Meet Ms. Dooher: Art Co-Teacher

 

Checking out the video installation at an art show

Checking out the video installation at an art show 

Elizabeth Dooher is an art educator and sculptor.  Elizabeth grew up North of Boston in Melrose, MA.  Elizabeth graduated from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH where she studied Studio Art and Psychology.  She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2002 from The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth (UMass).  After many years of teaching art at the college level, Elizabeth returned to UMass to pursue a Masters of Art Education.  Most recently Elizabeth taught art Hayden McFadden Elementary School in New Bedford.

Why did you choose the Alma team?

I know Alma is special place.  Scholars are seen both as individuals, with unique strengths and challenges and as crew members, who are accountable to their crew.  Each scholar is expected to contribute their strengths to the crew and to learn from their crewmates.  This idea of nurturing the individual so they can be their best and share their best aligns with both my teaching and living philosophies.   

What do you hope to contribute to Alma? 

I hope to contribute my passion for art and art making to Alma.

What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?

My top goal during my first year with Alma is to engage students in the art making process and to help scholars transfer their learning across subject areas.

What teacher made a difference in your life — how? 

I have been incredibly lucky to have had many wonderful teachers throughout my education!  However, my perceptive first-grade teacher, Mrs. Newlander, really shaped my school experience for the best.  Mrs. Newlander spotted my mild dyslexia and suggested that my parents make letter flashcards out of sandpaper.  I believe that this early opportunity to learn through touch and movement allowed me to capitalize on my strengths.   It helped me to discover that learning can happen in many modes.  Furthermore, it led me to discover art making not just as a means of expression but as a way of learning.  

Why did you become involved in education?

Helping to foster children’s natural curiosity and develop critical thinking skills is a privilege. I became involved in education because education is a powerful force that can help shape our world for the better.  

Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?

I went to college at The College of Wooster in Wooster, OH.  The College of Wooster has a wonderful capstone program called Independent Study.  Independent Study requires that each scholar design a year-long project tackling an area of inquiry within their major. Scholars do research, conduct studies and create a body of work.    This opportunity gives scholars the chance to immerse themselves in a project of their own design with the support and guidance of the school’s faculty.

 

Who is your favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Anish Kapoor.  His work gently plays with perception; how we see and interpret what we see.  I encountered his work when I was a college student and was drawn to the rich colors and subtle movements of his sculptures.  I had an AHA moment when standing in front of one his sculptures and realized if art can change an individual it can change the world!

What is your favorite place?

My favorite place is Coast Guard Beach on Cape Cod.  I love the vastness of the ocean and the traces of movement the ocean leaves behind in the sand.  

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