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Last modified: Monday, June 18, 2012

IU supporting national education through art conference in Indianapolis

June 18, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The International Society for Education Through Art and the United States Society for Education Through Art will hold their 2012 conference, "Education Through Art: Teaching for Global Understanding & Engagement," at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. Bringing art educators from across the country and the world to participate, the conference is supported by the Indiana University School of Education, the Center for the Study of Global Change at Indiana University, the Art Education Association of Indiana and the National Art Education Association.

The conference features more than 70 presentations from Saturday, June 23, through Tuesday, June 26, all focusing on the issue of globalization in arts education.

"This is our mission, to get teachers in the classroom to realize that what they teach is going to prepare citizens of the globe," said Marjorie Manifold, associate professor in art education at the IU School of Education and executive secretary of the U.S. Society for Education Through Art. "So they need to learn not only to appreciate other cultures, but how to communicate with them and learn how to communicate visually without speaking a particular language."

The first day's keynote speaker is IU School of Education art education Professor Emerita Enid Zimmerman, who will speak about creativity in global contexts. Other speakers include Elizabeth Delacruz, editor of the journal Visual Arts Research and a faculty member in the University of Florida's Online Master of Arts in Art Education program, whose work considers the nature and value of culturally diverse art and the role of education in promoting creative personal expression and global civil society.

Fine arts photographer Alexandra McNichols, a Colombian-American artist who has examined issues from consumerism to the female experience, will discuss her exhibition of photographs featuring people from endangered cultural groups. Juan Carlos Castro, a faculty member at the University of Illinois, will discuss technology and global education. Castro's research explores the dynamics and qualities of knowing, learning and teaching art through new and social media.

Manifold said the sessions will touch on a wide array of subjects that visual literacy can address. For example, Tricia Fuglestad, an elementary art teacher from Illinois, will speak about using iPads effectively with kindergartners. "Her students are doing art and connecting with other cultures, communicating with kids on the other side of the world," Manifold said. "We have all kinds of presentations from people talking about language and literacy and visual images."

Indiana University faculty are also involved in other presentations. Beth Berghoff, associate professor in the Department of Literacy, Culture and Language Education at the IU School of Education at IUPUI, will present with Cindy Borgmann, associate professor of art education at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, on incorporating contemporary arts and multimedia resources to teach complex subjects such as cultural differences and immigration issues. Martha Nyikos, associate professor in the Department of Literacy, Culture and Language Education, and Jon Simons, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Communication and Culture at IU Bloomington, will each lead end-of-the-day discussions on ideas raised during the day's sessions. Manifold will present during a session on how art exchanges may give voice to struggling populations.

Manifold said the conference features events that should appeal to teachers or anyone interested in visual literacy.

"There are a lot of things for teachers, but we also have a lot of things for graduate students who may be interested in methodologies that are culturally sensitive and globally centered," she said. "We're really trying to reach anyone who's thinking in terms of visual literacy as a way not just to inform about the world, but to change perspective of the world and become more of a citizen of the world."

More information about the conference, including registration information, is available on the U.S. Society for Education Through Art website.