The field of art education hardly qualifies as a tribal society. Nevertheless, there are some “tribal” analogies that might be made as we study our customs and conventions, our mores and mutations, and the sources of our symbols and sillinesses. Indeed, our annual conferences are fitting subjects for anthropological analyses. And although I haven’t filled my sketchbooks with notes and drawings of our National Art Education Association Conventions with ethnographic studies in mind, in retrospect they just might serve that purpose. What do my notes and my memories tell us about these yearly meetings of the tribe? What planned purposes do these conferences serve and what are their unplanned and unpredictable outcomes?


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