“When I came to class I expected a lecture on the study of jazz. But when we experienced hands-on movement, watched videos, learned the basic Blues, and heard what it meant to be a musician, it felt as real as I thought I could ever be to jazz.” – 9th Grader
The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) is looking for 2 high school Social Studies, History, Government, Civics or Language Arts teachers to take part in J&D’s first teacher training cohort. Seeking experienced teachers only who have classroom management skills and command of their content standards, and who would like to integrate the arts–in this case, jazz–into their lessons.
Chosen teachers will join a small cohort of 6 teachers, including 2 at the elementary and 2 at the middle school level, who will form the nexus of a growing network of teachers in the coming years. You will be coached by J&D Founder, “Dr. Wes” Watkins, who has been teaching J&D from 5th – 12th Grades for the past 10 years. The goal of the training is for you to utilize J&D materials and pedagogy in whatever way will best serve you and your students. The training seeks to be responsive to each teacher’s needs, including adapting to distance learning.
The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) mission is to utilize jazz as a metaphor to cultivate a profound understanding of American democratic ideals. J&D brings American democracy to life, enriches the study and teaching of U.S. history, government, civics and culture, and inspires youth to become active, positive contributors to their communities. J&D believes jazz appreciation is essential for all American citizens and foreigners to grasp America’s essence. J&D envisions jazz studies at all levels of American schooling and in cultural diplomacy because great jazz is high art that models American democratic ideals, and engaging the jazz-as-democracy metaphor develops the interdisciplinary thinking, synthesis and analysis skills needed to confront complex 21st Century challenges in creative ways.
“For high achieving kids, J&D offers a different lens from which to interpret something they already understand well. For kids that struggle, J&D could be the missing link for connecting to complex curriculum.” – Ross Parker, Berkeley High School Teacher
“It made me realize that I have a voice in democracy.” – 11th Grader
Watch J&D’s promo video or watch Dr. Wes’ TED talk.
Contact Dr. Wes directly with all inquiries: [email protected]