Date of Award

Summer 9-15-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Shaun McNiff

Second Advisor

Martha McKenna

Third Advisor

Peter Cormier


This art-based research study seeks to examine teaching artists’ current perspectives on the models of training and support provided to them by their employers. The study was conducted with a group of teaching artists exploring two key research questions: What models of training and support do teaching artists receive? What are teaching artists perspectives on the efficacy of those models? Responses were explored collaboratively through a cyclical process of artmaking, reflection, and discussion designed and facilitated by the artist-researcher. The study yielded the following outcomes: teaching artists believe training and support received from employers is inefficient and inconsistent; teaching artists are seeking more support and feel instable and isolated in their practice; and teaching artists believe effective models of training and support include the presence of a supervisor, adequate resources, and collaboration with other teaching artists. Significantly, results support research addressing the benefits of utilizing art-based methods for educator led action research and professional development. Teaching artists believe participation in the research was beneficial and demonstrates teaching artists’ capacity to serve a more direct role in the growth of their profession. The study suggests teaching artists be provided more opportunity to design and lead their own employment-based training to raise their standing as professionals and promote a stronger inclusion of their voice in the field of art education.

Keywords: teaching artist, training, support, professional development, art-based research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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