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Dr. Karen Stewart

Teaching Philosophy

I teach a variety of courses for the Interactive Media and Game Development (IMGD) program at Worcester Polytechnic Instutute (WPI). In my classes, I practice arts-based learning, a pragmatic approach where students learn by investigating concepts and theories through reading and discussion, critically reflecting on the importance and relevance of the material to their lives and the lives of those around them, and creatively expressing the implications of what they are learning through art, music, performance, video, and writing.

My teaching approach is influenced by John Dewey's Art as Experience, Elliot W. Eisner's The Arts and the Creation of Mind, Tom Barone's Touching Eternity, and Sir Ken Robinson's Out of Our Minds.

I believe media education is the creative exploration of possibilities. 

Guiding Principles for Teaching Media through Arts-Based Learning


Principle 1: Media education should give pride of place to what is distinctive about mediated work.

Principle 2: Media education should foster growth of media intelligence.

Principle 3: Media programs should help students learn how to create satisfying media content.

Principle 4: Media education should help students recognize what is personal, distinctive, and unique about themselves and their work.

Principle 5: Media education should help students engage in aesthetic experiences in their every day lives.

Adapted from The Arts and the Creation of Mind by Elliot W. Eisner (2002, Yale University Press.)

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