Mrs. Linda Hutton is a South-African visual artist and qualified educator, having developed a successful career in the education industry. Hutton is the current Head of Faculty for the visual and dramatic arts department, teaching visual arts and mixed artistic media. Her qualifications as an educator are notable, fulfilling roles as the Head of Art at the Roedean School, Johannesburg in South Africa, and Head of Faculty at St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba. Hutton described the rewards of her educational profession as “facilitating the creative and practical realization of ideas, preparing students for later life” (St Ursula’s College, 2017). I have chosen to construct my case study on Linda Hutton’s profession, as my objective is to achieve a successful and rewarding career as an educator, comparable to hers. My goal is to educate the next generation of artists whilst practicing my passion.
In order to reach my career goal, I will have to employ similar practices to Hutton achieved in her career development. Beginning her career as a secondary school art teacher subsequent of completing her studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Linda Hutton rapidly established herself as an educator. Gaining vital experience with students and the education system, Hutton received an offer to head the Department of Art at the Roedean School, after her first year of secondary teaching (Roedean School (SA) Facilities/ Visual Arts & Design, 2019). This promotion led Hutton to work as Head of Art for the Roedean School for four years. After gaining invaluable teaching experience in this significant role, Hutton’s career faced a turning point due to prevailing political turmoil in South Africa (Wits School of Arts/ Faculties, 2019). Consequently, she decided to make the international transition to Australia and continue pursuing her career in education. Hutton’s substantial skill and experience gained her a significant career opportunity as the Head of Faculty, from a highly regarded private school in Toowoomba. This initiated the second phase of her creative career. Beginning her professional journey in 2010 as an Australian, Hutton built a network of practiced educators and artists within her new community (Hutton, 2019). Since successfully establishing herself in her new educational role, Hutton has employed several models of creative practice in her professional career. Embodying the models of a teaching practitioner/ teaching artist, community development practitioner and autonomous / independent practitioner (Karen Le Rossignol, 2016) through her work as an educator, individual artist and her presence in the cultural/ school community.
Throughout her career, Linda Hutton has overcome a variety of contextual challenges relative to art practice, politics and the education industry, which will undoubtedly affect my experience in the pursuit of my career. Referring to Tony Grybowski, CEO Australian Council for Arts, there has been a significant shift in the vitality and sustainability of Australia’s contemporary visual arts sector, since the announcement of the Visual Arts and Crafts Strategy in 2003 (Murray, 2014). The higher caliber in price of artwork being produced and presented by our artists and curators is reflected in audience engagement and international profile (Colbert & École des hautes études commerciales, Montréal, c.2007), making it significantly harder to purchase or sell artwork (individual or community produced) in such a competitive market. Specifically relative to education, curriculum developments and updates have resulted in over-condensed lesson plans, making it impossible for educators to successfully teach the content and for students to retain it (Tulane University, 2003). However, with constant expansion and change to the modern curriculum, the bank of resources educators is equipped with also develops. In securing a successful career in education, Linda Hutton is faced with these contextual issues; similar to what I will encounter as I pursue my career in this industry.
To develop a successful career in the education industry and embody her professional aspirations, Linda Hutton has executed a variety of strategies. These strategies align with practices that I will need to implement in order to achieve a similar professional career. Firstly, Hutton armored herself with robust qualifications to acquire the desired education opportunities in her field of practice. Moreover, Linda Hutton has successfully applied two professional capabilities, career self-management and social networking, in her professional career. Profoundly demonstrating career self-management through the transition of educational roles, transcending from secondary teacher to Head of Art, to Head of Faculty, by attaining a diverse and extensive professional network of practiced educators and artists she also strongly exhibits social networking (Bridgestock, 2013). Hutton has positioned herself to achieve her aspired career, profitably adapting to the transitions and modern contextual issues. By employing her professional capabilities, she has formed a substantial profession and consequently developed several forms of capital. These include social capital, material capital, financial capital, intellectual capital, experiential capital and cultural capital, as an additional result of her creative career Hutton gained psychological capital (Ethan Roland, 2011). Using these forms of capital provides Hutton with the fundamental elements for employability, strengthened by her experience and current career achievements. This illustrates Linda Hutton’s use of professional capabilities, forms of capital and industry experience to help further her career.
I can parallel the same career approaches to Linda Hutton to support my efforts in obtaining my career as a professional educator. I can apply different strategies to achieve my objective and expand my employability by broadening my knowledge of the education system and the art industry, to achieve the significant roles as Hutton has. Implementing this will aid the progression of my professional capabilities and begin building my forms of capital. I aspire to use disciplinary skills to enrich the educational experiences of the next generation, building a significant network and begin passionately carrying out my practice as an art teacher, solidifying my professional career goal.
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