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Alina Ianovskaia

Current CIS Ontario School

Ashbury College

Teaching Philosophy & Bio


For a couple of years I have struggled in my conceptualization of myself. When people asked me what I did the easy answer was “I’m a teacher,” but this felt incomplete. My job title is of a teacher, but I’m an Art teacher, and in part an Artist, and in a way a researcher. I tried a few times to explain to strangers all these, at times conflicting, identities but struggled to find the right words to frame these ideas. a/r/tography is an Arts based interdisciplinary research practice in education which takes into account these three roles of artist/researcher/teacher in a mutually informing, overlapping manner. “A/r/tography invites us to challenge contradictory concepts (singular/plural; inclusive/exclusive; theory/practice; objective/subjective; fiction/reality)” (p. 60). Madrid discusses that we as Art teachers live and work in these paradoxes, and invites us to share roles with our students as artists/researchers/teachers.

a/r/tography is a way of being a teacher, a leader, an artist, a researcher, a collaborator. A way of identifying not only what I do, but who I am. Having a name for something helps that something come into existence; a name provides validation. In my current practice, I sometimes feel guilty when I read academic articles at my job, or if I draw or paint in-between classes. This concept has given me the validation that in my practice I should be researching, I should be practicing my own work, and I should be engaging with students as artists/researchers/teachers giving them the opportunity to teach me. I should start blurring the bounderies between these roles, where Art/research/teaching begin to crack and seep into each other, begin to blur and form new spaces for understanding to grow and stretch.


Detlefsen, J. D.(2012). A Conversation About A/r/tography: What Are the Qualities of Living Inquiry That Foster a Qualitative Whole in Art Education? Visual Arts Research 38(2), 71-82. University of Illinois Press. Retrieved February 4, 2015, from Project MUSE database.

Madrid, M.(2012). Paradox in A/r/tography: Collective Short Animated Film-Making for Social Inclusion. Visual Arts Research 38(2), 58-68. University of Illinois Press. Retrieved February 4, 2015, from Project MUSE database.