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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Unlocking the gate : teaching for transformation as pedagogical artists Robertson, Helen


This research argues in favour of a transformational orientation to art education curriculum.. I discuss implementing a teacher-as-artist model in art education as a means to achieve personal transformation. I examine the practices of three art teachers who engage in creating art work themselves as a way of modeling art production and visual problem solving with students, in an effort to facilitate student transformation. As a participant in this process, I retell my own experiences as an artist and teacher, and thus my own personal transformations are identified. Achieving a transformational orientation is not easy and as such, complexities and tensions are identified while sharing authority and leadership in a collaborative way. An action research methodology was chosen as a way to systematically investigate the feminist principles of cooperation, collaboration, and honouring lived experiences which form the pedagogical structures that support teaching in a transformational orientation. However, as the research unfolded, the methodology itself transformed to include my own autobiography. The findings of this study point to the themes of identity, commitment and relationships as indicators of teachers respecting a transformational pedagogy. The research concludes with the original model of teacher-as-artist evolving to a concept of the role of pedagogical artists, as teacher/student relationships are altered to become more caring, trusting, and respectful. Therein lies the possibility for personal change, thus moving us in a direction towards a societal transformation.

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