Meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends and colleagues is one of my favorite things about AERO. This year I was able to reconnect with one of my favorite role models, Dr. Fluerette Sweeney. Fleurette began her career as an educator in 1950, and she is still going strong. She started as a music teacher and quickly began to see how music influences learning in so many areas. In the mid-1960s, Fleurette and Mary Ellen Richards began to research the methods of Hungarian composer and music educator, Zoltan Kodaly, and are widely credited with bringing his philosophy of interactive, collaborative and highly kinesthetic approach to music education to North America.
Ever the lifelong learner, after retiring, she returned to University of British Columbia and earned her doctorate in 2002. She focused her research on the connection between singing and speaking and the effects of social play on the educative process. Her dissertation From Sound to Symbol: The Whole Song as Curriculum; The Whole Child as Pedagogue; Observation as Methodology is the basis for her continuing work with children of all abilities, families, and teachers.
It has been such an honor to learn from her over the past 10+ years. Every time we are together, she shares another nugget of wisdom that I take into my daily work. Her ability to see the big picture and yet attune and connect with children and people of all ages continues to amaze me. Fleurette recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and she is still going strong. I’ve only mentioned a few of her many accomplishments. To learn more,
Check out the article written about Fleurette by The Graduate Institute for Transformative Learning https://giftlearning.org/education-visionary-fleurette-sweeney-celebrates-90-kicks-of-90-for-90/
Thanks for all you do Fleurette! You are indeed an education visionary.