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- Critical theory and preservice art education: One art teacher educator's journey of equipping art teachers for inclusion.
- This qualitative action research study examines how critical theory defined and guided my practice as an art teacher educator while I provided inclusion training for seven preservice art teachers during their student teaching. Sources of data included a personal journal, the inclusion curriculum I created for the preservice teachers and questionnaires and interviews. Primary findings indicated that critical theory had a substantive impact on the evolving development of my teaching philosophy, in particular my attention to issues of power redistribution in the classroom and my developing notion of teaching as form of artistry. The findings of this study also indicate that the primary impact of critical theory upon the preservice teachers was the articulation of their personal narratives and its relation to the development of their teaching identities. Further, mentoring these preservice art teachers in critical theory increased their competence in solving educational dilemmas. A primary finding of this study was how significant of a role the supervising or mentor teacher plays in developing preservice teachers' identity. As this is acknowledged, valued and utilized, more collaborative relationships among these stakeholders in the education of the preservice art teacher can be forged. The study provides implications for art teacher educators as they provide inclusion training to preservice teachers. These include honoring narratives, articulating a broader notion of inclusion, and using context-specific instructional tools while preservice teachers are completing fieldwork with students with disabilities. One suggestion for future research is to conduct longitudinal studies which explore and validate the impact of critical theory upon art teacher educators and preservice art teachers during the student teaching semester and several years beyond.