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Chances are if you have conducted formal research as an art educator, it is not only something your students will benefit from but other teachers in the field will as well. There are different ways to share what you have learned through research.
Talk with your building principal or district leadership. Most districts have policies about research and publication. When you conduct formal research in a K-12 classroom, it’s important to communicate with participants and their guardians regarding informed consent. Informed consent explains the possible benefits and consequences of participating in research.
This is also a moment to indicate if you will or will not use pseudonyms in writing about the results of your research. Finally, if student work or work by professional artists is important to share as part of your research, make sure you have clear permission to submit it for reproduction and distribution through publication.
Art education research is published in a variety of formats.
Once you have decided on the format for publishing, examine how the authors of successful works organize information about their research. Peer-reviewed work in the field of art education follows APA format, which you can learn about through AOEU Library Services. You will notice connections to theory and current scholarship in the field as the author makes a case for the importance of the research and the recommendations they share in the paragraphs that follow. In contrast, work in an online magazine will feel intentionally brief and likely present important conclusions or recommendations for practice first. You may see hyperlinks to other resources, rather than a final reference list in APA format.
After being immersed in a research project, not only is there a lot of information to share, but you also really care about it! As a result, it can be challenging to figure out how to take pieces of a capstone, thesis, or dissertation and prepare it for publication. Rather than trying to edit down a larger paper you have already written, start a fresh document that answers the question: What do I want other teachers to learn?
After you are focused on what you want other teachers to learn, build your outline. Having a very clear structure can make it easier for readers to engage with your work. Write out the main points you want a reader to notice as they follow your thinking and then elaborate.
After being close to a project for some time, it can be difficult to perceive how your writing might be understood by someone who is not familiar with your research. Before you submit your work for review or self-publish, ask trusted peers to read your work and offer critical feedback. Whether it is a former classmate from graduate school or another teacher at your school, a fresh perspective can really help. This person might catch errors and point out where you need to be more clear in your communication. They can also help you find areas where you can elaborate, so others will better understand your work.
If you are submitting to a traditional publication, feedback will come from an editor or an editor and peer reviewers. Act on that feedback, address any concerns, and communicate what actions you took when you resubmit your work. Do not get discouraged if you are asked to revise and resubmit your work. Editors and peer reviewers want to see work published, and they are aiming to help you make your work stronger. In self-publishing, feedback can come through comments offered verbally as you engage with people, or on social media as work is shared. Consider acting on what is said if it helps you grow in your work or reach more people.
Research in the field of art education is crucial to the advancement of best practice. When it comes to publishing your research, you have a lot of different options. Carefully considering the best fit will help you to add your voice to this important conversation.
Why is it important to share your research?
What examples of research published by other art teachers have you found to be valuable, memorable, or inspiring?