Personal profile

Personal profile

Bresler’s interdisciplinary work focuses on the arts and qualitative research methodology. In her various editorship roles in books and special issues of academic journals, she has sought to bring together intellectual communities across arts disciplines and cultures to address key areas, for example, early childhood, curriculum and cultural context in her co-edited book, The Arts in Children’s Lives (Bresler & Thompson, 2002; Kluwer); and embodiment in education in her book Knowing Bodies, Moving Mind, (Bresler, 2004, Kluwer).
Establishing new venues for interaction across disciplinary borders, Bresler founded, with Tom Barone and Gene Glass, the International Journal of Education and the Arts (2000-), and has established a book series for Springer that encompasses the various arts education domains (2002-present). Her International Handbook of Research in Arts education (Bresler, Springer, 2007), a project with 100+ contributors from 40+ countries, has identified 13 major areas (e.g., Curriculum; Evaluation; Creativity; Child Culture; Informal Learning; Social Issues; Technology; Spirituality) where each section features scholars from the respective fields of arts education to address disciplinary perspectives on this area.
Beyond her writing, teaching and service at the university of Illinois, her positions of visiting professorship in various countries have facilitated closer research interactions with faculty and doctoral students internationally. Visiting professorships include the Hedda Anderson Professorship at Lund University (2011-2015); Stockholm University (2008-2010); Professor II at Stord/Haugesund University College in Norway (2007-present); and Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (2009-present).

Research Interests

Trained as a pianist and a musicologist, with a doctorate in Education from Stanford, Bresler has focused inter-disciplinary work on visual arts, music, dance and drama curricula in K-12 schools, studying both “ordinary” (e.g., NEA study, 1987-1990), and exemplary (e.g., Getty/College Board, 1996/7) schools, as well as cultural centers as spaces for experiential learning. A related area of scholarship is qualitative research methodology and what the arts can teach researchers in terms of engagement, perception, conceptualization, and communication. A recent interest centers on faculty’s work and lived experience in higher education, including educational, academic entrepreneurship in diverse disciplines, and visions and missions of professors as those interact with the structure and ethos of academia.

Based on these studies, Bresler has published 120+ papers and chapters in leading journals, books and handbooks. The impact of her work has resulted in a number of honors including a National Art Education Association Distinguished Fellow (2010), Outstanding Recognition Award by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (2007), and the Ziegfeld Award for distinguished international leadership in art education by USSEA (2007). Her work has been translated into German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Hebrew, Chinese, and Korean, and she has given 40+ keynotes and 100+ invited talks in 30+ countries in the North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.


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