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One wonderful curriculum source which I reviewed recently for AAM Education
Committee and the Museum Education Roundtable is Contemporary Art and
Multicultural Education, ed. by Susan Cahan and Zoya Kocur from the
New Museum of Contemporary Art. It is an excellent example of
materials designed to go beyond the "heroes and holidays" approach.
Included are wonderful essays by educators about
multiculturalism/diversity isssues and a slew of curriculum
materials. There are large color photographs (perfect for those who
have been asking about photographing slides) and artists statements
in English and Spanish. Some of the topics covered in the
curricula are American Identity, Family, AIDS, the Vietman War, and
Art in the Public Realm.
While the material is probably geared more towards high school
students, I think Middle Schools could adapt the materials.
In reference to Chris's unit on masks - I too worked with a
multicultural mask unit, focusing on the role of the masks within
their culture and comparing and contrasting them to other cultures.
The questions we asked were based on material culture - and work well
with any type of cultural object. Anyone interested can access the
information form the North Texas Insitute for Educators on the Visual
Arts newletter (Fall 1996, Vol. 7, No. 3 at
A more in depth look at the mask unit can be found at Ken R.'s
Amazing Art Room site at http://www.in.net/~kenroar/masklessons.html.
Kathrine Walker, Education Coordinator
Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University