I have been an active member of InSEA, since 2001 attending and presenting at world and regional conferences. My InSEA colleagues have enriched my understanding of both the indispensability of the arts and what it means to be an educator in a global society. From conversation and workshops at InSEA Congresses I have been inspired to collaborate on cross-cultural projects with colleagues from China and Taiwan as well as integrate into my curriculum the ideas from so many other InSEA members. From such experiences I have witnessed the power of my students challenging their own paradigms to broaden both their pedagogy and cultural understanding. My professional practice is enhanced by articles from IJETA; I co-authored the article Cross-cultural collaboration exploring art literacy, creativity, and social transformation in China which was published in IJETA in 2015. Coming from a rather isolated though beautiful place (Vermont) in the United States I have found that the InSEA community offers me a window into a world of inspiration.
As a member of the World Council I pledge to cultivate the well-being of all individuals and promote understanding, care, and communication among people with different cultural identities. As art educators we know how indispensable the arts are to humanity. In a time of globalization, technological wizardry, cultural cross pollinating, global warming, and a rise of nationalism we are compelled to demonstrate how engagement with the arts lead to imagination, diverse perspective, and collaboration. As a member of the World Council I will bring my experience with building partnerships, changing the culture of schools, reinvigorating artistic identity for classroom teachers, engaging in multi-literacies, and communicating with people with diverse backgrounds and needs to a forum invested in relationships, collaboration, and empowerment. I will work towards expanding the InSEA community both in numbers and in the integrity by which we communicate our past and future experiences with art education. I will contribute a perspective from a rural area that has an increasing population of new Americans. I pledge to actively participate on both the vision of the big picture and the details to bring to fruition our ideas. I am humbled to be considered to be a part of a group that, through deeds, demonstrates the power of the arts.
As of July 1, 2018 I am a professor emeritus from Saint Michael's College. I have most recently chaired the Saint Michael's College’s Education Department and have coordinated the Arts in Education program for 25 years. I strive to raise student cross-cultural sensitivity, environmental awareness, and global perspective through the lens of aesthetics, interdisciplinary learning, creativity, and research. I have witnessed how critical it is to create learning communities and partnerships that are built on authenticity, empathy, exploration, and humility. I am in awe of how the arts facilitates these dispositions.
My curriculum always embeds some form of collaboration with museums, artists, performing art centers, and community agencies to expand student knowledge and inquiry. I have encouraged my students to become active in national and international art education organizations. I designed and led professional development for two schools with diverse populations to transform their mission from traditional curriculum to fully integrating arts-based curriculum. Leading study and service trips that include investigating the interplay between sustainability and arts in Wales, working with a migrant population in Florida, and building homes in an economically deprived village in the Dominican Republic have reminded me of how experiencing “other” outside one’s familiar place can lead to transformative understanding. I am currently designing an arts-infused 2019 summer study trip to Japan. My teaching an Environmental Art course for students majoring in Business, Psychology, Biology, Environmental Sciences, and Art affirmed how the arts fosters cross-disciplinary thinking that lead to intellectual, social, and emotional growth, the heart of InSEA’s mission. I was honored this past year being selected as Vermont’s Art Educator of the year. My exploration in visual arts and performance and life-long study and scholarship of aesthetics continues to inform who I am.