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Lesson Plans

Re: multicultural art; being meaningful?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sharron Pollack (ARPOLLA)
Sat, 28 Mar 1998 12:31:09 -0500

Although I've been listening to ArtsEdNetTalk for quite a while I am new to the discussion aspect.
I realize you e-mailed me directly yet also posted it on the list serve. I will answer you directly
then check about the list serve.
What you are doing sounds as though you are getting to the heart of working with
multiculturalism to influence substantive understanding with your students. What level are you
doing this? Where are you located that you have such a diverse population in a small rural

you wrote:
I am not clear on why this happens, but those students who
are black or whose heritage is diverse create art work in the vein of the
poem or Baca's Border People Mural, the others often use their families'
religious orientation. The students have respected each others' work and
have encouraged the bravery that is needed to enlighten the others about
their heritage.

I wonder if this is something that happens with others when they address a more specific ethnic
population. Sounds as though students can be moved or transformed based on the poem or
the video yet they need to express themselves through that culture which they are most familiar
with. It is good to hear that your students are being supportive and respectful of each other's

Currently I am teaching at the university level and am trying to get art education majors more
involved in working multiculturally with their prospective students. I am attempting to show them
different levels of involvement that art teachers utilize. Some feel that they can learn about an
object and perhaps even about the maker. They also know how important it is to understand
the context for the art. However, social reconstruction seems less viable to some of them.
Possibly when they have their own students and are employed by a community it will seem more
timely. Then again maybe it takes a certain kind of person to engage in attempting to make art
go into more substantive action.

I used to teach at elementary and middle school. I must confess I think my multiculturalism was
more shallow then it should have been. The students made objects that resembled the formal
aspects of the art object without knowing enough about the intent and context that
surrounded the object. Now there are many publishers of instructional materials who are
producing more multicultural information. Back then it wasn't so readily available.

Could you please send me any other information you have on the poem and video you use. I
am impressed with what you are attempting to do with your students.

Sharron Pollack
Dept. of Art F.A. 108
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, IN 47809
Office phone 812-237-3721