First Issue of Art History Pedagogy and Practice Released
Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) is thrilled to release the inaugural issue of Art History Pedagogy and Practice (AHPP), the first academic journal dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning in art history (SoTL-AH). The result of a two year initiative, generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, AHPP responds to the need to support, collect, and disseminate pedagogical research specific to the discipline. Published biannually by AHTR in partnership with the Graduate Center for the City University of New York and the CUNY Office of Library Services, AHPP is available as an open access e-journal on Academic Works, CUNY’s Digital Commons repository.
With its first issue, “What’s the problem with the introductory art history survey?” AHPP seeks to advance a long-running conversation in art history by exploring issues related to the introductory survey course. A robust response to the initial call for papers revealed that discourse around this topic has evolved in recent years to reflect current changes across the educational landscape. Faculty today acknowledge a broader range of skills and content to be foundational to art historical study and the significant role of digital technology in instructional practice, but research is necessary to examine the impact of new pedagogies when applied in the classroom.
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Art History
The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) encourages scholars to investigate their teaching practice with the same curiosity and intellectual rigour used to approach key research questions in their discipline. While SoTL research encompasses many interests, it generally involves asking meaningful questions about student learning and how it can be improved; conducting research into teaching and learning that is systematic, analytical, evidence-based, and uses a variety of research methods; and sharing the results of that inquiry to benefit colleagues and contribute to a growing body of knowledge around teaching and learning.
As a peer-reviewed journal, AHPP developed as a natural outgrowth of the AHTR Weekly, a lively and wide-ranging blog series where diverse practitioners write about their teaching ideas and experiences. Together, these forums offer a digital model of publication where informal and formal SoTL exchange can complement one another and foster public-facing discourse about education in the humanities. The articles in first issue explore different models of inquiry appropriate to SoTL in art history. They include case studies and qualitative data in the form of student comments, personal reflections, and observations in the classroom, and address quantifiable measurements around learning outcomes, graded performance, and other methods used in education and the learning sciences. Most importantly they ask questions that are important to developing conceptual frameworks for pedagogical practice in art history, and serve as a point of departure for future study in this emerging area of the discipline.
ArtHistoryTeachingResources.org (AHTR) is a online platform that connects a diverse field of practitioners teaching art history and visual culture. The site currently provides an evolving repository of adaptable lesson plans; a weekly blog of shared assignments, teaching ideas, and reflective essays; and biannual publication of Art History Pedagogy and Practice. Founded on dual goals to raise the value of the academic labor of teaching and to provide peer support across ranks of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent instructors, AHTR began in 2011 as a collaboration between Michelle Millar Fisher (CUNY, MOMA) and Karen Shelby (Baruch College, CUNY), who created the arthistoryteachingresources.org website with support from the New Media Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. Since its public launch in 2013, AHTR has grown an average of 120% each year and has been viewed over 500,000 times by educators in K-12, post-secondary institutions, and art museums, and academic support staff including reference librarians and curriculum designers. AHTR’s administration has similarly expanded to a leadership collective of art historians and an advisory network assembled for expertise and leadership in art history, museum education, and digital humanities.
AHTR believes that effective high-quality instruction is essential to the future of art history. We are excited to contribute to this goal by providing a platform for scholarly discourse and publication on teaching and learning in art history, and look forward to the next issue of AHPP in Spring 2017. We are grateful for the support, encouragement, and hard work of so many people who have helped to realize this major initiative. In addition to the authors and peer reviewers who contributed content to AHPP’s inaugural issue, we wish to thank Jill Cirasella and Megan Wacha at CUNY, Jillian Clark at bepress, Danielle Maestretti at Flexport, CHIPS, Max Marmor, Lisa Schermerhorn, and Wyman Meers at the Kress Foundation, AHPP’s Advisory Board, and co-editors Renee McGarry and Virginia B. Spivey.