Elizabeth (Beau) Vallance

Associate Professor Emerita

Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs:
Arts Education
(812) 856-8100

About Me

After a career focused on museum education for the past two decades, I retired after the Fall 2012 semester but am in town and available for special projects and to meet with students, especially undergraduate or graduate students interested in museum work. My research and publications (see vita) have emphasized curriculum theory, the hidden curriculum, art education especially through visual culture studies, and museum education. I’ve been active in the American Educational Research Association (served a term as Vice President, for the Curriculum Studies Division), the National Art Educators Association, its state affiliates in Illinois and Indiana, the American Alliance of Museums and its Midwest affiliate, the Association of Midwest Museums. My career began in continuing-education administration but took a delightful turn into museum work thanks to a Kellogg Fellowship in the 1980s, when I moved to the position of Director of Education at the Saint Louis Art Museum, then developed and ran a graduate certificate in Museum Studies at Northern Illinois University, and finally came to Indiana University to teach art education. Here, my favorite accomplishment has been the development of M200, “Artifacts, Museums, and Everyday Life” which, once it received Gen-Ed approval for Arts and Humanities, began attracting undergraduates from all over campus as well as preservice teachers. M200 was fun to teach, involving visits to area museums as well as Target, Goodwill, downtown shop windows, and other places where artifacts are displayed for changing purposes at varying points in their lives. I also advised Master’s students in Art Education and served on a number of committees, most recently the IU Cinema Advisory Board.

In retirement, I keep up with AAM and museums generally, working recently with community museums to train a cadre of docents who could do introductory tours at any of four museums. I continue writing, but now pieces for a summertime “general public” – upbeat 1,000-word news-essay articles in a free biweekly newspaper in northern Michigan. Topics have included the “messages” of decorated rural mailboxes and the signage depiction of cottage names (two visual-culture topics), as well as a strange decaying built structure deep in a woods, the real lives of Summer People, the fascinating free stuff along the roads. I’m a tour guide at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center (tigers, lions, cougars, who might well be sleeping or hiding under a bush, a different docent challenge), do cat care and adoption counseling at the Bloomington Animal Shelter, and have started a photography option for hospice patients through IU Bloomington Hospital.

Degrees: A.B. University of Michigan (Psychology), MA and PhD Stanford University (Curriculum Studies).

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