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Vision and Values cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916854-1
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 80 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916855-8
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 80 pages
  • Keywords
    • Education books,
    • Teaching with the arts,
    • Starting a school,
    • Teaching with heart,
    • The power of education,
    • Inspired teaching,
    • Creative learning

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Vision and Values
My Path to Arts based Education
by Gail Baker

Every good educator has asked themselves how they can reach their students most effectively. Gail Baker grapples this question from the perspective of both student and teacher in her memoir as she reflects on her 45-year-long career in the field of education, offering that it is the integration of arts within teaching that carries the solution. In Vision and Values, she revisits the experiences that have shaped her in her personal and professional life, including the journey she underwent as a student that led her to become a teacher herself. Then, using stories from her prolific career, she paints a picture of the lessons she has learned of using storytelling, visual arts, drama, music and dance to connect with students of all ages and abilities. Her hope as an educator, like many, is to create a more just and equitable world—one which the arts can assist. Informative and reflective, Vision and Values is more than a memoir: it is also proof that the arts can change our lives, no matter what stage of life we’re in, by allowing us to imagine and create.

This book is a story shared by Gail, of her path as an educator. She invites the reader to accompany her on her artful journey as both student and teacher, seamlessly aligning creative thinking with diverse learning styles, creative leadership with vibrant team building, and the fundamental elements of trust and a safe learning environment. Storytelling for Gail, has always been a steadfast teaching tool, an artful entry point into the hearts and minds of her learners, thus, she fashions her memoir as a journal that encompasses the myriad of lessons she learned along the way. Gail and I have worked together as we investigated ways of reaching and teaching our students through the arts. We shared fervent trust in the transformative power of the arts, and how engagement in art making, be it drama and storytelling, visual arts, music or dance, is a compelling force that opens us to our own as well as the interior lives of others, shapes our ethical landscape and sets in motion a floodgate of recognition of one's invisible strengths and thus possibilities. Judith Leitner My Voice My Lens Innovative Leadership Through the Art of Self Portrait Photography Co-Founder The Toronto Heschel School

Gail Baker is a teacher, writer, administrator, and workshop leader. She has been working in education for over 45 years and continues her work in bringing the importance of arts-based learning in different aspects of her professional life. In 1996, she cofounded The Toronto Heschel School, an arts-based Jewish day school where she served as its head for over a decade. Gail has also cofounded the Intergenerational Classroom, a program that creates collaborative integrated arts learning opportunities for students and senior citizens. Her writing accolades include cowriting an ongoing column for Think: the Lola Stein Institute Journal called “Good Books.” She has also coauthored Ancient Civilizations with Otto Baruch Rand, as well as an article published in the Jewish Educational Leadership journal entitled “Transformative Jewish Education through the Arts” with Judith Leitner and Pam Medjuck Stein. Gail currently lives in Toronto with her husband. They have raised three sons and enjoy the company of their friends, children and grandchildren.


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