Prerequisites: Consenses Professional Development
Communication, Innovation, Problem Solving, Creativity, Analytic Thinking, Collaboration, Knowledge, Ethics, Action, Accountability. Studies have identified these skills as essential for the success of 21st-century students. In a world that is fragmented and divided, it is often difficult for people to consider, relate to or appreciate the perspectives of others. Consenses' Curriculum is a multidisciplinary, multimedia, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) platform that offers students an artistic game of ‘Telephone’ as a vehicle for unity, creativity, understanding, and tolerance. Using photography, painting, poetry, dance, music, sculpture and set design, the Consenses curriculum promotes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
In collaboration with Harvard School of Education Graduate students, Sally Taylor created the Consenses Curriculum in which students learn to use art as a language and a lens through which to see themselves, each other and their world more clearly, compassionately, and expansively. They learn tolerance and empathy through “listening” to others, not through their words, but through various art forms. CONSENSES positions students to succeed in the world by building the skills needed to be collaborative, critical thinkers with curious minds and contributing members of society.
Consenses has conducted successful pilot applications of its curriculum in fourteen schools and thirty-four classrooms in Massachusetts and Rhode Island including Berklee College of Music, Brimmer & May, Walnut Hill School, West Tisbury School, Charles River School, Martha’s Vineyard Charter School, Tabor Academy, Wellesley College, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, Emerson, Featherstone Center for the Arts, Coventry High School, Edgartown PS, Oak Bluffs PS and Holderness School. Feedback from educators who collaborated on these pilots testify to the SEL impact. By enabling communication through a medium other than language, Consenses is highly effective at spreading the message that everyone’s perspective is equal and valid, helping people to appreciate in new ways, both the limitations and the unique value of their own unique perspectives.
"I think Consenses has been one of the most enlightening, eye-opening projects I have learned about in a very long time and it has truly changed the way I will perceive and understand art for the rest of my life. I can’t say enough about the project and I’m going to keep sharing it with others who would appreciate its purpose and reason for being created. I can say this is a project I will never forget. Thank you so much!”
- Lissette Velez-Cross, Emerson Student
"Wonderful how you work across human senses and artistic media. I am overwhelmed. So clear and magical.
I love, and think so important, the way you are celebrating difference. I often say that difference is the one thing we really all have in common. Through Consenses we can also examine our apparent sameness-the similarities in interpretations that may reflect the resonance of meaning in various works but also can be pulled apart to discover fine differences. For my part, what you are doing in the curriculum is HEART of the MATTER."
- Jessica Hoffmann Davis, Founder, Harvard Arts in Education Director at The Graduate School of Education
Sally Taylor is an artists and musician.In 1998, reluctant to sign to a major record label, she formed her own, BE Music, and ambitiously produced and recorded three albums (Tomboy Bride, Apt #6S & Shotgun).She and a 5-piece band toured 180 days of the year between 1998-2003. When she retired from the road at age 30 she moved to Boston and began teaching music.She is currently taking time off from The Berklee School of Music to work exclusively on CONSENSES. In this effort she is dedicated to enlarging the scope of artistic collaboration, the recognition of art as a journey, and the exploration of human perception.
"I had to write a quick note to say how wonderful it is to have a program like this brought to the school. I found her presentation to be very inspirational and important – not just for art and music students but also for all students – and adults. Working together, listening to other people’s perspectives, hearing what other people bring to the table, using all of our senses in interpreting the world around us, and doing so without worrying if we’re “right” or “wrong” – she is making a program that speaks to each person and helps people grow both individually and together. Personally – I left inspired for the rest of my day!"
- Kristen Belloti, Parent,Coventry Public High School, RI