, a number of people performing different functions take part in the creation of a garment, such as the designer, fabric producer, pattern cutter and seamstress to name but a few. Because designers often don't work alone to produce a garment, they don't fit with the traditional view of the artist as a solitary genius and are therefore not considered artists even though their vision of what the garment will look like is their own.

In short, there is no clear-cut answer as to whether fashion is Art or not because there are so many ways to interpret and use an individual garment. It can be seen as protection from the elements, an expression of belonging to a particular socio-cultural group, as a personal form of expression when it is worn, or in its purest sense, as the embodiment of the vision of its creator, the designer. Because fashion is so fluid and open to interpretation, it fits in with the theories of many disciplines and forms of expression, of which Art is only one.

Manga Art


If you are reading this article, you are probably just like me, yearning to learn more about Manga. Manga is a style of art that originated in Japan. It first appeared sometime in the 11th century by a painter artist named Toba Sojo. Manga is a Japanese word that refers to a style of comics that illustrates a certain cinema technique. In Japan, Manga is an art form that is highly regarded. Manga artists are not only respected for their amazing talents at drawing, but also for their imagination and creativity. Today Manga has become very popular in the United States. Many American cartoonist have been influenced by Japanese Manga. It can even be seen in some of Disney's animated movies. Unlike your basic American cartoons that aim for the younger generations, Manga tends to aim for all ages.

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Manga Art

Blend your thinking



















The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, formerly The Innosight Institute, has published a White Paper:

Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive?
An Introduction to the theory of hydrids.

This is a public paper, from a highly respected American organisation whose primary focus is on ‘disruptive innovation’ in health and education. Because de Bono Thinking fits many of the concepts in the paper, there is value in advertising it for download on this site. Twitter followers will be aware the paper has been widely promoted for download on that forum.

Some PMI Thinking
Plus
  1. Major change in education has happened and continues to happen. There are questions about the universality and speed of these changes but change is happening.
  2. There is value in this paper because various concepts associated with change - 'disruptive' change - are effectively described.
  3. The rationale for disruptive change, including its inevitability means papers of this quality provide us with a ‘cognitive road map’: This is what is happening: This is when it may happen: These will be the effects: Here is how to prepare for, even activate these changes.
Minus
  1. Inevitably, predictable and necessary questions will arise:
    Who 'drives' these changes - government, teachers, district/municipality education authorities…
    America is wealthy. Lithuania - add your homestate if appropriate - is not. How relevant is e-learning for us when our school computers number five or less?
    I have difficulty understanding why change should be 'disruptive'. We are changing, in our own way…
  2. The paper authors suggest, '…by 2019, roughly 50 percent of high school courses will be delivered online in some form or fashion': p8.
    Who 'vets' (approves) these on-line courses?
    How can we find impartial evaluations of these courses?
    What are the implications for school organisation, even the architecture of schools; 2019 is only 6 years away. Shouldn't someone be thinking about this, now?
Interesting
  1. The paper clearly describes what the Clayton Christensen Institute means by 'disruptive' innovation. This paper complements that concept with associated descriptors including 'innovation' and 'sustaining innovation'.
  2. My preliminary reading of the paper consolidates my perceptions about Dr Howard Gardner's concept of 'significant mind change'. Currently, I am deciding if the two terms are complementary.
  3. The concept of 'hybrids' adds significantly my understanding of some of the processes involved in 'disruptive change', significant change…

I resist the temptation to use any other dBT tools. I hope the PMI 'flit' will 'lead you into' the decision to download the paper and decide its impact and relevance for...

URL

http://www.christenseninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Is-K-12-Blended-Learning-Disruptive.pdf

Give them cake, and Photography!



















Today, I am being provocative but not to an outrageous degree. The de Bono Thinker values provocation as a key element in the skill of lateral thinking. It is a gentle if persistent operation.

Provocation as a thinking process, when used with care, encourages movement in a different direction, sometimes, on a different path. That is where the lateral element enters the fray.

Here is my provocation with apologies to Marie Antoinette, and, to a degree, Herrmann International whom I thank for the opportunity to publish my graphic summarising their ethos:

Whole Brain Learning, as described by Ned Herrmann, the originator of the thesis, is the most desirable sort of learning. It is the most desirable sort of learning because all the potentialities of the brain are used. For those of us bored with teachers who describe themselves and others as ‘left brainers’ or ‘right brainers’, the Herrmann concept goes desirable steps further.

For those readers who no little or nothing about the work of Ned Herrmann, I designed this graphic in 2010 when I was actively promoting his ideas to the de Bono Thinking community. 



















A Quick Summary to Sustain Thinking Momentum
  1. Herrmann proposed the brain has four quadrants, A, B, C and D.
  2. The orientation of each quadrant is described in the graphic. If you choose to click on the graphic, Google will enlarge it.
  3. The graphic describes each quadrant in a word - centre - and in an adjectival group along the sides.
  4. Herrmann taught that each of us has a quadrant ‘preference’ or two. It is relatively rare for us to have equal preference to use each quadrant consistently and collectively.
  5. Herrmann suggests ‘learning’ should encourage use of each of the four quadrants. This is his thesis about brain potentiality - the potential for better thinking, broader perceptions, a greater variety of ideas, of outcomes. The de Bono Thinker should, at this point, be feeling vibrations of empathy.
I am surprised and I hope, well-informed when I speculate - I don’t have any figures to satisfy A Quadrant types - that the Herrmann model is one hundred percent orientated towards business and business training. Education is not part of the Herrmann ‘equation’. It should be.

It should be for two reasons:
  1. As a commercial organisation, Herrmann could enlarge their ‘earnings potential’.
  2. In the education sector, application of the Herrmann ‘instrument’ the questionnaire delivered to clients by certified practitioners only, to determine ‘quadrant preference’ amongst other important things, has huge potential.
For example, here are two:
  1. Teachers, internationally, have been encouraged, if not convinced, to undertake ‘pre-testing’ to determine where each student is ‘at’ in terms of abilities and inclinations. There is a certain skill in designing a ‘pre-test’. Most teachers, in my experience, lack that skill.
  2. If and when - I believe Herrmann in Schools is inevitable - the ‘instrument’ is used to determine the quadrant preference(s) of students, then teachers can better plan their teaching.
  3. Of course, the Herrmann instrument has great value for teachers as well, for Faculty Leaders and for school administrators: What are the preferences of my team and how can I/we broaden perceptions? How open minded and creative are our A Quadrant Mathematicians? … and so on.
I invite you to think about people who live or work with, interact with in any arena, who typify any of the quadrant thinking styles. And, I hasten to add, thinking styles in the Herrmann context, can apply to groups and even cultures. I have been asked, by Lithuanian sceptics: *What proof do you have that de Bono Thinking works? There is statistical ‘proof’ of a sort - Professor John Edwards has it - but it is not the sort of ‘proof’’ Sovietic thinkers continue to demand.

Perceptive readers may have gathered I have a mild interest in photography. During a conversation with friends recently, we talked about the nature of photography and its ability as a practical art to satisfy of each of the Herrmann quadrants. Doubtless there are others but ‘taking and making photographs’ was the topic of the moment.

Here is an example of what I mean:
  1. The photograph in the graphic at the head of the page is a portion of a much larger view of a building facade in Riga, Latvia. I noticed the woman’s head only when post-processing the view.
  2. By deciding to process the photograph in monochrome, I met some of the adjectives in Herrmann’s A Quadrant - What did I want to achieve? Black and White photography has a specific impact on an audience. That ‘colour’ gives emphasis to the subject matter. There is a strong possibility - logical prediction - others viewing this photograph will feel similarly.
  3. The ‘way’ to design a monochrome photograph required all the features described as B Quadrant Thinking - organised, sequential and so on.
  4. The D Quadrant elements were also satisfied - How much of the original should I crop out? What am I attempting to show to the viewing audience - The B&W Photography Community on Google+? What filters can be used to achieve the outcome I think I want?
  5. C Quadrant - The love of the sun in a cold country with a long winter; the elderly woman in the somewhat older building; the textures of bricks, steel roof, even curlers in the hair…
I began by suggesting this post is provocative. Here is another provocation:

What can teachers do, what can you do, in your school, or your business, what can you design that exploits the brain potential Herrmann teaching promotes?

OK, I know that Photography is a subject for senior students in some schools - in New Zealand, it is one of the NCEA subjects. But Photography is not in the ‘curriculum core’ alongside Physical Education, Mathematics, Social Science…

Why not!

My Four brain Quadrant Focus was the design and application of simulation games. They certainly required use of the Whole Brain…


What can you do?

Tribal Art

Prior to the universal application and expression of the written word, cultures - mainly those geographically isolated from other communities - communicated in tribal art. From the Maoris in New Zealand, to the aborigines in the desert lands of Australia and the Polynesians on Easter Island, tribal art was a way to vividly express customs, traditions, spiritual practices and, more often, reverence to what these respective cultures believed to be God. It was as much a spiritual practice as it was a way for cultures to identify themselves in pictures.

Creativity is an impulse that is innate to human beings. It is said by artistic creators that life is pure creative energy; that people are mere conduits the creative force uses to illustrate itself in form. In African tribes, rituals and ceremonies took place simultaneous to the painting of tribal art, perhaps in reverence to the great creative force they understood as external to phenomenal reality.

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Tribal Art

Intricate designs, elaborate graphics and spiraling patterns are essential elements of tribal art, but the highest instance of any one feature is undoubtedly the depiction of humans - either representations of tribal leaders, their ancestors or gods.

Colour was used in abstract to symbolise specific personality qualities as was visual abstraction. Rather than creating literal impressions of nature, esoteric symbols and encryptions unique to specific cultures were used to encode or specialise many tribal art patterns, particularly in Africa.

Much emphasis was by tribal artists on the creation of props for use in performance art - a testament to the early appreciation of dram. Re-enacting significant events within tribes, as well as paying homage to the great creator through dance and fanfare, are customs unique to indigenous tribes. Evidence of this custom can be found in the variety of masks and costumes left behind by tribal artists.

Today the ruins of many extinct or dying-out tribes are preserved in glass-cased protection in museums around the world. Historians analyze and interpret tribal art in an effort to glean information about little known tribes. Ancient tribes, being illiterate, communicated in the oral tradition, so left no historical texts for historians to piece together their past.

A person with a wide variety of interests. One who likes to write articles about aspects of these interests to see other peoples views. Also, enjoys being on different forums discussing new developements in these areas.

Cartoon Art


If you enjoy drawing or the idea of learning how to draw cartoons, how great will it be to know that you can turn that ability into a dream job or income? By learning how to draw cartoon art you can gain the ability to translate your own or others ideas into something valuable and entertaining.

Cartoon Art

Cartoon Art

Cartoon Art

Cartoon Art

Cartoon Art

Cartoon Art

All Power to the Middle Manager



















When an Inspector of Schools, our team discussed innovation in schools and the process of diffusion.

'Diffusion' describes the way new ideas spread between teachers. Diffusion can involve a small group of motivated individuals, a subject/faculty area, a whole school or a national education 'community'. For example, in New Zealand, in 2010, the national curriculum introduced the 'key competency' concept. The diffusion of that concept continues.

One of the national key competencies is Thinking. I am asked to answer these sorts of inquiries:
  1. What is the difference between new thinking and the well-tested and successful traditional styles?
  2. How do I teach Thinking, as a skill, directly?
  3. Is it possible New Zealand curriculum planners have simply restated what we have been doing all along?
  4. Why should we change what we have been doing well for decades?
Coming to terms with the intent of the key competency, Thinking, and the ways Thinking can be implemented, integrated into daily planning, is part of the on-going diffusion process.

Another of the questions we asked during these weekly discussions with the team was:
Who in schools drives change?

The assumption was, and remains, that education must change and that change is currently too slow - schools are either falling behind being supplemented by e-learning or are struggling to 'keep up' with demands from every direction.

Almost unanimously, our team decided the group driving change in schools were the Middle Managers, the Heads of Department, the Faculty Leaders, those with leadership responsibility for a teaching team, a subject or group of subjects.

With a few exceptions, Principals/Directors/Rectors are not the primary change initiators. They are either too busy or committed to maintaining the status quo. Some commentators suggest this is one of the criteria for Principal appointment - reliability and showing no tendency to cause problems by 'rocking the boat'. Change 'rocks the boat'. Their role is to take what 'is' and try to make it better.

Teachers in general, 'the staff' see their role as 'doing their job'. That means, taking the curriculum as it is and transmitting it to their students. Change happens but is a nuisance, initiated by someone else.

The Middle Manager has a unique role:
  1. A senior, often 'master teacher' who has demonstrated specific leadership skills including 'leading by example', financial responsibility and sophisticated subject knowledge.
  2. Most middle managers are negotiators, members of a team of fellow middle managers who plan and discuss management issues affecting them and their team. This includes recommendations for change.
  3. Quality middle managers have a global view - their focus is on the academic welfare of the school. That focus presupposes they read about 'trends' and have access to quality information about what innovative school/teachers are doing.
  4. They have 'the ear' of the Principal/Director and the school accountant.
  5. They are professional, to various degrees, knowing what is possible, when, who should be involved, how much change will cost and how change should be measured.
I have some recommendations about the status of Middle Managers:
  1. Very unfortunately, tragically, too many competent Middle Managers 'gravitate' downwards to assume roles as Principals. This is a loss to the drivers of change in any school community.
  2. Many Middle Managers value their potential to initiate and manage change, something best done from their position within the management 'hierarchy'. As a Middle Manager, much of their job satisfaction is derived from designing and managing change.
  3. Many Middle Managers, but certainly not all, are 'master teachers', leaders in their field. In order to keep them in the classroom, they should be paid, at the top of the salary scale, no less than five percent of a Principal's salary.
Of course, this recommendation would bruise the ego of most Principals. The question is:

What is necessary to reinvigorate our education system, increasingly under threat by 'outside-school' e-learning/distance-learning/ open-learning agencies?