Creating Zines in Preservice Art Teacher Education

By Klein, Sheri | Art Education, January 2010 | Go to article overview

Creating Zines in Preservice Art Teacher Education


Klein, Sheri, Art Education


J^^ reservice art teachers often reflect about their classroom observations and art teaching expe§ J riences through papers, joumaling, and blogging. Zines, or "Do It Yourself" (DIY)' magazines ^^ offer preservice teachers a unique and unconventional format to reflect on issues relevant to Jf teaching art. This article discusses the definition of zines, their history and relevance for art education, and the process and outcomes of a zine assignment in a sophomore-level university art education course. Zine pages created within this semester-long course will be discussed in terms of content, images, and themes relative to levels of reflective thinking. Using LaBoskey's (1 994) conceptual framework, and Danielson's (1 996) four domains of teaching (instruction, assessment, classroom environment and professional responsibilities) I will examine the students' projects. In addition, I will briefly discuss how zine production can support an Integral [art] Education (Esbjorn-Hargens, 2007).

Definitions

Zines are self-published magazines that combine images, text, writing, photography, and/or poetry. Many zine makers create works that include hand-drawn and/or printed images with handwritten text, collages, photographs, and/or hand-printed covers and pages. Stylistically, zine drawings range from manga-style and action figures to simple black line drawings.

Zines have been described as "cut-and-paste, sorry this is late, self- published magazines reproduced at KLnko's or on the sly at work and distributed through mail order and word of mouth" (Rowe, n.d). Subjects of zines may include: ( 1 ) art zines that utilize special papers or prints, such as woodcuts; (2) compilation zines (themed or collaborative zines); (3) personal zines about relationships or reactions to everyday life; and (4) political zines that explore subjects of labor, politics, gender, race, and class (Freedman, 2008; Richardson, 1996; Williamson, 2002). Zines are often acquired cheaply, and may be viewed/distributed through posts to blogs, social networking, and/or photography sites.

History

Zines have been around since the 1970s, with the self-publication of punk zines about the music scene. The zine culture evolved through the 1990s, and continues with both paper and electronic, or e-zines. Although zines typically are created by teenagers and young adults in their 20s, adults ages 30 and over are creating zines on a variety of subjects in a variety of formats. Many adolescents are discovering the production of zines as a way to author texts that allow them to confront issues relevant to their lives. Furthermore, the range of zine readership is broad, far reaching, and eclectic, including: "college students, teachers, cartoonists, comedians, activists, organic farmers... award winning writers, and many others" (Brent & Biet, 2008, pp. 1-2).

Relevance to the Field of Art Education

Zines have recently been the subject of scholarship that includes art education (Blandy & Congdon, 2003; Duncombe, 1997; Eisenhauer, 2006; Stoneman, 2001; Starr, 1999; Williamson, 2002). The interest in zines does not appear to be fading, There are websites devoted to the distribution of zines worldwide, libraries across the world have established zine collections and archives, and zine fests occur throughout the world each year.

In the context of preservice art education zines can have an important role. First, zines can provide a format for the production of images and text that embrace storytelling, self-expression, teacher identity construction, and collaboration. Second, there is a paucity of zines about teaching art from the perspective of the preservice art teacher, or a novice teacher. The zine "On Subbing: The First Four Years" by Dave Roche (2008) is a rare example that chronicles experiences of a substitute teacher in special education classes in a large urban school district. Finally, zine production embraces teacher reflection. …

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Creating Zines in Preservice Art Teacher Education
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