Friday, December 29, 2006

The Creative College goes to LA

Another excellent review for "The Creative College" in the Routledge journal Research in Dance Education (Vol. 7, No. 2, December 2006) by Morgan P. Appel from the University of California. Some extracts below:

"The term 'page turner' is typically reserved for best-selling novels like The da Vinci Code or the latest Harry Potter instalment. It is not frequently applied to academically flavoured works, but in fact 'page turner' is the best way to characterise Graham Jeffery's "The Creative College"...
For those of us in postsecondary education struggling with the development, maintenance and somewhat controlled growth of student-centred arts partnerships that cross organizational and curricular boundaries, "The Creative College" is a must-read. The reader is offered an insider's perspective on NewVIc's grand vision and subsequent revisions, the muddling through, managing the dearth of precious resources (time being the most precious), and fragility of partnership - pehemomena that, whilst unique to Newham, can be effectively understood and scaffolded upon in urban Los Angeles, California...

Jeffery's insights into research on creative leadership are well-placed and concise...As is the case with most good works on organizational dynamics and processes, "The Creative College" generates more questions than it provides answers...Although it is highly unlikely that Tom Hanks will be starring in a version of "The Creative College" adapted for the big screen anytime soon, it is an indispensable work for those engaged in the nitty-gritty and complex business of arts-education partnerships."

Well, if anyone wants to discuss the film version, just get in touch...I'm developing vague ideas for a new book which will be more international in scope than the required format for the last one allowed - focussing on innovation in arts partnerships, pedagogy and networked learning across the world...

And there is also an enthusiastic review by Tim Brighouse in the Times Educational Supplement here.

reading and listening at the turn of the year

Very happy to be taking a couple of weeks off from the frenzy that seems to have engulfed the general praxis world over the last few months. So here's a chance to provide a randomised list of holiday reading and listening in the general praxis household:

The Economist's special Christmas double issue, which, in amongst the usual neoliberal tosh, has got some nice articles about conversation, rural America and Russian airports, amongst other well as some scarier stuff about the resource conflicts of the future...conserve, conserve, conserve!

The Yellow Album by the Simpsons: great, witty arrangments which beautifully encapsulate late 20th C popular americana

Surveillance by Jonathan Raban: a novel rooted in 2006 although set, perhaps, in the slightly further future - really sympathetic characterisations - people who you care deeply about by the end of the book - economical, vivid, spare writing which conjures a world driven by the paranoid delusions of the neo-cons in charge, and which documents the varied attempts of the protagonists to make sense of them - all set on the cultural, political and geological faultlines of America's north-west coast

Ys by Joanna Newsom - more ambitious than the last album, but I'm not quite sure that it's so successful - not sure if the structures really hold together

The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler - a tough read but hopefully it'll be worth it in the end - seems to be a useful work which explores the dynamics of the new social production through networks...

93 til Infinity by Souls of Mischief: reminds me of why hip-hop can do so much for young people, and conjures up something of the atmosphere in E Block back at NewVIc in the mid to late 90s (nostalgia for inner-city music teaching!), even though it hails from the other side of the planet...see the next post about the creative college review and LA!

(hmmm...a strong USA theme so far in this list...)

We Think - perhaps I'll get round to sending some comments to Charlie Leadbeater about his latest work in progress, but perhaps not - I'm not sure if that would mean I would be working for him for nothing...

Games People Play by Eric Berne

Endless Wire by the Who: the recording of the band live on the special edition is preferable to the new material, in my opinion. They can still rock out!

Christmas with the Tallis Scholars - Victoria, Desprez, medieval carols and plainsong in a wonderful double CD.

The Dalston Shroud by Sand - my brother Hilary and his band's latest album.