Dr Karen Maras, is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales. As a specialist in Visual Arts education she is Program Convenor, Visual Arts, Media Arts and Design Education. Prior to this appointment Karen led programs in Visual Arts teacher education at Australian Catholic University and also held a range of leadership roles in the ACU Faculty of Education NSW. She began her career in academia at COFA UNSW wherein she completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Karen’s contributions to pre-service Visual Arts teacher preparation are grounded in her experience in secondary visual arts teaching, and her extensive experience developing Visual Arts Curriculum k-12 in state and national contexts.
In her research Dr Karen Maras investigates the ontological bases of critical reasoning in art. A key focus in this work is on the role language and belief play in the practicalities of knowledge construction and learning in the Visual Arts. Karen has established a realist framework for understanding how and on what terms students develop critical theories of meaning in art. This research assists teachers in understanding how students’ theories of art develop with age and how theoretical repertoires can be developed and applied as frameworks of meaning when interpreting artworks and art practices in the classroom. This interest in critical development in art arises from her experience in secondary teaching, her interest in philosophical aesthetics, theoretical frameworks and conceptual development in art.