"A still life in which most important is the harmony of the colors."
-- Teacher Anghalutza Octavian's comment on Static Nature (Trompe D'Oeil), oil painting (circa 1950) created by a 16 year old Romanian student at the Institute of Plastic Arts, Bucharest
Still life paintings can magically show us news ways of looking at the ordinary, inanimate objects around us -- perhaps fruit, serviette, cup, pitcher -- their colors matching or complementing each other to create aesthetically pleasing color combinations. Harmonious color draws to mind aspirations for the Gottesman Libraries Education Program, our series of sponsored events that seek to imbue teaching and learning beyond the ordinary. While our goal is to inform students, faculty and staff about the latest thinking in education, in ways that engage members of the community with one another and with a broad range of educational experts, we also provide an understanding of work being done throughout Teachers College.
We delivered a consistent and complimentary array of offerings in collaboration with academic departments, offices, centers, and institutes of the College. They included the Office of Student Affairs, Program in Intellectual Disabilities and Autism, Center for Innovation in Teacher Education and Development (CITED), Arts and Humanities, Computing and Information Services, Health and Behavior Studies, Social-Emotional Learning Society, Student Advocates for the Arts, and the Program in Music Education. Arranged and expressed through text, tech, sound, and image, the Education Program continued to form a consistent whole, with appealing colors setting a welcome tone for patrons to explore a variety of educational ideas and topics.
Book, guest, and gallery talks featured faculty and student members, as well as scholars from around the world, as we celebrated their recent work: Dolores Perin, Health and Behavior Studies, on adult literacy; Kevin Oschner (Psychology, Columbia University) and Linda Lantieri, Spirituality-Mind Body, on social emotional learning; Joseph Lao (Teachers College & Hunter College) ) and Jason Young (Hunter College), on belief change; Mitchell Conway, TC student and guests, on perspectives in arts advocacy; Jennifer Lena, Arts Administration, on democratic values, elitism and cosmopolitanism in the American arts; Barry Carpenter, of Oxford Brooks University, on girls and autism; Elena Aydarova, Auburn University, on Russian educational policy and drama; Carmen Mercado, Hunter College, on the complexity of teacher education reform; Tia Dorsey (TC) and CU Chinese Calligraphy Club students on culturally rich infrastructures, via Chinese take-away.
Instructional offerings increased in coordination with the Office of Student Affairs, with whom we offered a series of welcome workshops that began at the end of August and concluded with A Stroll Through Multidimensional Learning Space in the Smith Learning Theater where we creatively featured library resources and services using a parks theme. The Doctoral Student Symposium incorporated a town hall with College Administration and presentations by the library and other departments and offices. We supported TC student Chiara Fuller's multimedia workshop on debate, also held in the Learning Theater in which city high school students participated. We coordinated with TC student Joey Zimet on helpful sessions pertaining to postural movement therapy; and with TC alumni Leslie Schmerler of New York Foundling on child abuse prevention, an annual program complete with puppetry held in the library since 2016. Our regular menu of library workshops offered popular sessions on research basics, literature review (and lit review revisited), doctoral research, grant seeking, K-12 resources, cited reference searching, and archival research.
Everett News Cafe featured new book collection every few weeks that related to current affairs, education, or learning environments: Learning From Parks, in support of A Stroll Through Multidimensional Learning Space; On Nationalism, Or the Next Stage in History, in awareness of political climate; and Just Peachy!, coinciding with the current presidential impeachment process.
The Everett Cafe also featured thematic news displays on a wide range of educational topics, in addition to daily postings of headlines from around the world. Today in History touched upon Teachers College and its members (Marion Thompson Wright, TC Founders Day, Art Garfunkel, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Claire Fagin, Donaldson Byrd), as well as relevant events and interesting happenings (Viking 2 on Mars, Occupy Wall Street, F Scott Fitzgerald, Magic Flute, Presidential Elections in Afghanistan, Dictionary Day, Rosa Parks, The Tempest, Gettysburg Address, It's A Wonderful Life) -- all tying in teaching and learning.
Located on the Library's Second Floor, Staff Picks was curated each month by the Gottesman Libraries' staff to highlight resources on educational topics and themes of special interest: American Artists, American Art, curated by Simone Schloss; 100 Years of Trans Studies and Writing, by Zac Moore; and 2019 Children's Award Winners, Rachel Altvater. These book displays highlight existing resources within the Gottesman Libraries collections to encourage reading and reflection.
With a big nod to our library design team, art exhibits concentrated in Offit Gallery, Third Floor of the Library: Welcome to the Library, ushering in the Fall semester; Through Our Eyes, in recognition of the migrant crisis; and Where We're From, by Tia Dorsey and CU Chinese Calligraphy Club in partnership with TC's Student Advocates for the Arts.
Lovely notes wafted up the Russell Hall stairway, as TC student performed voluntarily -- heart and soul each week. Our program included guitar, ukulele, vocals, French horn, ehru (Chinese fiddle), and classical strings -- culminating in a festive performance by the TC Songbirds directed by Professor Jeanne Goffi-Fynn. Folk, jazz, contemporary, classical, and Chinese traditional featured wonderful talent, and most musicians played twice during the semester. Thank you, Wadsworth Strings, Jose Lomeli, Jennifer Hemken, Yaniza, Yingcai Chen, Monika Xu, and TC Ensemble!
Highlighted databases per month strengthened College offerings and topics of interest in the broad field education: Back to School (September); Full STEAM Ahead (October), STEAMnasium; Education Governance (November), concomitant with elections; and Holidays and Celebrations, rounding off December.
In coordination with TC Student Affairs and Student Senate, we were happy to provide space and publicity for the Canned Food Competition, over Thanksgiving, and Sock Drive, prior to the Winter Break; the latter initiative was organized in memory Dr. Karen Baldwin, nursing faculty member in Health and Behavior Studies who kindly supported the library through her generous loan of Abby, beloved certified dog therapist, during exams.
Still life ahead and looking forward to the new colors of Spring!
Static Nature (Trompe D'Oeil), from the Ziegfeld Collection of International Children's Art, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University
Color Wheel from A Class Book of Color, by Mark M. Haycock (Springfield, MA: Milton Bradley Co., 1895) Wikimedia Commons