Rebecca Heaton: Autoethnography to artography: An exhibition of cognition in artist teacher practice

With art education being marginalised a need exists for its cognitive value to be reinstated. This thesis responds by exemplifying cognition in artist teacher practice. The focus on artist teacher practice enables cognition to be addressed across educational sectors. It provides intervention at a point where perceptions can be heard and changes implemented in a space where researcher and researched co-exist. This thesis takes the form of an exhibition.

It contains visual, digital and narrative content and is designed to interrupt conventional thesis structures, whilst showcasing cognitive construction in artist teacher practices: professional, pedagogic and academic. As an exhibition, the thesis communicates cognitive transformation in a methodological space between autoethnography and artography. In doing so an artist teacher’s doctoral journey is captured relationally alongside a culture of similar others. Documentation of living artist teacher practice captures how cognitive curation, through connectionism, is possible whilst modelling how an understanding of cognition is useful to reinstate value in art education. The thesis as exhibition presents visual, reflexive and textual stories that are communicated through theoretical, personal and cultural lenses to open the space between autoethnography, artography and artist teacher cognition. These vantage points disrupt and facilitate the narrative, enabling cognition to be unpicked, challenged, presented and re-represented in artist teacher practice and art education. Cognitive forms in art education are conceptualised, factors that influence cognition are suggested and uses for cognition in art education are shared, some of which are relevant and transferable across educational disciplines. Through narrative analysis of the exhibition, this thesis can contribute emergent means for understanding cognition in artist teacher practice and art education. The manifestation of cognition in interdisciplinary and intercultural spaces between art, education, selves and others is revealed alongside emergent ways of conducting arts-based empirical research that connects and disrupts theory, pedagogy and practice. The contributions and disseminations made in this thesis concerning cognition in artist teacher practice and art education begin to expose and raise the profile of cognition in the contentious discipline of education.

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Rebecca Heaton: Autoethnography to artography: An exhibition of cognition in artist teacher practice
November 2018