Samantha Nolte-Yupari ('14 Ph.D.) recently received the Arts and Learning SIG's Dissertation Award. The award is presented annually to the scholar whose work is important to Arts and Learning SIG members and bears the hallmarks of integrity, quality, depth of knowledge, style, and significance to the field.
Samantha’s work explores: “What are beginning teachers’ experiences of their teaching, how does it become meaningful, and why do they move in particular ways?” Research on the experiences of beginning art teachers is scarce, as are content-specific mentors. By conducting further research, she hopes to consider the ways in which these novice teachers build their teaching skills over time.
Professor Tina Thompson said Samantha’s dissertation has come together in an “elegant and powerful” way. “An exceptional writer and scholar, and an energetic researcher, Samantha spent countless hours with four recent graduates of the Art Education program at Penn State, discussing the issues and concerns they faced as novice art teachers. The methods Samantha developed to facilitate these conversations provide multiple ways of mentoring beginning art teachers, whose professional responsibilities and positions are quite different from other new teachers. Samantha's use of visual mapping and extended dialogues with beginning teachers brings together potent ideas from a range of contemporary research and practice to both document and respond to the transition from college to classroom that beginning art teachers inevitably face.”