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Lesson Plans

Re: multicultural art; being meaningful?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sharron Pollack (ARPOLLA)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 1:12:01 -0500

Topics about multiculturalism have been addressed at various times in ArtsEdNetTalk. One
fascinating discussion this fall focused on Northwest Coast totem poles. People talked about
the differing interpretations and media options (toilet tube rolls to cedar wood) they used when
introducing these images in their classrooms.

In the Spring 1997 Translations (many of you get this from National Art Education Association) the
author discusses multicultural concerns in art education. She talks about multicultural literature
with the writings of Banks and Sleeter & Grant. The focus is about not just adding multiculturalism
to the curriculum by doing a few lessons or units superficially. They talk about trying to engage
children more deeply by transforming the curriculum and getting children to understand the
cultural meanings of the artwork and how it is valued in the society. A final approach also allows
opportunities for students to be involved in social reconstruction to seek to deal with substantive
issues in their community.

Superficially dealing with multiculturalism is not nearly so controversial and fits easier into a
curriculum. However we run the risk of making multiculturalism the "holiday art" of the 90's when
having children make these isolated projects with little sense of the context.

Could people discuss any projects/units they have done which seem to make multiculturalism
less superficial and more meaningful? Is this something that is realistic or unrealistic goal?

Thanks, Sharron