Educational Development Philosophy
I seek to tease out what qualities of learning are enhanced, how and why this
works, so that we as art educators can intentionally utilize these strategies in
internal and external spaces of learning.
- Lucy Bartholomee, 2017, p.49
As an educator and facilitator, I aim to empower others in both their individual and collective learning journeys; this can be done, I believe, by a applying a holistic educational approach, one that acknowledges the synergy of our mental, physical, and emotional states. I have lived this philosophy, both as an artist and educator, for many years. I am specifically interested in educational development as it applies to practice-based research and pedagogy in art, craft, design, and media.
I see multiple ways and different degrees of complexity in which arts-informed educational development can be undertaken. It can include actions such as equipping faculty with new technical skills, developing active learning techniques with instructors and students, fostering a supportive environment that encourages vulnerability and risk-taking in creative practice, and building community by cultivating a sense of compassion and safety grounded in an ethic of care.
I believe that one can provide a meaningful education by fostering connections, nurturing a sense of community, harnessing cutting-edge and effective learning tools, and improving students' self-esteem while maintaining high expectations. I firmly believe that a learning environment, one rooted in community and focused on collective growth, supports learners—be they students, faculty, or staff—in reaching their fullest potential. I am also an advocate for student autonomy, and I embrace self-directed learning principles, while also providing guided and mentored learning as needed. I am well-versed in current teaching and learning theories, learning technologies, and methodologies that foster learning-centered and learner-centered environments.
In cultivating a transformative learning experience, I am committed to creating opportunities for active learning, providing timely and constructive feedback, and catering to diverse learning preferences. I acknowledge the wide range of student learning styles and modalities, and I attempt to respond to each student's needs accordingly.
I also believe that humour is an essential ingredient in a learning environment—one learns better when one is in a positive mood and emotionally engaged. In addition, sharing relevant life experiences, and facilitating group contracts, when appropriate, contribute to fostering a sense of community. Only in an inclusive and community-driven learning environment—one in which students can truly be their authentic selves, embracing vulnerability as they take risks and explore possibilities—can meaningful education take place; space to develop what Germano and Nicholls refer to as a “genuinely collaborative learning community” (2020, p. 17).
I am committed to fostering an engaging and transformative higher education experience, in which I can break down the distinction between experts and novices in the classroom, inviting learners to contribute as curators of content. I believe that learning is a collaborative process where knowledge is co-constructed by both students and educators—a pedagogy in which teachers learn at least as much from their students as their students learn from them. I work to create space for reflective learning exchanges “that foster critical consciousness and examine power and the subjugation of knowledge” (Acuff, 2014, p. 75). I believe that one of the skills gained in “reflective teaching is to strengthen the acuity of [our] powers of observation and [our] analysis of the pedagogical exchange.” (Germano & Nicholls, 2020, p.172)
By equipping faculty, fostering active learning, promoting a sense of community, and challenging traditional instructional paradigms, I aim to create an environment where learners become active agents of their own learning, embracing their creative potential, and make contributions that are meaningful. Through this approach, I strive to uplift and empower each learner by cultivating an inclusive and transformative educational experience.
Acuff, J. B. (2014). (Re)constructing cultural conceptions and practices in art
education: An action research study. Art Education Research, 40(2) 67–78.
Bartholomee, L. (2017). Beyond the classroom: Discover the transformational
power of living curriculum. Art Education (Reston), 70(6), 49-53.
Germano, W. & Nicholls, K. (2020). Syllabus: The remarkable, unremarkable
document that changes everything. Princeton University Press.
Gibbs, P. (2017). In Gibbs P. (Ed.), The pedagogy of compassion at the heart of
higher education. Springer International Publishing AG.
Marshalsey, L. (2023). Sensory affect, learning spaces, and design education:
Strategies for reflective teaching and student engagement in higher education.
Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003175988
McKinley, E. A., & Smith, L. T. (2019). Handbook of Indigenous Education.
Winters, T. (2021). Emergency remote studio teaching: Notes from the field.
Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, 10(1), 117.