The Seed of Change

Barbara Clark painting

                                                                                                                                         Painting by Barbara Clark, 2009

                                                                                                                                         Photo by Roy Temple

The above video clip performance illustrates the energy behind how elementary pre-service teachers can reveal their emerging sense of identity as creative compassionate teacher leaders and citizens for change through civic engagement. Aesthetic education encompasses critical theory and questions status quo waste, consumption and human behavior. The whole of our revolutionary aesthetic curriculum, introduces our pre-service teachers to local, national, and international social and eco justice issues, selected to impact their ideas and beliefs of transformative learning, sense of imaginative societal contribution, core values, and coping with institutional conflicts. Topics have included the dolphin slaughter for profit in Taiji, Japan (of which the above “Respect” video is one performance) as well as ending homelessness within our university’s surrounding community.

When introduced in community efforts that embrace a sense of possibility, social imagination and empowerment, future educators are given an opportunity to design for elementary school children aesthetic symbolic messages within a community performance, promoting imaginative social action and making the possibility to change behavior evident. Experiencing a compassionate community commons methodology, teachers realize they can be an imaginative, innovative, and inspirational teacher of children and citizen of change.

 [F]or those authentically concerned about the “birth of meaning,” about breaking through the surfaces, about teaching others to “read” their own worlds, art forms must be conceived of as ever-present possibility. They ought not to be treated as decorative, as frivolous. They ought to be, if transformative teaching is our concern, a central part of curriculum, wherever it is devised (Greene, 1988, p. 131).

A critical aesthetic community commons within a teacher preparation course curriculum critically awakens our students to SEE with respect, heart and soul and to imagine, a wide-awakening of what could be possible in educational practice (Greene, 2001).


All references to outside sources can be found in the bibliography sections of our published work.