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UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF GRADUATE COUNSELING STUDENTS ENGAGED IN THERAPEUTIC EXPRESSIVE ARTS-BASED ACTIVITIES

A Dissertation in Educational Leadership
by

Diane Guelzow

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF GRADUATE COUNSELING STUDENTS ENGAGED IN THERAPEUTIC EXPRESSIVE ARTS-BASED ACTIVITIES

UNDERSTANDING THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES OF
COUNSELING STUDENTS ENGAGED IN THERAPEUTIC EXPRESSIVE ARTS-BASED ACTIVITIES Dissertation by Diane J. Guelzow
November 7, 2012 Purpose of Study Primary research question:
How do graduate counseling students describe their experience with expressive arts-based activities (EABA)?

Secondary research question:
How do flow and event theories align or misalign with students' expressed experiences with EABA in the classroom setting?
Secondary research question: Research Statement Approaches Risk-taking Vulnerability Hopes and
Expectations FINDINGS
Main Themes:

Sense of Self in Learning
Physicality
EABA as Pedagogy 2. Positionality 3. Middle-Way Pedagogy "What am I supposed to do now?" "You have the energy of the tribe with you classmates." Insiders Outsiders "No one owns the circle of learning." Respecting
learners and what they bring to the
learning space Honoring the ways adult learners gain knowledge Being open to
what may come
into and
contribute to
the learning
space SENSE OF SELF IN LEARNING 1. Competing Emotions
2. Positionality
3. Middle-Way Pedagogy 1. Competing Emotions PHYSICALITY SENSE OF SELF IN LEARNING SENSE OF SELF IN LEARNING SENSE OF SELF IN LEARNING 1. Art as Affect
2. Transmission of Affect PHYSICALITY 1. Art as Affect "I got into this physical trance." Physically, I felt my heart level go up and down and I was really excited." "...it came from a very physicalness, very tactile as far as touching the different things..." "It was like everything else around me, it kind of fell away and all that was there was my arm and this paintbrush and this ugly green color..." "...and in this sense, it could not be wrong." You're present and attuned but not too much. "You don't know how much time has past and you don't care because you're in a good place." "...getting lost in the process." "70% of it,
I was in my own space. Yet there was still that consciousness of 30% of it was
community." PHYSICALITY 2. Transmission of Affect "That connectedness to others is just powerful." 1. Conceptual Framework Social Constructivism
Literature about Therapeutic Space
Expressive Arts Therapy Theory
Flow Theory
Event Theory
Personal Experiences Neutralize
Positionality Flow Theory Event Theory Skills match challenges
Unaware of time
Brings satisfaction
Pushing through, knowing rewards
Making adjustments Navigates through new territory
Mirror sensing
Testing the environment
Making adjustments
Entrailing insight Validation New
Perceptions Compassion Sense of
Community Enhanced
Understanding Flow Theory Event Theory Not aware of time
Skills/Challenge - Arousal/Control
Finding pleasure (cognitive and biological) Guided by memory
Cognitively guided until mastered
Mirroring
Biological sensations Trusting the process EABA as Pedagogy 1. Integration
2. Student Growth and Pedagogy EABA AS PEDAGOGY 1. Integration My goal in this project is to:
1. provide a contextualized view of expressive arts-based activities (EABA) from graduate counseling students' perspectives and

2. to examine participants' beliefs and behaviors in light of two theories not brought into dialogue with expressive arts theory; flow and event theories respecitively. The objective is to expand and begin theorizing expressive arts therapy pedagogy. SENSE OF SELF IN LEARNING FLOW THEORY EVENT THEORY EABA AS PEDAGOGY 2. Student Growth and Pedagogy Competing
Selves Integration Negotiation "My push was stronger than my pull." "Something lights up in your mind and suddenly unlocks in your heart." Entrainment Shift in Perspective Matter-Energy Embodied
Learning Theory EABA AS PEDAGOGY FLOW THEORY EVENT THEORY EMBODIED LEARNING THEORY LIMITATIONS 1. 2. A/r/tographic Methodology ...formed from subjective, objective, and constructed knowedge (Knight, 1995) Indigenous Insider
External Insider External Outsider
Indigenous Outsider Pedagogy that meets the students in the middle Shifting between the
two positions Physicality is the physical state of being where individuals gain a new awareness of self through a visceral bodily experience (Bell, 2004) Affect is an embodied, biological, and somatice experience (Deluze , 1997, Hemmings, 2005)
Affect is found within a social context with the other, be it with people or with an object (O'Sullivan, 2001) Transmission of affect is described as the ability for the emotions and energies of one person or group to be absorbed by and enter into another person or group (Brennan, 2004) "I was fighting with myself" "Why are you judging? This is not why we are here. We are here to feel other sides." "It was all me."
"I know that once I do it, I'm going to feel better. I am going to know more about myself. I'm more attuned with myself." "Taken out of my thought loop and my feeling loop, and my body loop and I'm put into this new situation..." Cascading Metaphor Energy that creates connections and affect (Deleuze & Guattari (1987) Affirning that our bodies, our feelings, our personal histories are part of the pedogigical process that affects learning (Zembylas, 2007) Being an indigenous insider
Being an external insider
Experiencing a natural flow with others and/or with art making Being an indigenous outsider
Being an external outsider
Navigating through awkwardness The End 3. Targeted Population Graduate counseling students
Mid-size university in southeastern
United States Affirming that our bodies, our feelings, our personal histories are part of the pedogigical process that affects learning (Zembylas, 2007) Not aware of time
Being fully engaged in activity
Influenced by past history
Striving toward assimulation
Observing and testing the environment
Mirroring others to get comfortable in space
Cognitive driven
Influenced by past history Limitations and Further Research
Seven Students - In-depth study
Gender Dominant - Why? What?
Mid-size University is SE US - Unique
Non-tradtional setting - test alternative settings
Two faculty - broaden the understanding
Spirituality - theory?


Implications Begins narrowing the gap in understanding
links to flow and event theories
Indentifies embodied learning theory as a pedogocial approach
Offers a middle-way pedagogy
Enlightens IEATA, offering a new resource
Begins to theorize expressive arts therapy pedagogy
Enlightens therapists
Invites living an artistic life
Three themes emerged from analysis of participant interviews and observations: sense of self in learning, physicality, and EABA as pedagogy. These themes served to address the research questions and illuminate findings that may have valuable implications for expressive arts therapy pedagogy.
Three themes materialized from this study illuminating the complexity of graduate counseling student’s experiences in the learning environment. Added to three major themes, seven subthemes of competing emotions, positionality, middle-way pedagogy, affect in art making, transmission of affect, integration, and student growth and pedagogy, provided greater understanding of EABA. Both flow and event theories aligned throughout the embodied learning community of learners.
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