The Seed of Inner

          Awareness

Barbara Clark Painting    

      Painting by Barbara Clark, 2009

      Photo by Roy Temple

  Utilizing place-based creative commons inquiry, the students depicted in the video below investigated the authentic issue of homelessness facing their surrounding local community of New Britain. They explored their cultural biases and stereotypes, values, beliefs, identities, and sense of self as a teacher with invited community artists and activists leading a myriad of arts experiences. The artistic community forums contributed to a developing sense of the power of aesthetic education manifested in the creation and design of symbolic messages using masks, poetry, dance, music, and theater to address ending homelessness, and breaking down stereotypes of poverty. As shown, symbolic ideas carried a compassionate message to build awareness, which was then integrated and shared within the community to empower transformative learning and societal contribution.

 

Aesthetic education experiences

impacted pre-service teachers’ ideas in relation to human   truths, self, children’s lives, others and our world (Clark, 2008; Greene, 1988). Significant

to this research and future research,

especially on teacher education’s role in teacher training and in-service retention, was pre-service teachers’ emerging senses of identity as resilient teacher leaders for change. As one student stated, “I know personally that I have gained more to my inner being than ever. I have discovered things about myself, the type of person I am, and the type of person I want to be.” If our future teachers can perceive themselves as change agents when engaged in authentic community fieldwork, they become that change and thrive in the field of education.

 

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