Exploring the transition from art student to art educator through visual diaries
Thesis MA (VA)--Stellenbosch University, 2022.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: My journey as an art student, volunteering facilitator and later as an arts educator has thus far been riddled with the fear of failure, a common experience for anyone hoping to have a positive social impact in a country as economically unequal as South Africa is. The main research question was formulated as follows: What are the challenging aspects regarding the transition from art student to art educator? In addition, I ask: a) How did my own art and art education journey influence my educator identity? b) How did my experience of working in various communities with different racial and cultural groups influence my educator identity? c) To what extent did the use of visual diaries help me to reflect on my educator identity? The aim of the study was to share my own experiences of becoming an art facilitator with the hope that it would assist other young art educators in their teaching and learning journey to become art facilitators. I explore these questions using four theoretical perspectives, namely empowerment, power hierarchies, critical citizenship education and educator identity, which formed the framework for this study. Empowerment can be described as a practice through which individuals define their own needs and priorities and take action towards attaining them (Rowlands 2001:15). The concept of power hierarchies in the learning environment is highlighted as a framework, and the importance of understanding and navigating different spaces and shifting power positions is crucial for facilitators. Citizenship education aims to prepare people for living in diverse societies and emphasises aspects of human rights, democracy and social justice. Various researchers have engaged identity and have argued that identity is something that we all engage in, instead of something we have, and we therefore perform our identity. Benwell and Stokoe (2006:49) go even further by describing identity as constructed and produced moment-by-moment in everyday conversation. In this thesis I have used of autoethnography as a methodology and my visual diaries to assist me in remembering and reflecting on my journey from an art student to an art educator. Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that aims to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experiences (Ellis 2004; Jones 2005). In auto-biographical work, the writer must read, explore and discover to create knowledge that is useful for themselves and the reader. When this work is judged by the reader as honest and valuable, the research could be considered credible. I have used my visual diaries as reference to construct my learning and teaching experiences. In auto-biographical work, the writer must read, explore and discover to create knowledge that is useful for themselves and the reader. When this work is judged by the reader as honest and valuable, the research could be considered credible. The biggest challenges in my transition from art student to art educator have been developing confidence, building relationships with all learners, and developing structure and managing my time effectively.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geen Afrikaanse opsomming beskikbaar nie.