Burning Gnome

Art, Technology, and Culture firmly planted in the Garden of Education

   Jun 26


There are many philosophies in life and education. I believe in taking the best of what resonates for me as an individual, as a teacher, and as a mother to create a haven for learning. I have degrees in Art/Art History and Humanities/Archaeology, an MA in Museum Education, and have been teaching in one way or another for almost two decades. I am deeply fascinated with human development, anthropology, and multiple intelligences, all of which provide a firm foundation for my work. I have studied and guided programs utilizing informal learning in the Education department of many museums, including the Smithsonian Institution, and have delighted in the potential for experiential learning when children and adults are exposed to the connections between themselves and the people, places, things, and ideas that create our past, present, and future. I draw upon the creative freedom and inspiration I have found in communities like Burning Man and the Maker Faire and enjoy celebrating the rhythm of the year to encourage the connection between nature and the magic of storytelling, song, and handwork  to create awe and appreciation in what can be a very fast world. I love to experiment with technology and how it enhances our lives and nurtures possibilities. And I love to use object-based learning to tie it all together, art and culture, math and science, people and places, into a full contextual circle. I believe all children should have access to the kind of holistic, diverse, developmentally enhancing, and challenging education they deserve with the freedom to pursue their passions.

I have always been committed to exploring the public’s perception and interpretation of art and culture as essential expressions of individuality as well as community, encompassing all the things that we are drawn to and surround ourselves with for aesthetics and function. I believe there is no such thing as being over educated or having too many interests. Creating and combining interests through writing, traveling and art have been consistent threads in my career, which include internet start-ups, non-profit organizations, and working in a number of museums.

Currently, I am a founding member of the Mothership Hackermoms, am working with Ace Monster Toys on a Hacker Scouts program for kids, and work as a freelance educator, writer and artist. My husband and I embrace adventure in Oakland CA, where we homeschool our three kids.

Samantha Matalone Cook

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