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date: 21 July 2019

Art-Informed Pedagogies in the Preparation of Teachers

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Please check back later for the full article.

There are several interrelated themes in arts-informed pedagogies in teacher preparation: the arts as tools to improve students' academic achievement; the arts for teachers' own professional identity and satisfaction (e.g., for teacher reflection, teacher retention, job satisfaction, and relationship building), and the arts for social change, justice, & education advocacy work. Creativity and agency have also received attention in arts-informed teacher education practice, encouraging “teacher as artist” metaphors as counterpoints for more prevalent orientations to teachers as those who treat and fix problems (like doctors or scientists). Comparing the act of lesson planning and instruction to that of the artist encourages teachers to see their tasks as creative, generative, surprising, and aesthetic. Finally, teacher education often focuses on ways in which the teacher can serve in the role of mentor-artist, coaching and guiding students’ creative expressions instead of and rarely as a complement to the teachers’ own creative endeavors. Across these themes, projects utilize aesthetic languages of the arts disciplines—visual art, theatre, music, dance, creative writing, and media arts—as meaning making tools toward particular academic, relational, and creative goals in teacher education. Arts-informed teacher education practices are reviewed to date, and key questions and concerns are considered regarding where, how, and why the arts are used, by whom, and to what end. Important to this review are extensions to the ways in which the arts have been used in other training fields such as nursing, police training, and social work. The extent to which the arts in professional development hold value is deeply connected to national arts value and will be compared to differences in other teacher education systems worldwide.