CURRENT: Now I am deeply engaged in the 2017-2018 school year - my second year as principal of Amherst Regional Middle School in Amherst, Massachusetts. I am honored to be appointed to this role in the school and community that deeply shaped my identity as an educator dedicated to engaging students in social action through intellectual inquiry and imaginative cultural production. In my formative years as an educator, from 1990-2006 I worked as an art teacher in this K-12 school district that places a priority on social justice education with a critical multicultural lens.
RECENT INTEGRATED ARTS TEACHING: For two years I helped launch Springfield Conservatory of the Arts/SCotA (2014-2016), as part of the founding faculty of this public magnet school for middle and high school students in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the role as Magnet Resource Teacher, I collaborated with all teachers to integrate all the arts into every content area. My position was grant funded and ended in June 2016.
MY TEACHING IN HIGHER ED: My recent teaching in higher education has included working with graduate students, undergraduate students, community artists, cultural workers and museum educators at Tufts University with the SMFA 2006-2012 and The Ohio State University 2012-2014 as a Visiting Associate Professor. I also taught online graduate courses for University of Florida.
GRADUATE TEACHING: To investigate contemporary theory and its relationship to art education I teach through coursework, independent study and doctoral committee service. At The Ohio State University I taught Contemporary Theory in Art Education and at Tufts University at graduate level I taught Foundations of Art Education and Seminar on Student Teaching. Other graduate courses I taught are listed on my CV.
UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING: My undergraduate teaching has focused on art education in teaching license programs where my courses included: Critical Multicultural Pedagogies for Teaching Visual Culture; Art Education for Students with Special Needs & Special Rights; and Introduction to Art Education. In general education courses, I also taught an advanced writing course in Criticizing Television.
COMMUNITY SETTINGS: I work directly with teachers and students in K-12 schools, Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities, Community settings, and Museums to collaborate on art education as a civil right and human right.
My research and theoretical frames
Digital painting produced by Ramya Ravisankar, doctoral candidate at the Ohio State University while discussing my research agenda
Sustaining and expanding art education in schools, community settings, museum and cultural institutions and higher education while revolutionizing curriculum are goals of my work. My action research is framed by the sociopolitical context of art education, critical multicultural education and urban education to argue for art education as a civil right and human right. Investigating and implementing ways to increase access to robust, meaningful participation in art education for under-served and under-represented groups drives my research interests, which include:
Reinvigorating contemporary definitions and understandings of critical multicultural education;
Curriculum transformation through integrating arts;
Practicing and asserting critical pedagogy and critical literacy in art education;
Intersecting art studio practices and digital visual literacies with young children and teens;
Examining visual culture production, consumption and analysis;
Advancing the role of the arts in Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline,
Keeping radical thinkers in the teaching profession