“I definitely learned about the impact of Jazz, but in a way I didn’t expect. I was thinking J&D would be more about how jazz movements gave way to greater democracy, but I think I learned about how current jazz standards or skills can be used as a framework to create/understand what an equitable democracy would look and feel like to those involved. I think this is even better than what I expected because this is applying jazz to our current world rather than a movement of the past.” – Middle School Teacher, Curriculum Think Tank, Cohort 1
The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) is enrolling elementary, middle and high school teachers in the Oakland/East Bay region for the second Curriculum Think Tank cohort, convening in June. Seeking experienced teachers only who have classroom management skills, command of their content standards, tech savvy, and who would like to integrate jazz into their teaching.
Chosen teachers will join a growing network of local teachers who have exclusive access to J&D Artist Interviews, classroom materials and pedagogy. You will be coached by J&D Founder, “Dr. Wes” Watkins, who has been teaching J&D from 5th – 12th Grades for over 10 years. The goal of the training is for you to utilize J&D in whatever way will best serve you and your students. The training seeks to be responsive to each teacher’s needs, finding ways to engage students in critical thinking whether distance learning or in the classroom.
J&D utilizes 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.” – High School Teacher
“It was the most interesting mash up I have ever heard/seen.” – 8th Grader