Victoria Stevens and Regina Jones of the Casey Foundation

Dr. Stevens on the 'Net

Blog posts highlighting the work of Dr. Victoria Stevens:

Impacting Educational Reform thru Social Change

The Creative Edge
Arts education takes center stage in this blog from Arts Orange County

State of Maine Arts Education
Serving Central California

The Importance of an Arts Enriched Education

Arts Integration
Get smART: Redesigning Education with the Arts in Mind

Perceiving is an active probing of wholes as they become visible. It involves, as it goes on, a sense of something still to be seen, of thus far undisclosed possibility. It requires a  mental and imaginative participation (even when the mind does not “hold sway”), a consciousness of a work as something there to be achieved, depending for its full emergence on the way it is attended to and grasped.

~Maxine Greene, 2001

Children Uniting Nations
Academic Mentor Program for Foster and “At-Risk” Youth

The Academic Mentor Program for Foster and “At-Risk” Youth is a model created by Dr. Victoria Stevens for CUN that is informed by current research on trauma and PTSD as they affect learning and the development of critical emotional and social skills needed for success in the 21st century. The model includes on-going training for academic mentors, as well as all teachers, school psychologists, psychiatric social-workers and foster parents; specifically as it directly addresses the effects of early and/or on-going trauma on a child’s behavior, perceptions and ability to learn effectively. The model works in partnership and collaboration with all levels of administration, school based staff and community advocates.

The CUN/Stevens Academic Mentor Program (basic and advanced) has been refined through a pilot program funded by the California Endowment and has as its goal a comprehensive program based upon the most current research about early trauma, attachment, brain development, self-regulation and executive function with trainings for principals, teachers, mentors and parents who work together with the same basic information to facilitate academic achievement, high school graduation, regular attendance, minimal behavioral or emotional problems and the development of social, emotional and cognitive skills that will increase the probability of success in the world in all areas and reduce the likelihood of problems before or after graduation.

Summary of Research and Evaluation of the Children Uniting Nations (CUN) Academic Mentor Training

Carnival of the Animals
Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, 2005

Welcome to the Carnival!

This project began less than 2 weeks ago with 12 young people listening to a piece of music and beginning to think about emotions, narrative, form, line, texture, color and rhythm in metaphors and similes. They listened and danced to each piece. At the end of the first day they picked the name of an animal out of a hat and since then they have been developing poems, movements and pictures from the point of view of the particular musical animal they "became" on that day.

The following are links to QuickTime videos. Click here to download for free, the latest version of QuickTime Player.

Video 1: Introduction to Carnival of the Animals (6:34)

Video 2: Highlights from the Performance – Carnival of the Animals (16:25)

I developed this idea of an interdisciplinary arts experience as a way to teach the arts with an eye toward developing the imagination, a space for playing with ideas, patience, tolerance of frustration, self-expression, empathy, the ability to work as a group toward a common goal, attunement to others and the cognitive skills inherent in thinking metaphorically and analogically. It is crucial for us as a society to recognize that the arts have intrinsic educational values that are vitally important for a developing individual throughout life.

As Elliot Eisner said recently: "While schools often emphasize practices that focus upon single correct answers, life is not a multiple-choice test. In life ambiguities need to be addressed. Alternatives need to be considered. Judgments in the absence of rule need to be made. Imagination needs to be called on. Our inability to anticipate the catastrophe that was 9/11, in spite of its many warnings, has been described by our political leaders as a failure of imagination. Isn’t it ironic that the fields of work that most dramatically aim to develop imagination, the arts, should be so vulnerable when budgets are cut? Children need to learn that for almost any problem there are often multiple solutions possible -- and sometimes none at all. To grasp multiple alternatives requires an act of the imagination. In a test driven school imagination is likely to be seen as a distraction. We focus on answers when we need to be at least interested in telling questions."

I hope you enjoy the wonderful work these young people have created and join us in celebrating the imagination, creativity, humor and play that the arts bring to our lives.

~Victoria Stevens, Ph.D.

Parent Education Classes

SOL-LA Music Academy, West Los Angeles, CA
Early Childhood Series, (utero-adolescence)

Dr. Victoria Stevens, clinical psychologist and musician, has developed a groundbreaking early childhood program utilizing cutting-edge research on music and brain development.

Informative, personalized and fun, this series of interactive musical experiences provides skills for parents that build strong emotional bonds with their children while stimulating brain development. These classes create a foundation of communication and resilience for you and your child that will last a lifetime.

1812 Stanford St., Santa Monica, CA 90404

(310) 230-7963

Millennial Charter High School

The new Millennial Charter High School, Salinas, CA, is designed for 9th -12th grade students with the goal of training them in the kinds of skills, mastery of knowledge and ways of thinking that will enable them to emerge upon graduation as informed, educated citizens, leaders inside and outside of their community and prepared to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century.

This innovative curriculum developed by Victoria Stevens, PhD founder and director of the Stevens Creativity, Imagination and leadership Training, focuses on the development of skills and knowledge in the areas of the Core Academics, the Arts, Media and Technology, Physical Education, and Life Skills (See graphic for five areas). All five curricular areas intersect in terms of thematic content and interdisciplinary cross-connections.

Proposed School Day and Week Schedule – MCHS Foundational Year (the Freshman year)

In addition all five areas are linked by common larger goals and outcomes that are 21st Century Skills such as those listed in the above quotation. These skills include: creative thinking, imagination, mental play, critical thinking, learning how to learn, self-reflection, empathy, collaborative teamwork, analogical and metaphorical thinking, patience, emotional self-regulation and self-motivation (See middle of graphic).

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

~Pablo Picasso

©2008-14 Victoria Stevens • All rights reserved