There seems to be no question about the arts’ benefits that broaden our imaginative and creative abilities as well as empathy and critical questioning (Dewey, 1934; Eisner, 2002; Greene, 1995; hooks, 1995). Such powerful qualities of art & design education remind us that arts might help us acquire a new awareness of self in classrooms and society. As we learn to adjust our educational strategies to ever-evolving learning environments, we are now facing the shock and initial response to the Covid-19 global pandemic. Our collective virtual teaching experiences have propelled us to develop effective transitional teaching strategies (i.e., hybrid, virtual, in-person). However, many of us face urgent questions in the flux witnessing various inequalities and social issues globally: How can learning in art & design prepare students to be enlightened citizens, artists, designers, and cultural producers? How can we promote understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion through the arts where prejudice and marginalization may exist? How might students’ creativity be authentically assessed in art & design education? What can be the most inclusive and appropriate measures for assessing teaching & learning in art & design while being in flux? What are the benefits of particular kinds of reflective strategies from one’s day-to-day teaching & learning moments in regards to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and what do these look like in practice? The beginning of openness and inclusivity can be activated by a series of critical reflections on teaching and learning, which leads to perspective transformation regarding identities as reflective educators, self-directed learners, and creatives. This qualitative action research investigates and analyzes various reflective strategies, including self & peer assessments, retrospective reflections, critical incident analysis (Tripp, 1933) to help faculty and students discover critical inquiries around equity, diversity, and inclusion while cultivating collective desire to learn individually and collectively.
Sohee Koo is an artist and educator whose research and pedagogy focus on learners’ perspective transformation through visual arts, various ways of knowing, and fostering learner autonomy via personalizing, reflecting, critical and divergent thinking. Koo has chaired and presented her research at numerous conferences, including NAEA (National Art Education Association), CAA (College Art Association), FATE (Foundations in Art: Theories and Education), SHOT (Society for the History of Technology), and KoSEA (Korean Society for Education through Art). Koo is currently an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, while serving as a Higher Education Division Director at MAEA (Massachusetts Art Education Association), an editorial board member of NAEA’s Art Education journal, and a proposal reviewer at the AACIG (Asian Art & Culture Interest Group) of the NAEA.
As an artist, she has presented her work at numerous platforms including the Korean Cultural Council Gallery, AHL Foundation, Interstate Projects, DIFFA at Pier 94, Visual Arts Gallery, the Macy Art Gallery, and Sung Harbor Gallery. Koo holds an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts and a doctorate (Ed.D.) in Art & Art Education from Columbia University.