UNK Artfaculty: Lisa Kastello

Donna Alden

Lisa Kastello, Ed.D.

Art Education
FAB - 304B

Dr. Lisa Kastello is Committee Chair of the Master of Arts in Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She completed her doctorate at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. Dr. Kastello spent 15 years in the Illinois public schools as a high school art teacher. During her time in the public schools, she constructed curriculum based on current theory, designed and implemented new courses, created and facilitated service-learning opportunities to promote social justice. She also served as a cooperating teacher for seven student teachers from three universities and coordinated multiple tours for her art students to Chicago, New York, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, and England.

The following is excerpted from Dr. Kastello’s philosophy of education:
Art is both a thought process and means by which to act, so it has the potential to be used in an academic venue to pose problems and to solve problems. Therefore, to teach people about art is to help them to “develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist…” (Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, p. 65) and to act upon those thoughts to transform their society. For students to construct knowledge, they need the opportunities to discover and practice skills in authentic situations. In order to guide students, a teacher should provide access to information through hands-on activities coupled with adequate time and space to use materials that reinforce the lessons being studied. Students should experience recognition that they come into the classroom with knowledge, ideas and opinions that are valuable and worth sharing.

Freire (1970) envisioned an education for liberation that promoted “cultural action for freedom” (p. 2). He believed that people should make their own knowledge with the potential to investigate their own reality. People develop meaning in their ideas through action and through a process of communication and reflection on the relationship between theory and practice according to Freire. Giroux (1997) asserted that theory can provide teachers with the means to conceptualize the inequities inherent in the structures of public schooling and the methods by which they can bring issues of social justice into the classrooms. When open sharing of ideas is fostered within the school environment, students develop insight and respect for themselves, others, and their environment. When the voice of each student is heard, they feel free to express themselves. When students feel safe and know what is expected of them, they have greater respect for their teachers, peers, and the curriculum. When teachers provide opportunities for continual learning and growth, they instill a love of learning in their students, which is my primary goal for teaching.


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