about the book
Unfolding Afterglow examines professional learning in the contemporary milieu of public education, considering the impact of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top on such encounters for art educators. Drawing from prominent scholars of philosophy and education (Greene, Dewey, Gadamer), aesthetic experiential play is theorized as a catalyst for teacher renewal through the embodied intensities (Merleau Ponty, Deleuze) it prompts: an aesthetic swell and afterglow. The swell is conceptualized as a movement that unmoors teachers as learners, setting them adrift towards unanticipated, surprising possibilities. Afterglow is an illuminated space that unfolds with a commitment and openness to move in swell towards the ever expanding new. This text invites readers into the findings of a qualitative research inquiry by unfolding a yearlong correspondence of letterpress printed postcards and hand rendered letters exchanged between the author and a cohort of K-12 art teachers. The innovative epistolary form evokes the relational and arts-based educational research methodologies that informed this lively aesthetic inquiry, providing new directions and possibilities for both art educators and arts researchers to explore. Advocating for more complex understandings regarding how educators become renewed as artists and as teachers, this poetic and pictorial text provokes an expanded vision for what counts as professional learning, and the processes by which teacher renewal is nourished and experienced.
Praise for Unfolding Afterglow:
Brooke Hofsess’ book is a gift. It invites. It welcomes. It gently provokes. Theorists, pedagogues, methodologists and researchers, alike, will find themselves in aesthetic play as they experience the flows, swells, and intensities that Hofsess beautifully crafts. Each embodied letter, image, engagement with theory, introduction of a participating teacher, and parcel is careful and thoughtful, but not presumptuous. Hofsess moves with humility, assuming that you the reader will bring yourself to this invitation in equally thoughtful ways. Her invitation is smart, respectful, and curious. A brilliant piece of art. - Mark D. Vagle, Associate Professor (The University of Minnesota) and Author of Crafting Phenomenological Research
By doing arts-based thinking, Brooke Hofsess’ Unfolding Afterglow provides a lucid example of the post-qualitative turn in educational research. She leads us into a poetic reimagining of the purposes and outcomes of arts education through sustaining the living presence of the art teacher in the classroom—not for expedient, objectively designed understandings, but for the long-term aesthetic renewal of both teachers and students. She refocuses our attention to what really matters in education: how, as Elliot Eisner said, the teaching of art is more than the teaching of art. - Richard Siegesmund, Professor of Art + Design Education (Northern Illinois University) and Co-editor of Arts-Based Research in Education: Foundations for Practice
Unfolding Afterglow is truly a representation of living aesthetic inquiry, as the sensitive craft of the letterpress postcards that prompted honest letters from art teachers illuminates the challenges and possibilities of maintaining transformative experiences in the everyday practice of K-12 art education. - Tracie Costantino, Dean of Faculty (Rhode Island School of Design) and Co-editor of Essays on Aesthetic Education for the 21st Century