Linda Szabad-Smyth, PhD
Associate Professor, Art Education
"My art and my teaching inter-connect; most of my work is autobiographical. I am interested in life history research, narrative and memory work. My two main areas of research include community art education and teacher education. In community art education I'm looking specifically at service learning - putting our students out there so that they can learn first hand how to meet the needs of different populations, as opposed to just learning in a classroom.
I'm also researching the meaning of art education and art-making for disenfranchised populations and the introduction of participatory public art projects in the community. One important public art project that I was involved in, began with an invitation from an architect asking our art education students to help design privacy panels for the beds of the homeless shelter at the Old Brewery Mission in Montreal. I brought together all of our community art education students and their instructors to work on this. At the end of the project we had a huge vernissage, and all the participants were really proud - it was a huge success! I'm looking forward to doing more projects of this kind in the future."
Linda Szabad-Smyth's experiences as an art educator include teaching art to elementary and secondary students as well as community college students of graphic design. As a teacher-educator, she has taught undergraduate art education courses to pre-service art educators and pre-service early childhood educators. Over the years, she has developed numerous professional-day workshops for generalists, in collaboration with the Quebec Ministry of Education. Currently, she is chair of the Art Education Department and teaching an undergraduate course in community art education and a graduate topics course in Life History Research.
Szabad-Smyth received her doctorate from McGill University in curriculum and instruction using life history research to look at generalists' beliefs and attitudes about art and art education. Her other research interests include the role of art education in community settings, participatory public art, service-learning, curriculum and instruction, narrative-work, memory-work, arts-based research, and children's graphic development.
PhD, McGill University
Research focus is on product development processes, dealing with the design, development, production, and distribution of goods and services, with a focus on emerging tools and techniques for integrating design and manufacturing to improve process performance. She is currently conducting research on the application of lean manufacturing principles in product development.