Juan Carlos Castro, PhD

Chair and Associate Professor, Art Education

Juan Carlos  Castro, PhD
Office: S-EV 2.619 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4787
Email: JuanCarlos.Castro@concordia.ca
Website(s): Juan Carlos Castro

"Art teaching and art making are closely related.  As a teacher, the enactment of your curriculum is a form of art; you create a space where people gather to step outside the norms of behaviour that they're conditioned into. And isn't that what good art does when you walk into a museum?  It gives you an opportunity for your framing of the world to be reshaped...

Art Education is going to require art educators who understand the challenges of teaching and learning  in a culture that is redefining our assumptions of what knowledge is.  Knowledge is no longer just something that you pass on to a student, because they now have a device that can fit in their pocket which has access to a huge amount of information anytime and anywhere they want.

New technologies - the internet, social media - are reshaping participation and learning.  Teaching no longer resides just in the teacher, but also in the opportunities that teachers set up for teaching to happen:  teaching through media, peer teaching...So teaching and learning is less about transmitting information, and more about creating a space for new ways of knowing. Art educators need to understand how to leverage all of those dynamics in the classroom."

Juan Carlos Castro (PhD, University of British Columbia ’10, MAT Maryland Institute College of Art ’00, BFA - Photography, ‘99) is Undergraduate Program Advisor and Associate Professor in the Department of Art Education at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His research focuses on the dynamics and qualities of knowing, learning and teaching art through social and mobile media as understood through complexity thinking, network theory, and mobility studies. His current research examines how mobile media coupled with visual creative production networks knowledge in urban environments to create educational and civic engagement with teens and young adults. He is currently Principle Investigator for the Social Sciences and Humanities Council Insight funded project; MonCoin: Investigating mobile learning networks to foster educational engagement with at-risk youth (2015-2018) and the Fonds de recherche Société et culture, Établissement de Nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs project; L’enseignement des arts visuels et médiatiques en contexte d’apprentissage mobile pour le renforcement de l’engagement social et de la motivation scolaire des adolescents (2015-2018). 

Prior to joining the faculty at Concordia University, Juan taught at the University of Illinois, University of British Columbia, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Burren College of Art. Juan was a National Board Certified Teacher (2004-2014) and taught at Towson High School in Maryland. As a high school teacher, Castro's teaching and curriculum was awarded a Coca-Cola Foundation Distinguished Teacher in the Arts from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and twice awarded with a U.S. Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award (2003, 2005). In 2013, he was awarded the Manuel Barkan Memorial Award from the National Art Education Association. Juan is Chair of the National Art Education Association Research Commission (2018-2020) and Media Editor for Studies in Art Education (2017-2019). He is also co-editor of the books entitled: Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities (2014) and Youth practices in digital arts and new media: Learning in formal and informal settings (2015). He is editor of the forthcoming title: Mobile media in and outside of the art classroom: Attending to identity, spatiality, movement and materiality (2019).


PhD, The University of British Columbia
MAT, Maryland Institute College of Art
BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art


Selected recent publications

Castro, J.C., Emme, M. & Castro, A.P. (2018). Material learning and elementary art education. In K. Grauer, R. Irwin & M. Emme (Eds.), stARTing with... (4th ed., pp. 212-219). Victoria, B.C.: Canadian Society for Education through Art.

Castro, A.P. & Castro, J.C. (2018). Making meaning with holiday crafts. In K. Grauer, R. Irwin & M. Emme (Eds.), stARTing with... (4th ed., pp. 142-149). Victoria, B.C.: Canadian Society for Education through Art.

Castro, J.C., Akbari, E., Moreno, L., Pariser, D., Forget, B., Lalonde, M., & Ledo, M. (2017). The missions of MonCoin: A curriculum for mobile media and civic engagement in the visual art classroom. IMAG, 5, 77-91.

Hafeli, M., Castro, J.C., Marshall, J., & Grodoski, C. (2017). Cultivating digital research through digital ecosystems. Visual Arts Research, 43(1), 1-7.

Karpati, A, Freedman, K., Castro, J.C., Kallio-Tavin, M., Heijnen, E., (2017). Collaboration in visual culture learning communities: Towards a synergy of individual and collective creative practice. The International Journal of Art & Design Education. 36(2), 164-175.

Castro, J.C. & Castro, A.P. (2017, Summer). Connecting artistic practice with teaching. SchoolArts Magazine, 116(10), 8,42.

Akbari, E., Castro, J.C., Lalonde, M., Moreno, L. & Pariser, D. (2016). “This allowed us to see what others were thinking”: Curriculum for Peer-Initiated Learning in Art. Art Education. 69(5), 20-25. 

Castro, J.C. & Funk, C. (2016). Visualizing art education in the 21st century: Mapping the themes of art educators through the NAEA convention, circa 2000-2015. Visual Inquiry, 5(2), 175-187.

Lalonde, M. & Castro, J.C. (2016, May). Citoyens de demain : une étude d'impact des initiatives communautaires dédiées à l'apprentissage des arts médiatiques sur les populations canadiennes de jeunes marginalisés en milieux urbains. Proceedings of the Actes du colloque sur la recherche en enseignement des arts visuels, Montreal, Quebec 2014.

Blair, L., Castro, J.C., & Pariser, D. (2016, May). Transforming the student teaching experience through on-line community support. Proceedings of the Actes du colloque sur la recherche en enseignement des arts visuels, Montreal, Quebec 2014.

Castro, J.C., Lalonde, M., & Pariser, D. (2016). Understanding the im/mobilities of engaging at-risk youth through art and mobile media. Studies in Art Education. 57(3), 238-251.

Oliveira, F.A. & Castro, J.C. (2016). Cena e Computadores: fricções para uma pedagogia do teatro expandido. Informática na Educação: teoria e prática, Porto Alegre.19(1), 129-138.

Pariser, D., Castro, J.C., Lalonde, M., (2016). Investigating at-risk youth visually examining their communities through mobilities, aesthetics and civic engagement. International Journal of Education Through Art. 12(2), 211-225

Lalonde, M., Castro, J.C., Pariser, D. (2016) Identity tableaux: Multimodal contextual constructions of adolescent identity. Visual Art Research. 42(1), 38-55.

Castro, J.C. (2015). Les conditions d'utilisation qu’acceptons-nous vraiment au juste? Vision, 80(Décembre). 25-27.

Castro, J. C. (2015). Visualizing the collective learner through decentralized networks. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 16(Number 4). from http://www.ijea.org/v16n4/

Funk, C. & Castro, J.C. (2015). Visualizing discourse: Making meaning from data. Visual Inquiry. 4(2), 123-132.

Lalonde, M., & Castro, J.C., (2015). Amplifying youth cultural practices by engaging and developing professional identity through social media. In J. Black, J.C. Castro, C. Lin (Eds.), Youth practices in digital arts and new media: Learning in formal and informal settings (25 pages). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Black, J., Castro, J.C., Lin, C. (2015). Youth practices in digital arts and new media: Learning in formal and informal settings. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Castro, J.C. (2014) Genealogies, Family Resemblances, and Ideations: Art Education’s Place of Possibility in the 21st Century. Visual Art Research. 40(2), 14-24.

Castro, J.C. & Grauer, K. (2014). Participatory methodologies and new media education research. In K. Miraglia & C. Smilan (Eds.), Inquiry in Action: Paradigms, Methodologies and Perspectives in Art Education Research (pp. 147-153). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.

Lalonde, M., & Castro, J.C. (2014). Leçon du communautaire: l’enseignement des arts médiatiques à la Maison Kekpart. Revue Vision. (77), 20-25.

Barney, D.T., & Castro, J.C. (2014). Shopplacing. Visual Art Research. 40(1), 3-5.

Castro, J.C. (2014). Constructing, Performing, and Perceiving Identity(ies) in the Place of Online Art Education. The Journal of Culture Research in Art Education. 31(1), 31-53.

Castro, J.C. (2014). The code we learn with. In Venkatesh, V., Wallin, J., Castro, J.C., Lewis, J.E. Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities (402-409). IGI Global. Hershey, PA.

Venkatesh, V., Wallin, J., Castro, J.C., Lewis, J.E. (2014). Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Castro, J.C. (2013). Teaching Art in a Networked World. Trends, The Journal of The Texas Art Education Association. 87-92.

Castro, J.C., & Barney, D.T. (2012) Playing the Spiral Jetty. Journal for Artistic Research. 2(1) http://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/2387/2388/12/0

Castro, J.C. (2012). Thinking complexly in art classrooms. In  L. Campbell & S. Simmons (Eds.), The Heart of Art Education: Essays on Holistic Human Development and Integration (p. 88-95). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.

Castro, J.C. (2012). Learning and teaching art through social media. Studies in Art Education. 52(2), 153-170.

Grauer, K., Castro, J.C., & Lin, C. (2012). Encounters with difference: Community-based new media programs and practices. Studies in Art Education. 52(2), 139-152.

Castro, J.C. (2012). Shaping a new social: Harrell Fletcher and The Problem of Possible Redemption. in T. Quinn, J. Ploof & L. Hochtritt (Eds.), Art and Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons (pp. 101-103). Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

Lin, C-C., Grauer, K. & Castro, J. C. (2011). "There is nothing else to do but make films:" Urban youth participation at a film and television school. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 12(SI 1.8). http://www.ijea.org/v12si1/

Castro, J.C, Delacruz, E., Danker, S., Fuglestad, T., Roland, C. & Stokrocki, M. (2011). DIY Professional Development: Screenshots of Art Educators' Creation and Utilization of Online Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) as a 21st Century Form of Self-Initiated, Non-Hierarchical, Individually-Designed Participation in Communities of Practice. Canadian Art Teacher. 9 (2), 24-37.

Lin, C.C., Castro, J.C., Sinner, A. & Grauer, K. (2011). Toward a Dialogue between New Media Arts Programs in and out of Schools. Canadian Art Teacher. 9 (2), 38-53.

Castro, A. P., & Castro, J. C. (2011). Making meaning with holiday crafts. In K. Grauer, R. Irwin & M. Emme (Eds.), stARTing with... (3rd ed., pp. 134-141). Thunder Bay, Ontario: Canadian Society for Education through Art.

Castro, J.C. (2010). Attending to the dynamics of decentralized digital networks. The Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. 7(2), 22-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15505170.2010.10471330

Darts, D., Castro, J. C., Sinner, A., & Grauer, K. (2010). New media arts education: How community-based programs can reshape teaching and learning in the age of web 2.0. In R. Sweeny (Ed.), Inter/Actions/Inter/Sections: Art Education in a Digital Visual Culture (pp. 80-89). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association

Castro, J.C. & Grauer, K. (2010). Structuring democratic places of learning: The Gulf Island Film and Television School. Art Education. 63 (5), 14-21.

Teaching activities

Selected thesis supervision

Cann, Stacey E. (2012) The Identity of the Curator and Educator: A phenomenological analysis of the curation of Postcards From Home. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Lalonde, Martin (2013) Éducation artistique et technologie de la mobilité : des moyens d'engagement civique et académique pour les jeunes à risque. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Carlisi, Tina (2013) École libre: Visualising a Social Pedagogic Movement. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Milliken, Christopher (2013) In Search of Reciprocity Across a Standards Based Assessment Reform Network in Maine. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Akbari, Ehsan (2014) Soundscape Compositions for Art Classrooms. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Viens, Marie-Pier (2016) Voyage humanitaire scolaire et enseignement des arts : La photographie comme outil d’intégration et d’échange culturel.Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Moreno Bustamante, Lina María (2016) Talking About Images; Possible Conversations in Art Education. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Lee, Somi (2016) Advantages and Limitations of Mentoring Students Online in Building their Art University Entrance Portfolios. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Moore, Allison Cicero (2016) Heirloom Jewelry: An Actant of History and Identity. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Forget, Bettina (2017) Converging Art and Science: Considering the Conditions in which Women and Girls enter STEM Subjects. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Bórquez Schwarzbeck, Marcela (2018) Investigating the Relationship between Materiality and Meaning in Art Education Settings. Masters thesis, Concordia University.


McMaster, Scott R. (2016) Crowdsourcing Global Culture: Visual Representation in the Age of Information. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

Salvador Edmundo Valdovinos Rodríguez (2016). A comparative study of research-for-design:
Teaching and learning in two undergraduate graphic design programs in Canada and Mexico. PhD thesis, Concordia University. 

Freire, Manuelle (2017) What is new in new media art education? A critical discourse analysis of the mythologies of media art education at the university. PhD thesis, Concordia University. Co-supervised with Dr. Lorrie Blair

Gillespie, Jethro (2018) Rethinking and Remaking a High School Art Foundations Curriculum. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

Lalonde, Martin (2018) Approche des médias sociaux mobiles basés sur l'image en éducation artistique : une étude sur les affects adolescents et sur la complexité des systèmes d'apprentissage. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

Courses Taught

ARTE 220: Foundations in Art Education

ARTE 354: Time-Based Media

ARTE 498: Special Topics in Inter-related Media and Technologies. Topics included: New and Social Media in Art Education, New Technologies in Art Education, art technology education.

ARTE 424: Seminar, Art Education in the Secondary School II

ARTE 425: Practicum in the Secondary School II

ARTE 607-9, 806-7: Topics in Studio Inquiry. Topics included: Social Practice and Pedagogy, Praxis: Connecting theory and art, Pedagogy of Process.

ARTE 660, 850: Special Topics in Art Education. Topics included: Theories of Teaching and Learning in Art Education and Theories of Complexity, Networks, and Spatiality in Art Learning       

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