Images of Identity: Understanding the Professional Identities of Art Educators through Arts-Based Educational Research
Key, Sarah Gayle
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Copyright for the images in this paper remain with the author, participants and artists unless cited otherwise. Within this thesis images are used with the consent of the participants/artists by the author. Reproduction of these images is limited to the author, unless prior consent is obtained. This thesis is available for Library use on the understanding that it is copyright material and that no quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgment.
This study was an exploration of the professional identities of secondary school mid-career art educators through arts-based educational research [ABER]. The aim of this research was to gain understandings of mid-career art educators’ perceptions of their professional identities. Inspired by my personal experiences as an art educator, this study engaged other art educators to visualise their professional identities, as secondary mid-career art educators in England, and contribute new perspectives to the research community. Theoretically, this study is aligned with the writings of Dewey (1934, 1944), Deleuze and Guattari (1987, 1994). Deleuze and Guattari’s post-structural concept of the rhizome formed the basis for the development of the ideas associated with identity. As an assemblage, the rhizome is a complex system based on non-linear, reactionary growth patterns. The non-linear growth of the rhizome is facilitated by the activation of the in-between. As such, the rhizome connects to a view of identity as an unstable, flexible and fragmented entity that is in a constant state of becoming (Bauman, 2000). Dewey’s pragmatism was connected with Deleuzian post-structural theory through the writings of Semetsky (2006). Dewey (1944) and Greene’s (1973, 2003) writings associated with democratic education and artistic development connected these theoretical considerations with constructivism, the arts and education. Sachs’ (2003) writing on progressive and bureaucratic education provided a framework for the discussion of professionalism and professional identities. As a contribution to ABER this study was based on a/r/tography (Springgay et al., 2008) as a methodology and actively integrated image and text to the data collection and data analysis. Collage was used as the main arts-based method to develop responses from the participants and to visualise the participant data. This research asked mid-career art educators with busy lives and demanding occupations to consider who they are and express their views through art. These images of identities reflected the complex in-between-ness of professionalism in education.
Key, S. (2012) 'Acting In-between: The Professional Identity of an Art Educator', Professions and Professional Learning in Troubling Times: Emerging Practices and Transgressive Knowledges - Conference Paper, ProPEL International Conference, Stirling, UK, 9-11 May 2012.
EdD in Education