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Motivation and Resilience in Art Education: Insight and Inspiration From the Lives and Careers of Two Taiwanese College Art Teachers

Description: This narrative study explores how two Taiwanese college art teachers’ lives and teaching experiences illustrate the ways they cultivate resilience and motivation to sustain professional commitments amidst challenges in their teaching careers. I use the life story interview as my methodology and a three-dimensional space approach to code and analyze my data to retell their stories about how resilience and motivation have guided them as they negotiated dilemmas in teaching. The participants’ stories demonstrate that in order to be motivated, teachers must satisfy their basic needs, which, in the language of Maslow’s need theory, include secure income, safety, love and belonging, respect, and personal accomplishment. To be resilient, art teachers need to facilitate self-efficacy as an essential belief to face challenges, and they also must gain support from family members, students, school administrators, and fellow members of professional organizations as external support resources. This study also illuminates the significance of international educational exchanges, the teaching knowledge constructed through layers of life and professional experience, and the importance of creating dialogue to address teachers’ challenges. Recommendations for future study include exploring further the relationship between motivation and resilience, specifying how gender difference affects the ways participants tell their stories, investigating how teachers in diverse cultural and geographical settings develop motivation and resilience, considering how teachers construct career-affirming memories from both positive and negative life experiences, and exploring uses of social media to engage a broader audience, sharing participants’ stories without the limitations of time and space.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Chang, Ya-Ping