Academic journal article Studies in Art Education

Expanding the Research Community of Art Education

Academic journal article Studies in Art Education

Expanding the Research Community of Art Education

Article excerpt

It is easy to lose sight of the larget ptofessional community of which we are a part when we are immersed in our own research and theory development, or focusing on teaching and administrative duties. The research community is a critical part of the profession of art education, although it seems to play a quiet role in its support of the field and as a catalyst for change in policy and practice.

The research community in art education is becoming an increasingly vital force in the field in terms of both size and influence. Internationally, the research community has grown considerably in the past decade. In Asia, for example, a new Research and Development Center for Art Education has been established at the Beijing Capital Normal University. The Hong Kong Institute of Education has increased its support of research in art education, in part, through an active program of consultant professorships. Two new Asian journals focusing on research in art education have begun (in Taiwan and Hong Kong). And Asia is not alone in this development. A new academic research unit titled Visual Culture in Education has been established in the Department of Educational Anthropology at the Danish University of Education in Copenhagen, and a new InSEA journal has begun which will include the publication of research and theory. These are important institutionalized indications of the growing and diverse contributions of researchers to the field.

However, another type of growth is also important to the field. It involves the growth of connections between and among researchers outside major institutionalized structures. It depends on university hallway conversations, casual meetings of colleagues, discussions taking place after conference sessions, and other informal interactions between researchers who participate in the ongoing debates of the field. These conversations are valuable, not only because new knowledge, decisions, or solutions to problems may result from this particular dialogue, but because such interactions allow us the opportunity to develop and play with ideas. This type of play is enjoyable because it stimulates thought and is one of the reasons professionals decide to become research workers. In fact, the opportunity to spend a professional life playing with ideas often motivates graduate students to complete doctoral degrees and become higher education faculty. …

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