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12 Days of Creative Teaching Philosophies

Published December 9, 2014

Students from the Department of Art Education enrolled in Dr. Sara Scott Shields and TA Cindy Jesup’s ARE 5950 Professional Practices: Portfolio class have just submitted their final projects, and the results are unique.

The students are in their last academic year of the Masters Art Education Program or the 5 Year Art Education Program. The 5 year combined BA in Art/MS in Art Education program centers around the theoretical position of Art for Life, which assumes that the arts are an essential part of education, culture, and social justice. The 5 year program consists of an educational sequence that prepares skilled and knowledgeable K-12 art teachers who work to improve education in the arts within the framework of local and global communities.

The class final project required the students to write a personal teaching philosophy based on the course and submit a companion video explaining their approach. To celebrate the season we will release a video every weekday for 12 days. Be sure to check on our Facebook page to see our student’s videos!

On our 1st Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we would like to showcase Ashley Chandler!

The 5 year program here at FSU has encouraged me to connect art to other disciplines, both academic and sociological, so that I might enhance my effectiveness as an art educator. – Ashley Chandler


Her personal portfolio page can be found here.


On our 2nd Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to proclaim Rachel Vesia!

As an artist, I am interested in texture and color. I enjoy photography and painting. As a teacher, I enjoy working with the students and seeing their unique perspectives come out in their artworks. After graduation, I will be in Tallahassee. I am hoping to find a job teaching at a public/private k-12 school in the area. – Rachel Vesia


Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.


On our 3rd Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we blast the name of Josh Agostinelli!

There are 3 main curricular goals that I emphasize in my philosophy. The first would be artistic growth. Number two is self-expression. And last but not least is learning by doing. – Josh Agostinelli


I’m a pretty badass artist. I can eat 100 shrimp in one sitting. My eyes are a mixture of spring green and medium orchid blue. People confuse me for Abraham Lincoln when I grow a beard. – Josh Agostinelli


On our 4th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to feature Angela Whited!

Having a passion for both art and education, the 5 year program was the perfect choice. It allowed me to develop as an artist and explore all mediums of art while still receiving the necessary skills required to teach. Being out of state, it was also beneficial that it was only one extra year of graduate school. – Angela Whited


Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.


On our 5th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to promote Verena Mellein!

I have been attending FSU since 2011 and have been working hard towards my Masters in Art Education. The Program has helped me determine the kind of teacher I want to be and equipped me with the skills and knowledge to manage my own classroom. – Verena Mellein


[After Graduation] I plan on teaching at an international school in Germany to be closer to my family. – Verena Mellein


Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.


We are halfway through and celebrating our 6th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies! What do you say we introduce the Faculty member who made it all begin, Dr. Sara Scott Shields!

Philosophically, I believe teaching is best when it is a relational experience encouraging the learner to connect and engage with the content to be learned and experienced. This connecting ultimately requires the student to engage self, teacher and new knowledge in a never-ending circular process. The ultimate goal of the teacher is motivating students and engaging them in the co-generation of knowledge. As a practitioner researcher interested in teacher education I believe one central focus of education courses should be on development of teacher identity. Too often students are inundated with theory and philosophy in isolation, and while these concepts are central to teacher development they must be taught in relationship to self and other. I challenge my students to explore how theory and philosophy impact their own teacher identities and how these concepts contribute to their becoming; because it is through the process of becoming we come to understand the interconnectedness of our world, our art, and our work. – Dr. Sara Scott Shields


More on Dr. Sara Scott Shields can be found here.


On our 7th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to present Allyson Leja!

I’ve always gravitated towards the gentle leaders in the world; the ones who whisper words of wisdom and plant seeds of love but never dare to demand a right way. The ones who stand firm in their truth while encouraging others to find their own. The gentle leaders in my life have taught me to find my individual voice while respecting others’, question everything with an open mind and above all else, to practice compassion. These quiet leaders have been my greatest teachers. As a student who values this way of learning, I’ve naturally become a teacher who aspires to promote individual voice, promote higher order thinking, and promote a connection to the community, specifically through the act of creating art. – Allyson Leja


Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.


On our 8th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to share Shanice Holt!

I learned things about myself [while obtaining my degree in the 5 Year Program] in regards to my teaching style. I found out that the things I thought I would struggle with actually came a lot easier to me than I thought they would. – Shanice Holt


I come from a military family which gave me a unique perspective as both a student and a teacher. I am also a Photographer aspiring to open my own Photography business. – Shanice Holt


Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.


On our 9th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to highlight Heather Kostrna!

As an artist, teacher, and student, I enjoy exploring and experimenting with all different types of media. I enjoy working with others and helping them to improve their skills in the art content area. I believe in teaching creative problem solving skills through open ended projects and planning activities. I think that the classroom instruction should be student centered and hands on. I look forward to working with young artists and helping them find themes throughout their work. – Heather Kostrna

[On the 5 Year Program] I was fortunate enough to work with wonderful professors who have a great deal of experience with working in kindergarten through 12th grade art classrooms. I also gained much needed hands on experience by completing an internship at both the elementary and secondary levels. This was invaluable experience for any teacher but also definitely gave me the chance to make sure that this was what I really wanted to do. – Heather Kostrna

Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.

On our 10th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we celebrate with Ashley Chandler on what it means to be a “Diverse Learner”!

My “Portrait of a Diverse Learner” was inspired by one of the students I encountered during my internship. The obstacles we faced with communication presented themselves also as opportunities for growth for the both of us. As the weeks passed, I watched his artwork develop and was reminded that art is a universal language. – Ashley Chandler

Her personal portfolio page can be found here.

On our 11th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we are going into the classroom to spotlight “Fused Glass Portraits” Rachel Vesia.

I hope my students will learn to love art and find my classroom as a place of solace, a place of discovery, and a place to learn lessons applicable to their life. I want my class to be a place of investigation and acceptance. I hope to inspire my students in their quest for meaning like I was inspired by my art teachers. – Rachel Vesia

Her personal Portfolio page can be found here.

On our 12th Day of Creative Teaching Philosophies we wish to ignite our creativity with Dr. Sara Scott Shields’ “Material as Metaphor”!

Prior to working as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Sara Scott Shields worked for six years as a high school art teacher in Wilmington, NC. Her research interests revolve around arts based approaches to both research and learning, with a specific focus on arts informed qualitative research methodologies, visual thinking strategies in higher education curriculum and pedagogy and teacher/researcher identity development.

More on Dr. Sara Scott Shields can be found here.


We really enjoyed being able to highlight our students and this wonderful program, and hoped you enjoyed our videos.

UPDATE: Thank you for featuring this article in the Pinellas Seminole Club News!