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Lesson Plans


Re: Questions about multicultural art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
EVasso (EVasso)
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 22:58:24 EST


In a message dated 98-03-30 18:40:31 EST, you write:

<< Most of the discussions seem to revolve around
elementary and middle school issues. From having read your posts to the
lists, it appears that you are aware of the entire span of art education,
k-college. I would like to know how multicultural art is being taught at
those levels we rarely hear from. >>

Jane,

No apology needed. I just wanted to make sure you meant me. I am flattered by
your remarks since I am a K-6 art teacher, and have been for about 15 years.
So, perhaps I will not be able to add anything new to this discussion. As to
how I view the issue of multi-culturalism, I guess I have these thoughts:
1. I teach in a white suburban district of Chicago. My students have a need to
know the world beyond their community.
2. Any serious art curriculum has to be inclusive of artists that are
racially, culturally and gender diverse and inclusive of cultures beyond the
dominant "American" culture. Otherwise it is an incomplete curriculum.
3. As racism is a historic component of North American culture, any
art/cutural curriculum ought to attempt to take this condition into account,
particularly in a classroom of white school children.
4. The structure of most elementary schools, including my own, works to create
an atomosphere the treats subject areas as separate and discrete. Time in the
art room is too short. The arts are not treated in an integrated way. Neither
is anything else.
5. In struggling to address these issues, we will make tons of mistakes. We
will do things badly now and then. I seem to. We will misappropriate, as many
on this list-serv have pointed out. But, if we are open and reflect frequently
and self-critically about what we are doing, we'll do it better.

What do you think?

-Fred
Chicago