The concept of artist teacher and teacher artist has been quite contentious since time immemorial






The concept of “artist teacher” and “teacher artist” has been quite contentious since time immemorial. While these two terms appear pretty similar, they are quite different even in terms of the roles and responsibilities that they encompass. An artist teacher is a teacher who incorporates a certain way of seeing, as well as understanding experiences. These teachers have, throughout history, established certain perspectives as to how varied contexts and cultures may be understood in visual form. In essence, the concept of “artist teacher” is a teaching philosophy rather than a title or even a dual role.

A “teacher artist”, on the other hand, refers to a professional artist who incorporates complementary sensibilities, skills and curiosities of an educator. The “teacher artist” can effectively engage people from varied fields in learning experiences through, about, as well as in the arts. This underlines the fact that they can teach and incorporate their art perspectives, skills and forms in varied settings. It is no wonder then “teacher artists” work in schools, as well as jails, prisons, social service agencies and community agencies among other fields.

It goes without saying that the processes and activities in which an artist engages are critical to understanding the encounters of students. This skill or knowledge underlines the aspect of actively engaging with the audience or rather the students, which is an integral part of being an artist or a teacher. All artists produce concepts or objects using a distinctive way of thinking that assisted or made up their production process. This thinking and production process is a key tenet of being an artist. Artistic thinking is the epitome of any art teacher’s dream for his or her students. Students would, however, not acquire this aspect in case the teacher does not engage in it.

I envision myself as a “teacher artist”. In this case, I will be able to redefine the curriculum as an emergent, open-ended and fluid phenomenon. It is worth noting that any curriculum is dynamic as to undergo continuous change. In essence, I will be willing and able to embrace change and redefinition of existing curricula to give birth to a new curriculum.

In addition, my capacity as a teacher artist will allow me to be sensitive to my audience’s or students’ artistic challenges. Different students or audiences are bound to incorporate varying degrees of creativity. As a “teacher artist”, I understand that learning does not entirely revolve around the product, rather it sometime takes place in the form of perseverance. In essence, the capacity of the students to stick around and have the willingness to learn is sufficient in artistry.

On the same note, the capacity allows me to encourage the establishment of an atmosphere that treasures and values learning through making mistakes or getting things wrong. I have learnt that correcting a mistake or wrongs is one of the most effective means of making concepts stick into the minds of students. In fact, students are propelled to garner their creative powers when solving problems or even righting their mistakes. In essence, I will be willing to model or encourage persistence in students especially in cases where they face failure or any other risk. This is also in line with the acknowledgement that the field is always dynamic and fluid, in which case the students will be required to coming up with solutions to emerging problems once in a while.

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