Understanding How Perceptions of Identity and Power Influence Student Engagement and Teaching in Undergraduate Art History Survey Courses
AuthorBlack, Rebecka A.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this qualitative study, I explore how perceptions of student and teacher identity, acting within classroom power dynamics, influence student engagement and pedagogy in undergraduate art history survey courses. Student engagement in undergraduate art history survey courses has been a concern of art historians for decades (Gioffre, 2012; Phelan et al., 2005; Rubin, 2011) and remains so. However, few art historians have explored how identity and power dynamics in the art history classroom influence student engagement and pedagogy. Umbach and Wawrzynski (2005) note that faculty attitudes influence what and how they teach content as well as how learners engage with content. And these same factors influence how students engage. Despite ample scholarship of educator identity and pedagogy among studio art teachers and students (Buffington et al., 2016; Check, 2002; Kraehe, 2015) there is limited scholarship regarding educator identity of art history instructors and students in undergraduate art history survey courses. Through multiple interviews and observations of three instructors, including myself, and nine students in undergraduate art history survey courses at a public university in southeastern Texas, in this study that spans 13 weeks I explore the perceptions of students and instructors regarding self, each other, course content, teaching style, and expectations of one another to understand how identity and power influence pedagogy and student engagement. I explored these perceptions through the theoretical Foucault's (1995) concepts of power, Deleuzoguattarian (1987) concepts of educator identity and Butler’s (2004) discussion of citational practice. The results of this study may offer insight as to how we address perceptions of declining student engagement in undergraduate art history courses (Phelan et al., 2005; Rubin, 2011)
Degree ProgramGraduate College