Dissertation Defense – Lauren Christine Phillips
Narratives of Caring in the Elementary Art Room
by Lauren Christine Phillips
Caring is an essential part of any classroom environment, but most investigations about caring in schools do not include the voices of art educators. How art teachers perceive caring and connect acts of care with the creation of art has not been addressed in previous literature. Looking through a theoretical lens shaped by feminist theory, specifically an ethic of care, as well as Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy, and Vygotsky’s theories on the social nature of learning, this study examines three elementary art teachers’ practices and beliefs through their stories about creating art and caring for students. Narrative analysis is used to find connections and points of departure in the participants’ stories about caring in their classrooms with existing literature. By sharing art teachers’ narratives, this study can add to previous understanding about how educators craft caring environments for their students.