Alex the Wandering Hermit

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So, I find myself writing about…. myself… again. It seems Art Ed. really forces you to examine not only what you love and the society you live in, but also to examine oneself in every aspect of one’s life that is humanly possible. Which is good!?… So here we go!

My name is Alex Fernandez.  I am a graduate student in the CCNY Art Education Master’s program and I live a crazy life (I need a vacation ><). I currently hold a B.F.A. degree is in Electronic Design & Multimedia (Graphic Design) from (tada!!) the City College of New York and I have 10+ years experience in the field of Graphic Design mostly working in the garment industry, in the youth sports apparel section (love Sports!). I am also an artist, who has been exhibiting his artwork for the last 5 years, in many locations from NY to Italy with the Collective of Dominican-American Visual Artists. My inspiration always starts with my family and I spend a lot time with the classics so this site helps greatly when looking for high quality images of artwork -> Google Art Project. For some of my art visit the site i’m working on (barebones) -> LosAlamos.

My teaching experience in a classroom is limited to what I have been exposed to in the Art Education program, but I have been volunteering as a manager/coach, teaching baseball to kids 4-18 for more than 10 years. Most don’t consider that teaching, but in reality, coaches go through the same experiences that teachers do. We deal with parents acting up (unfortunately parent fights do happen), kids with low self-esteem, overly hyper kids, etc. My main goal has always been to development every child into good citizens, not baseball players.

For my thesis, I wanted to investigate something that would have personal meaning to me. I studied my life and my art learning experiences and found myself wanting more.   I realized that all the art teachers I’ve had by-passed traditional methods and the technical skills which I yearned to learn. Years later I find myself asking the question why?  Why did they teach the way they did? Do all teachers teach this way? Are technical skills taught in our classrooms? I want to understand why teachers teach what they teach – how they formulate their curricula and how do they choose a teaching method.

My thesis will focus on understanding art teachers and their pedagogical influences. So far I have learned that there is very little research concerning what influences art teachers’ curriculum development or that examines how their own learning experiences influences their teaching method. I’m planning to gather my data with a survey (which I hope some of you can fill out) and interviews of art teachers currently teaching in classrooms. I believe this research can help art teachers understand why we teach the way we teach. It will encourage us to review our current curricula and examine whether or not our students are receiving the overall art education that they should be. I truly hope that it can be helpful to our community.

So, I will end this with my favorite phrase, sometimes called a socratic paradox, but adjusted in my words… sort of.

“I only know that I know nothing, because he who knows nothing, knows everything and he who knows everything, knows nothing.”

Socrates (or a wandering hermit? I don’t know…)

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