The Practice of Teaching in K—12 Schools: Devices and Desires

Authored by: Judith M. Burton

Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education

Print publication date:  February  2004
Online publication date:  April  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805849714
eBook ISBN: 9781410609939
Adobe ISBN: 9781135612313

10.4324/9781410609939.ch24

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Abstract

For many years it has been my practice to ask the graduate art education students I teach what influenced their decisions to become artists or embark on a teaching career. Almost without exception, responses have focused on the words or actions of past teachers; comments—often idiosyncratic and delivered in passing—have “stuck” with a force that might well have astonished their originators. Even if not precipitating a future direction or career, most of us look back on the practices of favorite teachers with benign nostalgia. Indeed, whenever we think about education, we inevitably think in terms of the practice of teachers as the single defining quality that marks our school experiences. Yet, and perhaps surprisingly, the practice of teaching is the least researched and possibly the most polemicized arena of art education. This chapter, thus, will be concerned with the practice of teaching: the instructional work teachers do, the lives they lead in art classrooms, and what we expect of them.

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