Courtney Lee Weida is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She has also taught courses in art education, studio art, and art history at Columbia University Teachers College, the State University of New York, and Radford University. She serves as a teaching artist in New York public schools. She is an artist with experience managing a graduate ceramic studio. Her recent publications address arts education, technology, craft, and gender issues in art education.
Courtney completed her doctorate in Art & Art Education at Columbia University Teachers College. She earned a masters degree from Harvard University, specializing in Museum Education. Her bachelors degree included a double major in Visual Art and English Literature (honours distinction and Summa Cum Laude). During her undergraduate studies, she was awarded Northeastern University's Samuel Bishop Art Award (2002 and 2003) for her work as an artist, writer, and student leader. She was also given a full-tuition McFarland Scholarship for her dedication to urban teaching. In 2003, she earned a No Child Left Behind grant to support the art program in which she taught during undergraduate and masters study. She has created and taught studio art and craft programs for pre-K through twelfth grade within schools and community programs. She completed teaching certifications in Visual Art (PreK-12), English Literature, and Elementary classroom teaching.
Courtney is an active member of such arts organizations as the National Art Education Association, the National Art Education Association Women's Caucus and Women's Studies Association. Her professional presentations explore research in girlhood studies, gender studies, and artists books. As a practicing artist within various media, she possesses a unique background in English literature and archaeology museum work that has informed her art practice. She has exhibited sculptures and ceramics in numerous shows throughout the United States and online.
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Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Art education could be seen as an umbrella field because it reaches out to so many important facets of human development and learning. In my teaching, I endeavor to emphasize interdisciplinary exploration, craft and sensory experience, expression of culture and gender, and critical thinking and aesthetic inquiry. My work and processes as an artist, educator, and researcher are unified and informed by experimentation, visualization, and collaboration. I’ve always admired Maxine Greene, who once wrote that the arts should be “wild, accessible, and yet not too easy.” This balance may be applied to teaching as well.
While teaching kindergarten through twelfth grades, I endeavored to study art history as well as a range of studio disciplines in order to best serve the inquiries and interests of child artists in urban areas. An additional major in English Literature as well as my certification in the teaching of English Literature and general classroom teaching have also given me an array of approaches to interdisciplinar instruction. As a professor, I continue to work and volunteer as a teaching artist in New York public schools to remain authentic and relevant in the field of teacher education.
I also bring my verbal and literary flair to art/art education curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Given the importance of both voice and written expression for artists and teachers, I feel very fortunate to have a strong literary background that enables me to guide students in writing about and discussing art and education. Art educators are not only faced with the general endeavors of education, such as student engagement, classroom management, and serving many diverse populations of students; but also face specific challenges of curriculum, advocacy, and justification of their roles- and of the very existence of their field - that are somewhat unique to the arts. I hope to help my students understand the value of art education and begin to become advocates of art education.
My teaching approach at all levels is largely one of a facilitator and mentor, encouraging students to discuss critical issues of art and culture even while they express themselves artistically through two and three-dimensional media, writing, and hybrid formats of visual arts research. As a mentor to my students, I closely investigate their work in order to make inquiries and suggestions concerning artistic technique, conceptual content, and arts-related research. I attend carefully to their evolving goals, honoring and extending the pathways of students who are often quite reflective and resolved about their own paths as artists and educators. Meanwhile, I encourage those students who are not as confident in their art, teaching, and writing by offering an array of suggestions as possible creative “doors.” I strongly believe in the value of education as a part of the artistic process and arts research practice. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that I am able to explore all of my passions in a day’s work within the field of art education.