I view teaching as my vocation, the culmination of my artistic work and social pedagogic interests. I strongly believe in the capacity of art education to advance and to enrich children through their social, cultural, and academic development necessary to successfully navigate adolescence. In my teaching practice, I work to maintain a sustainable, supportive, rewarding, and rigorous learning environment in which all stakeholders share in the responsibility of education.
I believe the role of art education within the larger curriculum should be centered on the student’s development of social, emotional, and cognitive potential through a thematic holistic approach based in personal meaning making. I believe that the learner’s power to develop critically and creatively ultimately derives from art’s relation to a larger social context. As an educator, I am committed to delivering a pedagogical practice that is student-centered, developmentally responsive, and contextually sensitive to the care of diverse learners.
Teaching represents the perfect context to continue my professional goals to refine a pedagogy that uses an interdisciplinary approach, new media strategies, and constructs relevant contemporary methods of making and meaning with students. Student-centered inquiry is based in connecting relevant local knowledge, history, and experiences to to the larger continuity of themes of art. I believe the complexity of the urban classroom requires learners to experience art as a form of social engagement, literacy, as well as a means of empathy and self-discovery.
I strongly believe that teaching is a form of social justice. My teaching philosophy is framed by the idea of co-constructing knowledge with learners by creating a safe and productive environment where learning can take place. I aim to motivate and engage students in making meaningful local connections between social-spatial practices in a city environment by means of sustainable art education.
Lessons that begin with local histories, stories, and memories are used in combination with hands on experiences designed to inform and enrich the experience of familiar places. I work to refine an interdisciplinary pedagogy that emphasizes critical thinking by accessing the student's knowledge of an urban context. The issues of identity, public spaces, and the environment are drawn from their situation in everyday life. My long term goal, is the continuing development and refinement of a pedagogical practice that applies the tools of contemporary criticism to the urban social environment to realize new modes of making and meaning along with students.