I view myself as a learner alongside my students.
I join them in reflecting, creating
connections, raising questions, and listening.
I have been teaching for over 25 years, working with children aged between 2 to 14 in public schools, instructing at DePaul University and Millikin University, teaching in community-based art education settings, providing professional development opportunities for educators, and currently working as an Assistant Professor of Art Education at UNM. My research focuses on pedagogical approaches that reflect an ecology of creative practices, which means the inter-relationship among the sayings, doings, and relatings (Kemmis & Grootenboer, 2008) co-constructed between learners and teachers. This has inspired me to adopt new pedagogical approaches while affirming other practices. Each time I start a course, it is a new entry into learning, discovery, and understanding for both me and my students. I am fortunate to work with art education, studio, and education majors who are interested in art teaching within public and private early childhood, high school, and community-based settings. I aim to provide varied art experiences so that students can learn about and deepen their appreciation and understanding of art and their own artistic identities so they can facilitate meaningful artistic relationships with their students.
Sample Course Descriptions
Topics in Art Education: Place and Pedagogy:
Through an inquiry-based approach, this course investigates historical and contemporary art education pedagogies that interweave the learner, teacher, local spaces and places, materials, and artmaking. Students examine, explore, and apply place-based art curriculum theories, frameworks, and pedagogical approaches to Prek-12th-grade contexts. In this course, students investigate teaching practices emphasizing relational pedagogical approaches through shared readings, small group investigations, field trips, and guest speakers.
Elementary Art Teaching
This course is for many students the first time they interact with younger children in the elementary art room setting. I begin the course with students reflecting on their experiences as elementary students in art classrooms, connecting with their past as they become future art teachers. This initial reflection is a starting point for researching art curriculum development, art developmental stages, and pedagogical approaches for teaching younger students. Students spend 20 hours in practicum placements and public and private school settings.
Introduction to Art Education
An entry-level course for art education students and non-major students interested in exploring materials and methods, pedagogical theories, instructional practices, and professional opportunities within visual arts education. Introduction to Art Education provides a common understanding of the threads of study: community-based art education (including the role of teaching artist), working with special populations, school art education, and art museum education. Students participate in structured observations through site visits to community and museum-based art education sites and schools. This reinforces how art teachers teach in public, private, and parochial elementary, middle, and high schools and/or run programs in art museums, community settings, healthcare, Parks & Recreation Departments, and numerous other art education sites.
Philosophical Foundations in Art Education
In this graduate-level course, we will explore the modern history of art education in the United States. We will examine the different movements, theories, philosophies, and teaching practices that have shaped the discipline over time. We will trace art education from its early beginnings as a discipline focused on creativity, design, and technical drawing to the various contemporary pedagogies that emphasize politics and social theory. By studying the impact of different political policies, social movements, historical events, and visual art movements on art education, we will gain an understanding of what art educators teach and how they teach it. We will also explore the perspectives and pedagogies of often overlooked groups, such as women, Indigenous, African American, and divergent learners, who have contributed to the field of art education.
Throughout the course, we will consider questions such as: What values about art education have guided your teaching or thinking about art education? For what purposes have various art institutions offered art education in New Mexico? How have these programs changed over the years? What changes are necessary for the future? How can we advocate for the theories that we believe are most important?
By critically examining each movement and paradigm in art education, we will discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate their usefulness and relevance in our practices as working art teachers.