Sean Justice – GS Faculty

Sean Justice – GS Faculty

Describe your teaching philosophy and your reasons for becoming a teacher.
Teaching fascinates me because I’m interested in the learning process; and in fact, learning about teaching especially fascinates me. Engaging and playing with the shape of knowledge—its structure—motivates and draws me to photography, and to photography education. My teaching practice follows from the belief that thoughtful action is the bedrock of art practice, and that thinking thrives with support and challenge. The teacher’s job is to create a richly structured experience that engages a student’s imagination, to coax the student toward active response, and then to get out of the way.

What is your favorite part about teaching in the General Studies program at ICP?
The rapid evolution of the students amazes me. The intensity of the environment makes it necessary to grow fast. The response to that necessity is intoxicating. I love it. It’s exhausting, but wonderful.

How would you characterize the students here?
The students are not always sure what photography holds for them or their future, at least, not at the start. By the end of the year some students have clearly focused on specific goals…and others still have not. These are the folks that most intrigue me. Life is too short for certainties. I like the adventure of not knowing what’s happening next. More so than most programs, I think, a sizable percentage of the GS students understand the appeal of this attitude.

Do you see a relationship between teaching and your own photographic practice?
I want to see my work as an educator integrated with my work an artist, each embedded within the other. I’m interested in conversations that thrive on mutual engagement and subjective response. Words that resonate: dialogue, exploration, skepticism, wonder and play.