ABOUT: Rooted in anti-racism and anti-bias activism, I weave a tapestry of teaching and leadership experiences in PK-12 public schools, higher education teacher preparation programs and community settings. My goal to equip teachers and professors to prepare their students to be full participants in our multicultural democracy defines my work. I have worked in public schools for over 20 years as an art teacher, curriculum leader and middle school principal, and in higher education settings for over 10 years in teaching and leadership. I have intersected this work with museums, neighborhood centers, juvenile justice institutions and city streets. In each setting I focus on innovative teaching, curriculum transformation, social justice leadership, through art integration and community partnerships. I have received several awards from National Art Education Association (NAEA), and from other organizations such as the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) , and the Anti-Defamation League. I have published widely; my most recent 2018 book with co-author, Sonia Nieto, is the 7th edition of Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, used by teacher education programs nationally and internationally. I am currently an independent scholar and educational consultant. To see full CV click on CV & Portfolio on menu bar above.
PUBLIC SCHOOL LEADERSHIP/ADMINISTRATION. 2016-2018: I was honored to serve as interim principal of Amherst Regional Middle School "ARMS" in Amherst, Massachusetts for two years. This is 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 PK-12 school district that places a priority on social justice education with a critical multicultural lens. The two years as an interim administrator at ARMS with remarkably dedicated and endlessly creative faculty and staff were inspirational.
ARTS INTEGRATION TEACHING/SCHOOL LEADERSHIP. 2014-2016: 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.
HIGHER ED/TEACHER ED/LEADERSHIP: My 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 (School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) from 2006-2012 and The Ohio State University 2012-2014 as a Visiting Associate Professor. Also in a one-year temp position, 2018-2019 at Westfield State University, a Horace Mann Teachers College in Westfield, Massachusetts, I taught courses in: critical multicultural education, curriculum transformation, principles of teaching & learning, pre-practicum reflection. ( I also taught online graduate courses for University of Florida and Eastern Illinois University over the past several years.
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. Online art education courses for the University of Florida and Eastern Illinois University include coursework in curriculum, social justice education, community arts, artistic development and more. I serve on doctoral committees, masters thesis committees and capstone committees nation-wide.
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; Curriculum Design, Field Studies, and Introduction to Art Education. In general education courses, I also taught advanced writing courses in Criticizing Television, and multicultural education for preservice education teaching programs.
COMMUNITY SETTINGS: I work directly with teachers and students in PK-12 schools, Juvenile Justice Residential Facilities, Neighborhood centers, City Streets, Youth Summer Arts Camps, Community Arts & Education 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 alumna from 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 community practices with critical multicultural perspectives;
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