Advisory Board

Liora Bresler

Liora Bresler is a Professor at the University of Illinois, Champaign. She is also Professor II at Stord/Haugesund University College, Norway; an Honorary Professor in the Hong Kong Institute of Education; and the Hedda Anderson Chair in Lund University, Sweden (Visiting). Earlier positions include visiting professorships at Stockholm University, Sweden (2009-2011), and at the University of Haifa, Israel (1994/5).

Bresler’s areas of research focus on arts education in formal and informal settings, including curriculum of music, visual arts, dance, and drama in elementary and secondary schools (funded by the National Endowment of the Arts); arts integration and inter-disciplinarity (initiated and funded by the Getty Center/College Board); and performing arts centers as experiential learning. A second area of scholarship centers on qualitative research methodology, including case-study, narrative inquiry, and aesthetic-based research. Drawing on the ways in which the arts provide rich and powerful occasions for perception, conceptualization, and engagement, Bresler’s scholarship addresses embodiment, improvisation, and the juxtaposition of intimacy and spaciousness in research methodology. A third, more recent area of research centers on academic entrepreneurship and interculturality in higher education.

Bresler has published 140+ papers and book chapters and has written and edited several books on the arts in education, including the International Handbook of Research in Arts Education (Springer, 2007), and Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds (Kluwer, 2004); and the co-edited International Handbook of Creative Learning (Routledge, 2011); and The International Handbook of the Arts in Education (Routledge, 2015). She has edited 16 special issues of journals including Educational Theory; the Council of Research in Music Education; Research Studies in Music Education; and Arts Education Policy Review.  Bresler has given keynote speeches, invited talks, seminars and short courses in 35 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas. Her work has been translated to German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Finnish, Korean, and Chinese.

Bresler is the editor of the book series “Landscapes: Aesthetics, the arts and education” (Springer) and is the co-founder, with Tom Barone and Gene Glass, of the International Journal of Education and the Arts (1999-), which she co-edited until 2010. Teaching awards at the University of Illinois include the Distinguished Teaching Life-Long Career Award at the College of Education (2004), and the University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2005). Other awards include Distinguished Senior Scholar at the College of Education, University of Illinois (2014); Distinguished Fellow in the National Art Education Association (2010); the Edwin Ziegfeld Award for distinguished international leadership in art education by the United States Society for Education Through Art (2007); and The Lin Wright Special Recognition Award by The American Alliance for Theatre and Education (2007).

Eva Saether

I am a Professor in Music Education, with Educational Sciences as profile. With a musical point of departure in Swedish traditional fiddle music, I have developed a research profile that focuses on intercultural perspectives on musical learning and creativity(ies). In 2003 I defended my doctoral thesis "The Oral University. Attitudes to music teaching and learning in the Gambia” – a research project that laid the foundation for further development of musically informed research methods. I teach educational sciences at the music teacher education program, and supervise students at graduate, master and PhD levels. Since 2010 I am coordinating the master courses in music education. My international experience covers participation in international research projects and active involvement in the International Society for Music Education (ISME) and the Music in Schools and Teacher Education Commission, where I was one of the commissioners (2008 - 2014). From autumn 2013 I am mentoring the doctoral students at the Institution for Educational Sciences at Campus Helsingborg. For more details and a list of publications please see:

Sapna Thapa

I am an Assistant Professor for Early Childhood Teacher Education in the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I teach courses such as Infant and Toddler education, Expressive curriculum for young children: arts, music and movement in Pre/K, Guidance in the classroom and Children, families and communities. I also advise over 60 students as part of my job. Last year, I was involved in a research activity to study diversity at the university level through a project titled ‘Infusing diversity into the curriculum’. I am writing a journal article to document the outcomes of this research. My research interests are in the area of equity and quality in early childhood education. I also advocate diversity through education. Currently I am involved in a collaborative research project spanning three diverse contexts to study the ‘child in cultural context’. This research aims at contributing curricula content for teacher education through analyzing video documentation of early childhood educational centers at work in Nicaragua, the United States and Nepal. The primary aim is to study the child and interactions in particular cultural settings. The subjective side of the research is also being documented and will eventually appear as a book chapter in the book titled "Collaborative Cross Cultural Research Methodologies in Diverse Early Care and Education Contexts” (S. Madrid, M. J. Moran, R. Brookshire, and M. Buchanan Eds.)

My doctoral thesis also conferred issues surrounding equity and quality in early childhood education and extensively explored challenges faced by the United States and Nepal (both being strikingly diverse countries in terms of socio-economy, culture and politics) in achieving horizontal and vertical equity.

My passion is teaching and I have been involved with early childhood education for over 25 years. I thoroughly enjoy working with both very young children and pre-service teachers. I enjoy the Arts and have been involved with a variety of musicians and artists from other areas for many years. I believe in integration of the arts into education and highly encourage my pre-service students to consider such options when planning lessons and curriculum.