Visual art teachers, from beginning to veteran, often report experiencing feelings of professional isolation and a desire for content-specific support and collaborative professional learning experiences. Mentoring and Induction Programs (IPs) offered by schools and districts continue to fall short of meeting the needs of beginning visual art teachers in particular. There are a large number of visual art teachers in the state of California, especially in Los Angeles County, yet there are no visual art specific support networks for beginning visual art teachers to help them navigate their first years teaching. Collaborative learning groups, such as communities of practice (CoP), may offer visual art teachers opportunities to learn together and support one another in shared learning, yet none have been formally documented in Los Angeles County as a means of supporting novice art educators. The Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA has established a community practice called the Teacher Induction Program (TIP) to support beginning science teachers with content-specific pedagogy during their first two years of teaching. Using the TIP as a framework, a visual art professional growth support community was outlined for this study based on the needs and concerns of visual art teachers reported throughout the literature. Beginning visual art teachers in Los Angeles county were interviewed to help the researcher better understand their existing and desired supports, as well as their individual needs and concerns as new teachers. The visual art CoP was proposed to them to elicit feedback about its anticipated values (immediate, potential, applied) based on their lived experiences as first or second year PK-12 public school visual art teachers in Los Angeles County.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration and policy; Art teachers -- California -- Los Angeles County -- Case studies; Mentoring in education

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