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Joy Bertling, PhD

Assistant Professor, Art Education


Joy G. Bertling is an assistant professor and team leader of art education at the University of Tennessee. She received her Ph.D. in art education from the University of Georgia. Her research engages with critical place-based art education and other arts-based ecopedagogies as well as the intersections between arts-based research and teacher education. She has published articles in various peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal of Education & the Arts, International Journal of Education through Art, Art Education, and the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Her recent commentary, “Non-Place and the Future of Place-Based Education,” was published in Environmental Education Research. She currently serves as Program Chair for the American Educational Research Association’s Arts and Inquiry in Visual and Performing Arts in Education SIG. She has taught visual art at the K-12 level for over ten years and is a National Board (NBPTS) certified art teacher.


Professional Background


Bertling’s research engages with critical place-based art education and other arts-based ecopedagogies as well as the intersections between arts-based research and teacher education.


Doctor of Philosophy (Art Education), University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Master of Education (Art Education), Converse College, Spartanburg, SC

Bachelor of Arts (Art Education), Converse College, Spartanburg, SC


Professional Service

Institutional Service


Co-Chair, Diversity Collaborative in Education, 2017-present

Instructional Team Leader, Art Education, 2015-present

Search Committee Chair for a Clinical Assistant Professor Position in Art Education, 2018-2019

Teaching Observation Team Member, 2018

Search Committee Co-Chair for Two Clinical Assistant Professor Positions in STEM Education, 2018

World Savvy Study Team Member, 2018

Search Committee Member for Clinical Assistant Professor of Deaf Education, 2016-2017


Diversity Champion, 2017-present

Teacher Licensure Scholarship Committee Member, 2016-present

Internship Committee Member, Graduate School of Education, 2016-2018


Inclusive Teaching Task Force, Teaching and Learning Innovation, 2019-present

Disciplinary Service

Editorial Review Board Member, Art Education, 2019-present

Program Chair and Executive Committee Member, Arts and Inquiry in the Visual and Performing Arts in Education SIG, American Educational Research Association, 2018-present                       

Manuscript Reviewer, International Journal of Lifelong Learning in Art Education, 2018-present


Higher Education Division Chair & Board Member, Tennessee Art Education Association, 2015-present


Ad Hoc Reviewer, Environmental Education Research, 2018


Annual Meeting Proposal Reviewer, American Educational Research Association, 2015-2019


Community-Engaged Service

Art Education Leadership Council Member, Knox County Schools, 2017-present


Education Committee Board Member, Knoxville Museum of Art, 2015-present


National Art Education Association Student Chapter Sponsor, University of Tennessee, 2015-present

Awards and Recognitions

Distinguished Alumni Award, Converse College, 2019

Higher Education Art Educator of the Year, Tennessee Art Education Association, 2017


Selected articles published in refereed journals

Bertling, J. & Moore, T. (2020). U.S. art teacher education in the age of the Anthropocene. Studies in Art Education, 61(1), 46-63.

Rearden, K. & Bertling, J. (2019). From sharks to the "The Big Ugly": A rural art teacher's transition to place-based education. Rural Educator, 40(3), 49-61.

Bertling, J. G. (2019). Expanding and sustaining arts-based educational research as practitioner inquiry. Educational Action Research. Retrieved from

Bertling, J. G. (2019). Layered collaborative visual reflection:  Sharing lived experiences and making meaning. Art Education, 72(3), 28-38.

Bertling, J. G. (2018). Non-place and the future of place-based education. Environmental Education Research, 24(11), 1627-1630.

Bertling, J. G. & Rearden, K. (2018). Professional development on a sustainable shoestring:  Propagating place-based art education in fertile soil. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 9(2), 5-20.

Bertling, J. G. (2017). Metaphoric cartography as dual-layered practitioner inquiry:  Arts-based educational research in the construction of place. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 14(2), 1-15.

Bertling, J. G. (2017). Internship terrains:  Psychogeographically mapping place. International Journal of Education through Art, 13(2), 261-269.

Bertling, J. G. (2015). The art of empathy:  A mixed methods case study of a critical place-based art education program. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 16(13), 1-26.

Bertling, J. G. (2013). Empathetic engagement with artwork:  New insights from neuroscience. Translations:  From Theory to Practice, Spring, 1-5.

Bertling, J. G. (2013). Exercising the ecological imagination:  Representing the future of place. Art Education, 66(1), 33-39.

External funding

Bertling, J. G. (2018). National Art Education Foundation Research Grant. U.S. Art Teacher Education in the Age of the Anthropocene, $10,000.

Contact Information

  • A109 Jane & David Bailey Education Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-8602
  • E-mail: