The National Art Education Association presented UW Oshkosh art professor Li-Hsuan Hsu with the 2018 Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award in Art Education runner-up for her research involving leadership in art education.
Hsu said she teaches two classes this semester with the first class aimed at teaching students how to teach middle and high school students.
“The first course is titled Middle School and Secondary Art Education Methods,” Hsu said. “This course is designed to form a foundation and prepare art education majors to teach art and design at middle schools and high schools.”
Hsu said her other course focuses on visual aspects of art and using different projects to learn various arts.
“The second course is titled ‘Art: Concepts, Creations and Children’,” Hsu said. “This course is designed for students across all academic departments to learn visual arts and aesthetic awareness through creative art-making and personal expression.”
Hsu said her research looks at how art and leadership are connected along with an effort to expand that connection further.
“My research focuses on conceptualizing leadership qualities of Art Education leaders in arts and cultural organizations to create an artful leadership framework that could potentially guide art educators to foster their leadership development,” Hsu said. “The research aims to expand the understanding and intersection of arts and leadership, which has not been widely discussed in art education.”
Hsu said she believes her research shows a special relationship that needs to be understood from many different perspectives.
“As an art educator, I believe the relationship between research and teaching is like the connection between teaching and learning,” Hsu said. “Teaching is a process of learning that demands progressive understanding and practice of multiple contextual factors, including students’ growth, curriculum development, instruction and assessment.”
Hsu said doing her research helps her reflect on what she has worked on in the past as well as develop new teaching techniques.
“Conducting research can be an effective way to reflect on teaching maturation; allowing oneself to learn past and present research also creates opportunities for us as educators to be collectively aware of diverse strategies for outstanding teaching practice,” Hsu said.
Chair of the art department, Susan Maxwell said research like this is essential for students, as it is part of their daily learning.
“Our academic staff are also working artists whose research and creative activity impacts their students on a daily basis,” Maxwell said. “Research is an integral part of teaching at a university, since new ideas and new processes are continually being passed along to students.”
UWO senior Amanda Beistle said this award should help bring more attention to the department, which she feels is not promoted enough.
“You don’t really hear a lot about what’s going on with the art department,” Beistle said. “Hopefully this achievement will interest students in checking out what the department has to offer.”
Beistle said she regularly checks out the galleries to help support students’ work.
“I like to see what work the students put out,” Beistle said. “It shows me what they are learning in class and how their skills are progressing.”
Maxwell said she is proud of Hsu for receiving for her award and bringing attention to the art department.
“Without a doubt, this is a great achievement for her and shows the great promise that she brings to the University, the department and her students,” Maxwell said. “We are proud to have professor Hsu on our team and look forward to seeing her put her research on art leadership into practice.”
Hsu said her future plans for her research includes expanding on her current research and turning her focus on different cultural organization within the arts.
“My future research plans include examining leadership qualities of K-12 visual arts teachers and their collaborative efforts to develop growth of themselves, students and communities,” Hsu said. “This research will be expanded from my current research, which focuses on leadership within arts and cultural organizations.”
Hsu said this award means a lot to her because it helps boost her confidence to push to research the connection between leadership and the arts.
“This award is very special to me as this is the primary doctoral research award in the field of art education,” Hsu said. “This award amplifies my confidence to continually conduct leadership research in the arts. Also, this award encourages me to collaborate with my colleagues because collaboration was found as an important factor that creates successful art leaders.”
Hsu said she has ideas to ensure quality education for her students.
“I would like to form collaborative teamwork at UWO with other faculty to develop academic excellence for our students,” Hsu said.