Perceptions of change : the professional development, life and teaching histories of three K-12 art educators located in north Louisiana and central Mississippi
Noble, Joni Henry
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The purpose of this study is to examine self-perceived changes that occur over the course of the careers of three K-12 art educators located in north Louisiana and central Mississippi. Designed as a case study, this research focuses on the perceptions of three art educators with regard to perceived changes in their classrooms over the course of their teaching careers. Art teachers were chosen not only because of the researcher's background in the arts, but also because of the art educator's apparent underrepresentation in the body of academic research. The three art educators who were participants in this study were also chosen because of their many years of service in the field. Each has been teaching for 27 years or more in north Louisiana and central Mississippi. Included is a brief review of the researcher's teaching history and educational background in order to establish positionality, which also lends a degree of validity to the research (Villenas, 1996). In addition, this positionality serves to illuminate the researcher's epistemological perspectives and her personal ways of knowing as an art teacher (Cary, 2006). Each teacher's story was divided into a life history, a teaching history, teaching today, and significant perceived changes. Each story was accomplished through multiple taped interviews, document mining, maintaining a researcher's journal, and member checking. A synopsis was developed of the common themes that coalesce each of the teachers' lived experiences, as well as common significant changes that each has perceived over the course of their careers. Many changes were noted by each of the art teachers. The most noted changes were found in the areas of technology, the students themselves, parental involvement, peers, and the discipline of art. Implications for future research are suggested including: (a) more case studies of other art teachers, including more art teachers in north Louisiana and central Mississippi; (b) further development of the researcher's journal associated with this study; (c) and a study of some former students of each of these educators and the impact that these teachers have had on their lives.