“The role of the art teacher is multi-faceted and complex. Teachers operate as curators of performative educational experiences, at once instigator and participant. Once being an artist and teaching art were parallel but related careers. Now teaching can be regarded as an expanded form of artistic practice.” (Ward, 2019, p.3)
 


RATIONALE

I am an artist and educator, and although my career in education is still in its infancy, this working portfolio is reflective document, outlining my interest and research into art education in both non-formal gallery settings and formal tertiary art programs, concerning the education of artists and creating a meaningful and educational experience for their viewers. Over the course of my time working in both the art industry and the universities that educate its members, I have developed an interest in the ways in which information is disseminated and contextualised for its audience, by both the artist making the work and the institutions that display it. It is my aim to continue developing a teaching practice that is located between museum education and higher education, as I continue my research into the processes that link the two fields.

Since completing my Masters of Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2016, I have worked periodically as a workshop technician at the Royal College of Art and as a sessional tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland. In addition to my roles in these institutions, I am the director of a small art handling company, contracted to manage logistics and installation of exhibitions at a number of commercial and public galleries across London. With this broad experiences in the industry, on both sides of the curtain, I have noticed a disjuncture between the public reception and creation of artwork among young and emerging artists. 

I am not alone in feeling an increasing tendency for contemporary art to suppress and alienate those wanting to make meaningful personal connections to artwork, “ironically limiting the the power of art and its ability to serve the needs of a broader public” (Williams, 2010, p.98). As visitors are increasingly made aware of their need for information in order to appreciate, and make meaningful sense of, the work they are viewing, greater attention needs to be placed on how we educate our art students to better understand the needs and mechanisms of the viewer, in order to promote lifelong learning. However, we must equally educate and equip art galleries with the practical strategies to engage their viewers in a more meaningful and democratic way (Sienkiewicz, 2015).

I returned to Australia in early 2019, to commence further study in adult education and use this course as an opportunity to reflect on my time as a student, teacher and professional, and find a means of approaching this disjuncture from a learning perspective. My subsequent research and focus throughout this Graduate Diploma in Tertiary and Workplace Education at Murdoch University has been directed toward a combination of museum education strategies and the aligning principles of adult education.

NATIONAL STANDARDS

With these parallel fields of research at the centre of my ongoing educational enquires, this teaching portfolio has been designed to demonstrate my professional development in relation to selected standards from both the
Australian University Teaching Criteria & Standards, and the National Standards for Museums and Galleries, that best illustrate their inherent connection.

Indicative standards by promotional level (Lecturer level A)
Criterion 5: Integration of scholarship, research and professional activities with teaching and in support of learning.

Museum Standards Section B: Involving people
Standard B2.3: The museum’s exhibitions, activities and events actively encourage lifelong learning.