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Dr. Susan Whiteland
Assistant Professor of Art Education
- Ph.D., University of North Texas, Art Education
- M.A., University of North Texas, Art Education
- B.A., University of North Texas, Radio/TV/Film
- Art Education
- Lifelong learning
- Intergenerational Relationships
- Texas Art Education Association
- National Art Education Association
I recently graduated from the University of North Texas (UNT) with a PhD in art education. Prior to coming to Arkansas State I spent a semester with the 'gators at the University of Florida where I was able to teach a couple of face-to-face art education courses and two on-line courses. I have also taught as an adjunct instructor at Dallas Baptist University and taught as a graduate student while attending UNT. Before returning to school for my master's and doctorate degrees I had taught art on the middle school level for 13 years. I very much enjoyed my time as a middle school art teacher but felt that I could make more of an impact by teaching the teachers; therefore, I began graduate school in 2006.
For the past few years I've adopted as my mantra the following quotation: "Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them" (Deuteronomy 4:9). This admonition encourages me to pass on to future generations things that I have experienced in life and found meaningful. Perhaps this is why I find such value in fostering intergenerational relationships through art. For me art is the perfect vehicle for engaging in activities that prompt both hand and heart. While working together both young and old can share their handiwork, their craft, their ideas, their thoughts, their hopes and their dreams. They become co-learners invested in the process and product of their time together. This experience inspires lifelong learning and contributes to understanding between generations. A sense of community is formed and society benefits. It is for these reasons that lifelong learning and intergenerational relationships in art are research interests of mine as well as the field of Gerontology.
As an art educator I strive to broaden my students' vision that they might see the potential that the arts possess. The visual arts have much to offer in helping us understand who we are and who we can aspire to be individually and globally. I look forward to being a member of the teaching faculty at Arkansas State and learning with you this year.