Teacher as conceptual artist

Melissa Bremmer, Emiel Heijnen, Sanne Kersten (2021)

Teachers in arts education frequently struggle with their professional identity. When asked, arts teachers often answer that they believe that their main responsibility is education at the expense of understanding themselves as artists. The Mexican‐American artist and teacher Jorge Lucero questions whether an occupation as teacher necessarily impedes a creative practice. The finding that both progressive pedagogy and conceptual art share certain characteristics forms the basis for his concept of ‘teacher as conceptual artist’. In short, Lucero proposes that a teacher’s practice, in and beyond the classroom, simultaneously can be his or her creative practice. This qualitative intervention study explored whether or not the concept of teacher as conceptual artist holds the possibility to narrow down the gap between teacher and artist identities. The intervention consisted of a three‐day project led by Lucero in which nine arts teacher students were familiarised with modes of operation as a conceptual artist. In the three following months, these students implemented lessons in primary and secondary education based on those modes. Prior to the project, ‘elicitation‐interviews’ were used to explore how students perceived their professional identity and at the end of project semi‐structured interviews were conducted. The findings suggest that through the modes of operation as a conceptual artist, students who mainly identified as an artist were able to integrate a teacher identity in their artist identity, but the modes of operation also gave students who withheld their artist identity from the classroom an opportunity to live their artist identity in the classroom. Read the full article


Bremmer, M., Heijnen, E., & Kersten, S. (2021). Teacher as conceptual artist. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 40(1), 82-98.



Teacher as conceptual artist
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