Converse graduate Joy G. Bertling ’05, PhD, has published Art Education for a Sustainable Planet: Embracing Ecopedagogy in K-12 Classrooms through Teachers College Press. Released in June 2023, this book explores how art education can contribute to a more just and sustainable planet and makes the case that ecopedagogy and eco-art can transform and enrich K-12 art education.
The book features innovative curricular themes to help art teachers embrace natural cycles and processes, envision alternative states and ways of being, restore ecosystems, and empower communities. The text also includes reflective questions, curriculum frameworks, and other resources to support teachers in implementing these ideas in the classroom.
“Joy Bertling has written an engaging and thought-provoking book touching on themes of social transformation, art education, and ecology,” says Mark A. Graham, art education professor at Brigham Young University, in his review of the text. “Merging art, education, curriculum, and pedagogy, she has created a definitive approach to art education that engages with our fracturing relationships with the natural world.”
Bertling is a double Converse alumna, with a BA in Art Education (2004) and MEd in Art Education (2007); she earned her PhD in art education from the University of Georgia. She is an assistant professor and team leader of art education at the University of Tennessee. She currently serves as founding chair of the National Art Education Association’s Ecology and Environment Special Interest Group and chair of the American Educational Research Association’s Arts and Learning Special Interest Group.
Converse honored Bertling with the Distinguished Alumni Award (graduate) in 2019 in recognition of outstanding contributions in her professional field and her passionate and service-oriented commitment to making a positive impact on the world.