Heather Fountain, Associate Professor
I have seen the power that art has to open doors to understanding and connection for those who have been bared that opportunity; whether due to limitation of access, understanding, or communication. The most significant moments of my life as a teacher, have been those when I have seen students arrive at that amazing ah-ha moment when their eyes light up with understanding. They have finally made the connection and they are as proud of themselves as you are of them. That is the power of art education.
Dr. Heather Leah Ryerson Fountain, assistant professor at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Curriculum & Instruction from Purdue University, an M.Ed. in Education as a founding member of the Arts in Education Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.S. in Art Education with a concentration in Disabilities and a focus in Psychology from the University of Maine, Orono. She previously taught grades K-8 in the public schools, and worked with youth ages 6-21 in a psychiatric hospital day school program. She keeps her practice alive by working with youth in a local afterschool art program and teaching art classes in the summer for youth and adults with disabilities.
Currently at Kutztown University Dr. Fountain serves as the Curriculum Chair of the Undergraduate Art Education Program, as Chair of the Commission on Human Diversity, on the College of Visual and Performing Arts Curriculum Committee, as a Board member of the Women's Center and teaches art education courses such as Teaching Art, Design and Visual Culture in grades 5-8, Designing for Disabilities and Differentiated Instruction: Meeting the Needs of ALL Learners.
She is also involved at the state level as a Member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's, Task Force on Access to the Arts for Students with Disabilities and starting in Fall 2011 will begin her term as the Higher Education Director for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association [PAEA].
Dr. Fountain consults with schools and regularly presents at state and national conferences on topics related to differentiated instruction and the use of art to teach literature instruction. She has served as an invited columnist on the use of art to differentiate literature instruction for the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development’s [ASCD] Spotlight on Language, Literacy and Literature. Her research on differentiated instruction is also highlighted in a chapter she wrote titled, The art of portraiture, in the forthcoming text Practice theory: Seeing the power of teacher researchers. (Eds.). M. Buffington & S. Wilson McKay to be published by the National Art Education Association, 2011. Her latest book, Differentiated instruction in art will soon be published as part of the Art Education in Practice Series by Davis Publications. She also serves as an editor for a new series of art education best practice books related to differentiated instruction and teaching diverse learners. This series is expected to begin publication in 2012 through Davis Publications.
During the summer Dr. Fountain can usually be found in her favorite place, Ocean Park, Maine, where she trains camp counseling staff, leads an art camp for middle school aged youth, and works with adults with disabilities. She has worked or volunteered at the same summer camp, Camp Oceanwood, for over 20 years. When not at camp, Dr. Fountain can be seen kayaking in the salt marsh with her husband Matthew, working on her artwork or behind the counter at her family’s gift shop, Cottage Designs.