Making the World Your Child’s Classroom: An Adventure at the Spiral Jetty
Summer is approaching and with it a thousand opportunities for engaging your child’s mind and body in learning outside the classroom. Our teachers can tell you, I believe strongly that anything we want children to learn can be taught outside.
Yesterday, Leyna (and Leyna’s brother Sam), Maddie, Caleb and I went on an amazing adventure with a crew of USU photo faculty and students. I know, I know, I am a little at risk of looking like I am sharing my personal vacation snaps with you, but the Spiral Jetty is one of Utah’s most amazing treasures and when I people tell me they have not heard of the Spiral Jetty, well, I just can’t help myself.
The Spiral Jetty is a site specific sculpture made by Robert Smithson in 1970. It is fascinating to me because the massive “earth work” is phenomenological, meaning, the experience of seeing the changes over time completes the artwork. The first video clip features two art historians discussing the art. I like this clip because they make a parallel arguement about art not belonging in a museum in the same way that I am making an argument for education existing out of the classroom.
The second video is a slide show of our trip — the Jetty itself was underwater, but the students there, preschool through university level, received a gift that no one will ever be able to take from them. They are now part of the art work’s story, they have become a part of a moment in time in the history of the Spiral Jetty.
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