The book is for visual learners of all kinds, for scientists as well as artists, and for anyone who keeps a journal, notebook, or lab book in order to think and create visually. It is also a book for teachers and educational administrators interested in learning about new active learning strategies involving drawing, and possible outcomes of these in classrooms. It is a book about how learning occurs, not only across disciplines, but in all kinds of creative endeavors, through a continuing process of creation, revision, and re-creation. It is drawing-to-learn.
PRAISE FOR THE MIND AT HAND
"As even a casual reader of The Mind at Hand will quickly discover, Michael Strauss possesses that rare combination of variegated talents that make him a contemporary version of the Renaissance Man. Strauss ranges deftly between both hemispheres of the brain—from the analytical to the imaginative, from the sciences to the arts—with an appreciation for each that is infectious. He is equally at home exploring theories of cognition and discovery as he is explaining the process of creation and re-creation in a century-old painting."
Tony Magistrale, Professor and Chair, English Department, University of Vermont
"You may think of drawing as a form of creating or re-creating, but Michael Strauss shows how drawing can be a powerful form of learning. Through a host of compelling examples—from his own life, from classrooms at all age levels and in many disciplines, and from the work of famous artists and scientists—this book demonstrates how drawing and revising drawings can benefit teachers and learners, inventors and researchers—virtually all of us. It’s a fascinating read!"
Glenda L. Bissex, Ed.D., Educator and Author
"Michael Strauss argues that scientific and artistic endeavors are integral to each other. In The Mind at Hand he provides many examples and sources, blending genres by immersing himself in both science and drawing, personally demonstrating the social construction of disciplines. In this new book he helps yet more of us expand our horizons through first-person vignettes, stories and testimonies that embark into qualitative inquiry, an elaboration of the work of people who use drawing as an integral part of thinking and learning."
Corrine Glesne, Author of Becoming Qualitative Researchers, 2011 (4th ed.)
"The Mind at Hand offers a uniquely functional perspective on that most basic aspect of the visual creative process, drawing. Much in the spirit of Focillon's The Life of Forms in Art, but offering examples from all aspects of life, Michael Strauss explores the territory of creative revision – the development of an initial idea through to its conclusion – with an infectious enthusiasm for the creative process as a powerful tool that we all can share."
Tad Spurgeon, Artist and Author of Living Craft A Painter’s Process, 2012 (3rd ed.)
"During the past two decades both Michael Strauss and I have promoted the concept of 'writing to learn' at all grade levels, and in all disciplines across the curriculum. As a practicing academic scientist, Strauss has successfully persuaded both teachers and students in a variety of disciplines, that informal writing-to-oneself in symbolic and graphic ways, as well as in English, is a powerful way to learn virtually any subject matter. With a lifelong interest in drawing and painting, Strauss has stretched the concept of 'language for learning' to include 'drawing to learn,' practicing it himself, offering university seminars to interested students, and publishing books and essays explaining and illustrating the idea to lay audiences. His strength as a professor and an artist is an ability to make difficult concepts clear to those of us who are neither scientists nor artists. He does this through exposition, careful illustration, and the use of exemplars of drawing to learn, many of which are described in The Mind at Hand: Stories of Exploration, Discovery and Design."
Toby Fulwiler, Emeritus Professor of English, The University of Vermont; author of Teaching with Writing, College Writing, and editor of Writing Across the Disciplines and The Journal Book