As a teacher, I hope to create a culture in which students are free to investigate and challenge knowledge. I believe students should have a stake in the lessons they learn. Both the approach and the content should relate to their lives and the intelligence they bring to the class.
As an artist teacher, I have the opportunity to encourage unconventional and creative approaches to dealing with ideas. I hope to teach my students to think thoroughly, to love research, and to practice positive defiance.
The goals of education include promoting good citizenship, and upholding the tenets of a democratic society, therefore, each student should develop a sound and powerful voice. With the skills to think critically and voice their opinions, students affect the knowledge, the systems and the truths that surround them.
Art can play a rich role in the development of free and critical expression. The act of conscious creation instigates a pattern of reflection and reaction. In our society, artists have used the visual realm as a means of breaking, breaching and innovating. Making art, regardless of the form it takes, is a political act at a fundamental level, and can become more explicitly political depending on content and context.
The making and understanding of art is inherently defiant and critical because it involves creative decisions. This renders it a democratic exercise, and a powerful means of promoting a free and critical voice.