Words of Advice 
Thursday, March 27, 2008, 12:50 PM - Outdoor adventure
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While itís still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
-- Edward Abbey

Chebucto Wilderness Coalition 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 08:25 PM - Inspiring
photo: WRWEO

This coalition (grown out of WRWEO and 5 Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust) has been in the works just over a year and has already mobilised the support of over 35 organizations and three levels of government. The purpose of the CWC is to protect approximately 9,800 hectares of public lands just outside of Halifax near Tantallon. Nova Scotia is only at 8% of its committed 12% of protected wilderness. This would boost it close to a percentage. Halifax is one of the few cities where you can be on a wilderness trail, a kayak or a canoe in under 20 minutes. Interestingly, the coalition has kept its structure lean and informal allowing it to move quickly and easily without getting bogged in bureacracy. Is there a lesson here?

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The Arts in Higher Education as a Vehicle for Social Change: Right vs. Wide 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 10:49 PM - Adult and Popular Education
Higher education institutions constitute an apparently privileged space within which society can question, experiment with and even confront itself. In theory, they can be an environment for creative endeavour. However, numerous contradictions encountered in practice hinder or even impede this being the case as Ivan Illich has long pointed out. In this article, I try to underline the potential that the combination of arts and higher education can offer using a simple framework and some practical examples. I collaborated with the Universities and Social Commitment Observatory and was part of the Scientific Committee of the next GUNI Conference for the thematic line on Higher education, arts and creativity. Sponsored by Catalunya University, Spain, UNESCO and the United Nations University.

Click on related link for the full article.

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Where is the Poetry and Magic? Arts-Based Learning at the Coady Institute 
Monday, February 11, 2008, 11:52 PM - Adult and Popular Education
This is a short case-study based on a Women's Leadership Certificate that I coordinated at the Coady Institute. I discuss how I used poetry and dance as part of the risk-taking that I felt was a critical part of the success of the program. It is published through the International Development Studies Program at the University of Sussex. Learning and Teaching for Transformation E-Forum.

To get a copy of the case-study click on related link below. There is an English version and a Spanish translation thanks to Orlando Gonzalez.

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Transormative Learning Power of Art 
Tuesday, January 29, 2008, 07:01 PM - Adult and Popular Education
How and when does art in education or inquiry release transformative power for social change?

Learning and Teaching for Transformation E-Dialogue, University of Sussex, International Development Studies

Moderator: Nanci Lee, the Coady International Institute, Canada
Dates: Monday 8 January until Friday 19 January, 2007
Happy New Year to all of our friends and colleagues on LTT. I hope your last year was filled with wonderful words and learning and magic. I am also hoping that we can collectively tackle this question over the next couple of weeks ending January 19th.

Each of these excerpts below relate to the transformative learning power of the arts. As an educator-artist the opportunities in this area excite me. Some of the most inspiring work I have seen in education has been in this arena. Circus-training used to help women who have suffered from violence re-claim their bodies. Theatre professionals working with streetkids to produce plays about poverty and homelessness. Collective murals used to help communities share their ideas and history.

I have drawn from Dr. Darlene Clover's (University of British Columbia) framework of arts and adult education that places it into two areas -- arts in education and arts-based research/inquiry. Beyond that, I leave the doors open to our collective ideas and imagination.

Please feel free to share your assumptions, personal stories, resources, interesting case-studies, poetry or art that has inspired you in the context of learning or teaching. Perhaps you would like to add a question that you have related to this area? I would ask that you as be as specific as possible in your references and cases. This way, they can be compiled at the end of our dialogue. Both left and right brain contributions most welcome.

Where are those songs
my mother and yours
always sang
fitting rhythms
to the whole
vast span of life?....
Sing daughter sing
around you are
unaccountable tunes
some sung
others unsung
sing them
to your rhythms
soak yourself
in the stream of life
and then sing
simple songs
for the people
for all to hear
and learn
and sing
with you...

(Micere Githae Mugo-Kenyan poet)

A full summary of the discussion, resources, case-studies, art and poetry shared can be found on the IDS site below. Click on related link. You must sign up as a member in order to access the materials.
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