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Delane Ingalls Vanada

Delane Ingalls Vanada


Tuesday, July 4, 2023    
15:00 CEST – 16:00 CEST


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Dr Delane Ingalls Vanada in her Engage with Ideas’ May session will suggest that the traditional art education teacher training lacks opportunities for developing teachers with a capacity to deliver a learner-centered learning and thus are unable to build students’ agency as learners and creators. Delane will propose that although, the traditional art education by using predictable methods for problem solving does produce predictable results and thus it does not foster studnets critical thinking, which is needed to support development of creative subjects (Vanada, 2022).

In her talk, Delane will suggest that the five stage T-H-I-N-K model can reorient the art education teacher training towards producing a more learner-centered educators.

Dynamic learning: A learner-centered paradigm in art and design
Figure 1. Dynamic learning: A learner-centered paradigm in art and design


She will argue that the T-H-I-N-K model does this by facilitating a creative action through process such as brainstorming, collaboration, social ideation, and prototyping. Evidence from her practice suggested that deploying of T-H-I-N-K model in the graduate teacher training projects prompts the future arts teachers to thinking more about:

  • Advocacy for art education as an essential discipline
  • Developing students’ process-oriented skills and dispositions
  • Learner-centered teaching in community art
  • Incorporating design thinking into the art + design classroom
  • Building students’ creative confidence through art + design
  • Art educators as leaders and managers of art integration

Nevertheless, Delane’s research indicates that the graduate teacher training candidates have reported difficulties with dealing with the ambiguity of inquiry-driven research and planning. She reasons that the graduate teacher training candidates past habits of been used to determine the end-solutions have limited their exploration of open-ended solutions. She reasons that as the art education and design-based learning in the U.S.A. are generally kept more separate in the curriculum, many of the students in the art education programs are less familiar with the design thinking practices and thus lack the necessary skills to fully engage with the T-H-I-N-K model processes. The table below lists examples of the past student projects using the THINK model.

Summary of Collaborative Action DT projects using the THINK model
Table 1. Summary of Collaborative Action DT projects using the THINK model


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photo of Delane Ingalls VanadaDr. Ingalls Vanada is an Associate Professor of Art Education at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Dr. Ingalls Vanada’s research focuses on learner-centered pedagogy, the psychology of creativity, a/r/tography, and innovative methods for teacher preparation, including design thinking. Weaving together her training as a designer and artist, Delane understands that successful programs in art education understand that teachers are also designers—of thinking, equitable learning, creativity, and the environments they also work to create. Dr. Ingalls Vanada is published widely in journals such as International Journal of Arts Education, Arts Research International, and International Journal of Education and the Arts and has presented her work in the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Denver and her Masters from Lesley University in Creative Arts in Learning. Prior to joining Catholic University, she served as Assistant Professor of Art Education at UNC Charlotte, mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students and serving as the founding director of Art Connects!, a contemporary art integration symposium, and Inquiry to Practice—a working group of K-20 artist/teacher/researchers who engage in arts-based research and link theory to practice. Dr. Ingalls Vanada was a visiting professor at Kutztown University and also supervised and taught Art Education Masters’ students at Boston University, University of Florida, and Savannah College of Art + Design. Ingalls Vanada is an award-winning teacher and director of K-12 art programs—receiving the national Kennedy Center Distinction Award and named NAEA’s Pacific region Elementary Educator of the Year in 2004.


Vanada, D. I. (2022). Dynamic learning: A learner-centered paradigm in art and design. In D. Lockton, S. Lenzi, P. Hekkert, A. Oak, J. Sádaba, & P. Lloyd (Eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao (pp. 1–15). Design Research Society.

Ingalls Vanada, D. (2013). Practically Creative: The Role of Design Thinking as an Improved Paradigm for 21st Century Art Education. In J. B. Reitan, P. Lloyd, E. Bohemia, L. M. Nielsen, I. Digranes, & E. Lutnæs (Eds.), Design Education from Kindergarten to PhD – Design Learning for Tomorrow: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers (Vol. 4, pp. 2018–2063). ABmedia.


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