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[teacherartexchange] Another ART EDUCATION article: masks and authentic multicultural studies


Date: Sat Aug 27 2005 - 11:57:02 PDT

Ballengee-Morris, Christine, Taylor, Pamela. "You Can Hide But You
Can't Run: Interdisciplinary and Culturally Sensitive Approaches to
Mask Making" ART EDUCATION/ September 2005, pp. 12-17.

"When students view themselves as knowledge producers, they move toward
the first step of owning their education. Students come into the
classroom with knowledge, experiences, and perceptions that enrich the
development of curriculum...democratizing the power of education to the
learners instead of a transference philosophy..."

"...much of what and how such topics as mask making are taught in
classrooms is a result of a product-driven or teacher-proof curriculum.
  In other words, relying strictly on such products as multi-cultural
poster packages or maskmaking pachaged lesson plans to teach the art of
other cultures without critically and creatively re-thinking and making
the information relevant to our students' lives can be deleterious to
say the least."

"Forms of cultural re-representation become especially problematic and
conflictive when the images and objects such as masks have significant,
sacred, spiritual, or religious meanings for the social group from
which they are appropriated or when they are used in a fashion that

"one of the issues...that was apparently popular was visual
identity--looking good, fitting in, cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, and
fear of being noticed."

"...masks provide possibilities to transform oneself for multiple

kathy douglas
Teaching for Artistic Behavior Partnership

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