ArtsAction Group Member Publications
Dr. Cindy Maguire
This article discusses art education aimed at fostering informed empathy and social justice with the US and Kosovar children and youth. The art education programme looks to and incorporates contemporary artists and cultural workers from a range of positions and genres.
Cultivating systemic thinking and critical exploration in post-secondary art education programs concerned with peace and social justice is expressed through a multitude of practices. This chapter provides an analysis of and argument for peace and social justice art education pedagogy grounded in aspects of Sen and Nussbaum’s capability approach and Kester’s notion of dialogical aesthetics. Illustrations of best practices are provided. Art education communities understand the range of interpersonal, sociopolitical, and economic issues generated by the impact of contemporary imagery and the values inherent in such representations. We also understand that such imagery profoundly influences “student identity, notions of citizenship, [and] beliefs about democracy” (Freedman 2003, p 94). Post-secondary art education concerned with building a culture of peace consciously focuses on these issues through curriculum and pedagogy, promoting a deeper understanding of one’s self as well as one’s self in relation to the social and cultural landscape we live in.
This article explores Nussbaum's notion of the importance of the arts and humanities as they related to global citizenship and education. Nussbaum proposes three capabilities that are, above all, 'essential to the cultivation of humanity in todays' interlocking world' - critical thinking, world citizenship and imaginative understanding. This article looks on the one hand at an obsessive concentration on reading and numeracy programmes, and on the other at an Los Angeles arts education programme '10,000 Kites' which successfully combined a capability focus and social inter-action across cultural fault lines.
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A holistic education linked to creativity, innovation, critical thinking and local/global citizenship is increasingly marginalized in the United States as schools continue to struggle with the impact of high-stakes testing regimes. In particular, urban youths' access to an education that furthers their ability to choose lives they have reason to value, are circumscribed. Current discussions around the skills and capabilities necessary for youth to graduate and be equipped for meaningful lives beyond high school are aligned with research on the benefits of arts education. This mixed-methods exploratory study uses aspects of Sen and Nussbaum's capability approach to frame and examine a range of capabilities fostered through student engagement with arts opportunities, what we refer to as arts pathways, inside of five small arts-focused high schools in NY City, USA.
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Social justice, in its broadest sense, is about equal rights and opportunities for all. But understandings of rights and opportunities vary widely, depending upon how we are situated socially, politically, economically, and culturally. In education, social justice is not simply the absence of injustice but also the need to recognize and enact teaching and learning that promots a deeper understanding of ourselves and our students in relation to the broader social and cultural landscape. This article argues that, given the growing diversity of our society, it is imperative for current and future teachers to find ways of embodying, implementing, and assessing social justice practices in art classrooms. The authors' developed, taught, and evaluated a social justice based art education course with a service learning component for undergraduate art education students. Through their experience they discovered that the capabilities students brought to the classroom directly influenced the ways in which they engaged with and put into practice the social justice course material.