The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
In a recent class discussion with my students, I examined ways of facilitating students' prolonged engagement with works of art, a process that Hurwitz and Day (2007) described as moving from a glance to a sustained engagement. We engaged in a conversation about how teachers can help students of all ages develop language about art and the significance of doing so. As art educators we understand that language is the tool of interpretation. Barrett (2003) clarifies that to "interpret is to respond in thoughts and feelings and actions to what we see and experience, and to make sense of our responses by putting them into words" (p.200). Therefore language provides a device to dismantle and reassemble, manipulate and expand, articulate and share our experiences with art. In this issue, however, I invite readers to also focus on the role of language in shaping, sustaining and transforming our field.
James Rolling focuses on narrative as a fundamental process of human research and development. His account of teaching experiences is positioned as an open invitation to researchers to tell their stories and to teachers to reflect on theirs. Julia Marshall argues that art, particularly integrative contemporary art, is inherendy connected to all disciplines, even sharing some content, methods, goals with other areas of study. She examines five integration strategies used by contemporary artists to reconcile integration with the study of art. Joyce Millman expands conversations about the significance of multicultural education, developing an approach to use with her own certification students that is informed by her experience as a middle school art teacher, especially her participation in with a National Writing Project committed to improving literacy in public schools. Dawn Stienecker's Instructional Resource examines our language about art cars, their role our visual cultural environment, and the definitions associated with them.
Ryan Shin speaks about ethnic visual culture objects from the standpoint of a native Korean who lives and works in the United States who asks if their history, identity, form and function, and cultural significance are worthy of study in the art classroom. He proposes that by studying such objects, students may develop more critical perspectives on the appropriation, exploitation, and consumption of an ethnic group's culture by dominant groups and popular culture. Olga Hubard distinguishes between two kinds of group dialogue that can help students make meaning from works of art: (a) predetermined and (b) interpretive. She argues that these two forms are associated with different approaches to education: predetermined dialogue is aligned with objectivism and interpretive dialogue with constructivism. Valerie Innella describes a service-learning experience that took place in a museum studies program. Students' voices represent a variety of worldviews and understandings of the works, which can inspire museum audiences to create their own meaning when viewing the works. …