Robert D. Quinn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Art Education & Director of Distance Education

School of Art and Design, Jenkins Fine Arts Center, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858

Work-(252)328-5182, Cell-(252)414-1257, Fax (252)328-6441,,


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Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Teaching requires balance. The work of an educator is a unique combination of directing, watching, coaching, guiding, and waiting. It is an enterprise quite unlike any other. Finding the balance between different modes of teaching as they flesh themselves out in pedagogical practice is a matter of responsiveness to given educational situations. At times, one can embrace more teacher-centered forms of instruction such as lecture. At other times, more student-centered approaches of construction, such as coaching, are required. In any teaching and learning situation, the teacher is directly responsible for making the provisions for one, the other, or both.

                  I have sought to achieve this balance in my own teaching experience. In my smaller classes, I have at times made specific efforts to engender dialogue among my students by arranging tables in an open circle. By providing this kind of learning environment, students are encouraged to engage with one another as they seek to understand the topics under discussion. At other times during the same class meeting, I have delivered illustrative information through lecture that is aimed at providing the students with a unique perspective on the material they have been reading and discussing. These lectures will often be followed up with in-class opportunities for my students to apply what they have learned.          

Perhaps the most powerful way that I have struck a balance in my teaching is through the use of interactive computer technologies. I always utilize “social media” in my classes to facilitate intimacy and openness among the students. Not only do such technologies have the potential for allowing students to make personal connections—particularly when the settings of my larger classes don’t lend themselves to it—but they afford students with opportunities to make their voices heard.

                  In teaching art education, I believe that balance must be achieved as I guide students through the process of becoming art teachers. I say guide, here, because I believe it is crucial for art education students to gain practical experience in the classroom as they learn the real-world lessons associated with the knowledge they are exposed to during university classroom lectures and discussions. In teaching my art methods courses, I have often coordinated practicum experiences where my students have the opportunity to teach art lessons to children. In doing so, my students gain practical knowledge in how to design and execute lesson plans, manage classrooms, and assess student work.

I believe that such balance is necessary for any student’s successful learning experience. I desire to make an impact on my students in and outside of the classroom by leading them to an acquisition of balance in their own lives, personally and professionally.




Statement of Research Philosophy

I have been and plan to continue pursuing research in the use of interactive computer technologies for teaching and learning, especially online distance learning, in art education. I have used interactive computer technologies as tools for researching sites of educational inquiry.

I enjoy using qualitative methodologies in research, particularly arts-based research methodologies. I have engaged in what Tom Barone calls film-based educational research, which employs certain sensibilities that filmmakers use to portray educational phenomena in a unique way. My first documentary short films about e-learning were dramatizations of the events of my dissertation study. These films have been presented at several professional conferences, in faculty exhibitions, and are available online for viewing by all.

I am also interested in researching emerging technological means for art education instruction, such as the use of mobile devices, Smartphones, tablet PCs, electronic whiteboards, and video gaming in teaching and learning. The future will certainly be filled with technological innovations that will be developed at a remarkable pace. I am positioning myself to be on the front edge of that trend, so that the new and developing technologies can be successfully evaluated and implemented in the practice of art education.

My record of presentation and publication has consistently been both within and outside of the field of art education. I wish to continue researching and publishing in cross- and interdisciplinary forums. I have collaborated with researchers from science and math education, rehabilitation studies, and animation/interactive design to consider research problems and propose grant and publication proposals in the past. I hope to continue and establish new collaborative partnerships with individuals in various departments throughout the university to secure major funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other major private and public granting agencies.

I am also interested in engaged scholarship addressing issues of service learning and community engagement in the field of art education. Training in these issues has been formalized as a recent version of art educational practice in K-16 art classrooms. I have some personal experience in service learning and community engagement programs such as the Empty Bowls Project, mural making, cultural activities in local venues, and arts festivals. I have experience in serving in the community and have an interest in conducting research in venues that can serve as opportunities for my art education students to develop skill in teaching and service learning through after-school programs, collaboration with local public school art teachers, and other important outreach programs in the community.