Academic journal article The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education (Online)

Exploring Art Student Teachers' Fictions of Teaching: Strategies for Teacher Educators

Academic journal article The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education (Online)

Exploring Art Student Teachers' Fictions of Teaching: Strategies for Teacher Educators

Article excerpt

Using portions of my research involving three art student teachers, I provide suggestions for strategies to examine preservice art student teachers' fictions about teaching (art). The suggestions that I have for the field of art education and preservice classrooms are based on the pedagogical breakthroughs that I encountered through conducting this research and the practical experiences of being a teacher educator and university supervisor of student teachers. Briefly, I found that art student teachers employ pedagogical fictions as well as develop affective investments in teaching and in their teacher identities while continuously (re)negotiating those identities. First, I begin by briefly introducing my three participants and describing my research methods. Next, I describe three of the most common teaching fictions1 I found through analyzing the data. I discuss the productive usefulness, as well as a few procedures, of employing visual culture as a catalyst for unfolding student teachers' (un)conscious pedagogical fictions. Then, I describe how creating illustrations of the self as art teacher can further help explore fictions of teaching. Lastly, I end by discussing how important it is to have a supportive space to talk and theorize with student teachers about their continuous processes of identity (re)formation and to work through the anxieties of the profession of teaching art.

Research Participants and Methods

Olivia, Marissa, and Jean, the three participants2 in my original study, were student teachers in art education at the same large Midwestern University. All of them had been under my immediate supervision during their teaching practicum at various elementary and secondary school placements. The interviews took place during the summer following completion of their student teaching practicum and prior to becoming licensed art teachers in the classroom. Therefore, the three participants were no longer in a position of subordination to me as their former supervisor because all three had completed their educational program, and along with our relative closeness in age, the dialogue was one more akin to art teacher allies as opposed to graduate teaching assistant and students. The three participants all identified as White/Caucasian women in their mid-twenties who also grew up in the same state as the University they attended. While I am aware that this potentially has consequences for the results of my research, their subject position is seemingly a descriptor of many US teachers. For example, "In the 2011-12 school year, 82 percent of public school teachers were white" (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service, 2016, p. 6). I also recognize that the pedagogical fictions that I explore in this paper may or may not be transferable to various genders, races, nationalities, subjects taught, etc.

I conducted one individual interview each with Olivia, Marissa, and Jean in regard to their ideas, reasons, or desires for becoming an art teacher and what persons and/or representations may have mediated them. Then, once the audio-recorded individual interviews were completed, transcribed, and member checked, I gathered the same three student teachers all together to watch several pre-determined clips of various films on DVD that involve art educators, including, Mona Lisa Smile (2003, Columbia Pictures); Art School Confidential (2006, United Artists); Speak (2004, Showtime Independent Films); and Ghost World (2001, United Artists); as well as clips of the TV series, Strangers With Candy (1999, Comedy Central). I chose these because, "films of the 'teacher movie' genre [often] provide dramatic evidence of the elusive but ubiquitous workings of desire in the classroom and the often unintended outcome that a teacher's desire may have for students" (Zook & Schlender, 2003, p. 72). Thus, I showed the participants the movie clips as a catalyst to help discover/unfold the unconscious fictions and affective investments that the student teachers may employ in regard to their conceptualization^) of teaching, learning, and their students. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.