Review of Duncum

Joni H. Hough
November 1, 2013
Advanced Art Education Methods

Review of Duncum

            In the article, “Breaking Down the Alleged ‘U’ Curve of Artistic Development,” Duncum argues against using Gardner’s “U” curve theory in judging the artwork of children in middle childhood.  Duncum instead proposes a straight line theory to explain children’s artistic development.  My experience working with children in middle childhood is more aligned with Duncum’s straight line theory than Gardner’s “U” curve theory.
            Duncum begins by explaining that the “U” curve represents early childhood as the first point on the “U.”  Adolescents is represented as the second point.  The middle signifies the decline in development that accompanies middle childhood.
            One problem with Gardner’s “U” curve theory is that the “experts” have difficulty determining the age of decline, with it ranging from as young as five and as old as fourteen years old.  Duncum’s line theory signifies change with a jagged, diagonal line that accounts for the range of ages at which children develop.
            Duncum further argues that the “decline in quality” of drawings from middle childhood is a judgment based on stylistic preferences.   This may be due to the psychologist lack of art expertise.  I agree with Duncum on this point because I see value in the work of children in middle childhood.  Duncum offers several alternative models of viewing the drawings of middle childhood including the artist as craft person and viewing the work as graphic development.
            Because Gardner describes the time of middle childhood as a time when children acquire greater skills in artmaking, Duncum questions why this time is then considered the trough of the “U” curve.  Duncum also questions why Gardner is judging the product when, as a psychologist, he is concerned with the process.  I agree with Duncum on this point.  Gardner should not be focused on the product.
            According the Duncum, Gardner looked at seven conditions of artmaking:  “(a) a playful exploration of forms, leading to (b) the intentional (c) communication of (d) subjective knowledge which (e) is worthy of social attention (f) by means of aesthetically pleasing object (g) fashioned by learned skill” (74).  According to Gardner all of these conditions can only be met by an adolescent, stating that only in adolescents is artwork worthy of social attention.  I believe that children’s artwork is worthy of social attention regardless the age of the artist.  Artworks created in early and middle childhood are just as worthy of social attention as those from adolescents.  Further, Duncum points out that some middle-childhood-aged children can produce work that even Gardener would consider worthy of social attention.
            Finally, Duncum proposes his own model of child development.  His model is a straight line, showing all developmental stages are equally important.  This model also shows the breaks between early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescents as jagged and tapered showing that the transitions between stages is gradual and uneven.  This model is more aligned with my experiences with middle childhood artists.

Review of Garber

Joni Hough
February 1, 2013
ARTE 6923

Review of Garber, E (2003).  Teaching about gender issues in the art education classroom:  Myra Sadker day.  Studies in Art Education 45(1), 56-72.
            Elizabeth Garber’s article, “Teaching about Gender Issues in the Art Education Classroom:  Myra Sadker Day,” is about a combined undergraduate and graduate art education course that Garber taught using feminist pedagogy and feminist issues.  Garber points out several areas in which women have made progress toward educational equality.  However, overall equality has not been reached especially in the areas of science and math and for African American and Latina women.  Teachers are also still treating male and female students with different standards.  Because this article is ten years old and most of Garber’s statistics are even older, I would like to know how these statistics have changed since this article was written.  My assumption is that the statistics still hold true, but I would like to see if any more progress has been made in these areas over the last decade.
Garber analyzed the course discussions and projects using four themes from feminine pedagogy:  mastery, authority, voice, and positionality.  In a traditional classroom, mastery means the understanding to course content on the teacher’s terms with hierarchical grading systems.  Using feminist pedagogy, mastery is individual and is sought on the learners own terms and through collaborative learning with a focus on interpretations and connections instead of predetermined conclusions.  In the TAB/Choice-based classroom a more feminist approach is used because students determine their own projects.
Authority includes expertise in the course content and the power to determine course content, methodologies used, and grading systems.  In the feminist classroom this power is shared with the students.  This can be done in a variety of ways such as using a democratic process as proposed by Pennisi (2013), where as a class students democratically determine projects, or in a TAB/Choice-based classroom, where each student determines their own path of learning.  While the authority can be shared, a certain amount must remain with the teacher as certain state standards must be covered, and because the teacher has more expertise in the subject.  In the TAB/Choice-based classroom this is done through the teacher’s introductory demonstration, by selecting what materials are available to students, and through grading.
Voice involves students thinking and speaking for themselves.  This is often absent from traditional classrooms but in Garber’s class this included students’ discussions of course material that led to students connecting the course content to their personal experiences and the experiences of other students as those are shared with the class.  In the TAB/Choice-based classroom, discussions are included though class critiques and students are able to express themselves visually through their artworks.  In my own teaching, this could be increased by including more discussions during the introductory demonstration time at the beginning of each class.
Positionality comes from connecting mastery, authority, and voice to the position of the student.  Students’ identities are made up of a variety of aspects, such as gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, ability, and age, which are dynamic factors, that more than anything else influences the learning experience. In the feminist classroom the construction of knowledge is shaped by the people within the class as each person brings his or her own experiences to the table.  Bey and Washington (2013) also point out the importance of identity to student learning and suggest teachers, “retrofit curricular experiences in order to assist students in using the classroom to make meaning of their lives and the world” (p. 125).
In Garber’s class, students were introduced to gender issues through research and discussions, then students developed projects that were grouped as either information projects or activist interventions.  Most students gravitated toward projects that involved educating others about women in art or gender issues, however their projects failed to utilize teaching strategies from feminist pedagogy.  The projects also illustrated students’ interest in learning about female artists rather than issues, inquiry, theory, or self-reflection, reflecting the lack of general knowledge about women artists resulting from traditional art history courses.
In class discussions, Garber modeled feminist pedagogy by asking open-ended questions, having students pose questions, and having students take turns leading discussions. She also tried to not dominate discussions or imply that her knowledge was the only “correct answer.”  This was disturbing to some students who would have preferred a course where material on female artists and feminist pedagogy was presented in a lecture format. 
Preservice teachers have difficulty letting go of the notion of the teacher as the authority and students as recipients of knowledge.  It can be difficult to deviate from the model of teaching one has experienced for approximately 16 years of traditional patriarchal teaching methods.  Garber found this to be the case with her students, though several tried a hybrid of lecture and discussion with their projects. 
Researchers have found that female teachers are often not accepted as authority figures.  Using feminist pedagogy and sharing authority with students may reaffirm this prejudice and feminist teachers may not be taken seriously.  Also, as art teachers, we are already lower in the hierarchy than the teachers of tested subjects, such as math and language arts.  This does not mean that using feminist pedagogy cannot work, but feminist teachers will have to challenge the traditional patriarchal pedagogy.
In Garber’s course, the women connected their experiences to the readings and shared experiences.  In fact, the women took over as authorities, sometimes silencing the men in the class, which is the opposite of what typically happens in American classrooms.  Most of the men, despite the readings, felt that “gender” issues were a concern for women and teachers and not something they needed to develop a voice about.  As teachers, it is of vital importance that neither male nor female students feel left out in our classrooms and gender issues affect men just as they do women.
In her class, Garber also found that students were more comfortable discussing gender alone, rather than with race, sexuality, or class.  With their projects, students worked with gender and race, but class and sexuality were not represented.  Issues of class and sexuality are not easily seen, often allowing many to assume there is a sameness that does not actually exist.  Also, there is a climate of conservatism in public schools, which makes discussing these issues difficult.  Personally, I was uncomfortable discussing homosexuality with my middle school students for fear I would get complaints from conservative parents.
 Garber’s students determined that a feminist classroom must have both feminist content and feminist pedagogy.  Although the students did not master feminist pedagogy in a traditional sense, they did master it according to feminist pedagogy, which will lead them (and me) to be more gender sensitive teachers.

Bey, S & Washington G. E (2013).  Queering curriculum:  Truth of dare, secret nude sketches,
and closeted video recordings.  Studies in Art Education, 54(2), 116-126.

Pennisi, A. C (2013).  Negotiating to engagement:  Creating an art curriculum with eighth-
graders.  Studies in Art Education, 54(2), 127-140.

Review of Stinespring and Kennedy

Joni Hough
November 6, 2013
Advanced Art Education Methods

Review of Stinespring and Kennedy
            In the article, “Meeting the Need for Multiculturalism in the Art Classroom,” Stinespring and Kennedy proclaim that postmodern critics complain that modernism is discriminatory, and critics of postmodernism complain that it is too inclusive.  As teachers try to increase the diversity in the art they present to students they often present the work as “primitive, exotic, or quaint.”  To combat this Vesta Daniel has suggested six guidelines for teachers including encouraging students to question traditional standards of excellence, including art work from those who are disenfranchised, and connecting local interests to art from around the world. 
Stinespring and Kennedy also suggest using current terminology when referring to groups of people.  They however, use the term “black” to refer to African Americans.  They are ignoring their own advice.
Stinespring and Kennedy offer the basic criteria for judging one’s art program as does the curriculum reinforce Western exclusiveness or does it embrace and variety of human expression.  They also posit that it matters less how many cultural groups are represented as long as those that are taught are handled with respect.  I disagree with this statement because I believe it is important to include a variety of cultures in the curriculum, and not just those cultures represented in the student population.  Multiculturalism is important for all students, not just minority students.
            The authors go on to suggest that it is important to teach about the context in which the artist made his or her artwork so that students will understand the struggles facing oppressed artists.  They further explain that it is important for African American students to learn about African American artist because it helps raise the students’ self-esteem.  I would argue that it is just as critical for all students to learn to respect all cultures by learning about a variety of cultural groups.

            As a sidebar, Stinespring and Kennedy include the story of African American artist, Charles White.  They discuss the people who mentored him and who helped him overcome the oppression of being African American in the early part of the twentieth century in the United States.  It is an interesting sidebar.

Review of Ballengee-Morris and Sturh

Joni Hough
November 1, 2013
Advanced Art Education Methods

Review of Ballengee-Morris and Sturh
            In the article, “Multicultural Art and Visual Cultural Education in a Changing World,” Ballengee-Morris and Sturh begin by stating the importance of teachers understanding culture and cultural diversity, which should include issues of power, history, and self-identity.  These are important to the school reform model of education that is proposed in this article.  To do this teachers and students must learn to look critically at their own culture as well as the cultures of others.
            Ballengee-Morris and Stuhr point out that history, heritage, traditions, and culture (which is ever changing) of social groups is what creates diversity.  Culture influences our understanding and action, which is why it is important to learn about the culture and values of others.  Culture is comprised of one’s age, gender, sexuality, social and economic class, exceptionality, geographic location, religion, political status, language, ethnicity, and racial designation.  One’s position within these groups are often the basis of positions of power and acts of discrimination.
            Multicultural Education is a school reform movement that began in the 1960’s.  Two of the approaches to Multicultural Education are Multicultural Education Approach and Social Reconstructionist Approach.  Multicultural Education Approach schools have diverse populations.  This trend has been reversed in recent years as schools are becoming more and more segregated.  This approach also includes teaching students about the contributions of diverse groups of people.  Unfortunately in many classrooms if this is employed at all, it is superficial and only serves to reinforce stereotypes.
            The Social Reconstructionist Approach is similar to the Multicultural Education Approach.  The main difference is that the Social Reconstructionist Approach also aims to make changes in the community for the benefit of discriminated against groups.

            Ballengee-Morris and Stuhr present Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwanike and Wasson’s six position statements about multicultural art education.  Ballengee-Morris and Stuhr then give a curricular example of using violence as a key concept.  This example could work great in a modified TAB classroom or it could be modified to work in a full TAB classroom.

Integrating a Multicultural Curriculum in a Choice-Based Classroom

This paper will discuss multicultural education and introduce six strategies for incorporating a multicultural curriculum in a choice-based classroom.  It is easy to overlook multicultural learning experiences in the choice-based classroom but a multicultural education is vastly important in our ever-changing world.  With the internet connecting people all around the world and more and more multinational companies, a multicultural education is becoming increasingly important.  Also the population of the United States is becoming increasingly heterogeneous (Anderson, 1996b).  As such, students need a greater understanding of multiple cultures in order to work and live with people from a greater variety of cultures.  Multicultural education is crucial to students being successful in life.  Multicultural education is for every student, not just the “other” (Delacruz, 1995).  Students from the majority culture need a multicultural education as much as minority students.  It is important that all students have a strong multicultural education.  Also, a multicultural education empowers students (Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki, & Wasson, 1990).   Multicultural education can raise students’ self-esteem (Ballenge-Morris & Stuhr, 2001). 
We live in a multicultural society dominated by one group's cultural heritage. Denied equal educational opportunity to learn about their own cultural roots, students with non-Western and/or non-mainstream cultural heritages too often experience alienation, negative self-concepts, or low self-esteem, putting them at a further disadvantage in our competitive society. The repair response in multicultural pluralism suggests that by presenting in positive fashion the art of marginalized cultural heritages, we can build positive self-concepts and provide positive identities for those now suffering marginalization (Collins & Sandell, 1992, p. 11)
Culture can be thought of in several ways.  From an anthropological perspective, culture is comprised of many factors which affect all interactions, including physical and mental ability, class, gender, age, politics, religion, and ethnicity (Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki, & Wasson, 1990).  Anderson defines culture as, “…not externally or geophysically determined. Rather it is made up of individuals and groups who make choices and influence each other in the development of collective values, perspectives, mores, and ways of doing things” (1996b p. 198). From a sociological perspective, one might conceptualize culture in terms of parts and people and the interaction between them (Archer, 1988).  According to Kuster, culture is
…the process, as well as the product, of a group of people bound together by some combination of common factors.  People are the authors of culture, as each interacts and learns from one another. Culture is constantly changing because it is influenced by factors that are dynamic in nature.  Social, economic, religious, and political factors influence culture.  Culture, in this sense, is what guides how people act, think, and feel and is a creative process involving behaviors, values, and substance shared by people as they seek to give meaning and significance to their lives.  There can be no pure and simple culture, in that culture is always multifaceted and complex (2006, p. 33).
Culture is a lens through which an individual views his or her world and it is paramount that students understand a variety of cultures if they are to be responsible global citizens who can work with people from all over the world.
According to Stuhr, “multicultural education is a concept, a process, and an educational reform movement” (1994, p. 171).  The term “multiculturalism” first appeared in Canada in the 1950’s (Dudek, 2006).  “Multicultural education emerged in the early 1960s out of the Civil Rights Movement as a means for reconstructing school and society” (Stuhr, 1994, p. 171). 
There are several approaches to a multicultural curriculum a teacher can employ.  A Socio-Anthropological approach looks at cultures the way an anthropologist would (Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki, & Wasson, 1990).  This approach can be overwhelming as it requires much research on the part of the teacher and takes a lot of class time as students examine primary source materials. This approach is not well suited for the choice-based classroom where most of students’ time is spent on art production.  There is teaching the culturally different. 
The idealized goal of such an approach in art education is to equip all students with cognitive skills, technical efficiency, conceptual information, and the aesthetic values of the dominant culture of the U.S., to enable them to get jobs in the arts and to participate in fine art cultural events (Stuhr, 1994, p. 172)
The problem with this approach is that it teaches everyone to the standards of white, upper-class, males.  There is no appreciation for diversity.
The exceptional and culturally different multicultural approach to art education is based on the assumption that there is a specific body of knowledge to be learned, favoring a fine art world view based on the dominant artistic traditions of the Western European and North American cultures, over other sociocultural art worlds (Stuhr, 1994, p. 172).
This approach ignores the contributions of the non-Western world.  “The human relations approach defines the major purpose of schooling as helping students of different backgrounds to get along better in a world made continually smaller by modern technology and mass media” (Stuhr, 1994, p. 173).  This approach focuses reducing prejudices and biases by focusing on the similarities between cultures, but it does not focus on the differences between cultures. “An art program that promotes the single group studies approach will focus on the group as a people (for example, American Indians, Latinos, African Americans, or women)” (Stuhr, 1994, p. 174).  This approach is used more in colleges and universities than with K-12 classrooms.  There is the multiculturalism of liberal-humanism which is based on the presumption that we owe equal respect to all cultures (Levine-Rasky, 2006).  Levine-Rasky states that this approach assumes a “…universal sameness and equality of every human person” (2006, p. 89).  This approach is based on “difference-blindness” and fails to acknowledge the uniqueness of every individual (Levine-Rasky, 2006).  This paper espouses the Multicultural Education Approach.  This approach includes teaching students about the contributions of diverse groups of people which is the backbone of the strategies in this paper (Ballengee-Morris & Sturh, 2001).  The Social Reconstructionist Approach is similar to the Multicultural Education Approach.  The main difference is that the Social Reconstructionist Approach also aims to make changes in the community for the benefit of discriminated against groups.  This paper is not opposed to this approach, but helping the community is beyond the scope of this paper.
According to Dudek, there are two types of multiculturalism:  government sanctioned multiculturalism and everyday “on-the-streets” multiculturalism (2006).  “Of course, the everyday "on-the-streets" version of multiculturalism is very different from the Disneyland version of friendship and tolerance that hegemonic constructions of multiculturalism present” (Dudek, 2006, p. 3).  Ghassan Hage argues that multiculturalism,
…works only as a model in which the White nationalist controls the racialized other. In other words, as long as the so-called ethnic other obeys the rules of the non-racialized status quo, then multiculturalism works. Hage demonstrates how tolerance fades when there is a perceived danger of the racialized other changing the fabric of (White) …life and identity (Dudek, 2006, p. 3).
For much of the history of the United States, the school’s job regarding immigrant students was to assimilate them.   Multiculturalism is about celebrating our diversity.
Multiculturalism builds on the assertion that because of the end result-an Euro-centric orientation- assimilation should be rejected. Multiculturalism's doctrine of equal-respect suggests that the recognition of the contributions of all racial and ethnic groups take place in the field of education, as well as other arenas, and that an emphasis be placed on the importance of maintaining cultural diversity (George & Yancey, 2004, p.4).
According to Collins and Sandell,
Finding the integrationist vision of the melting pot and the specter of the separatist ghetto intellectually naive and/or ethically repugnant, most multiculturalists in art education subscribe to pluralism - not only as an accurate description of "what is," but as a prescription for liberation and a model for teaching about art from other than the dominant culture's point of view (1992, p8).
Despite its many benefits and its popularity among advocates, multicultural education has been quite controversial (Adejumo, 2002).  If pluralism would seem to be an intellectually and ethically safe position, it is nevertheless politically problematic” (Collins & Sandell, 1992, p. 8).  Some claim that all that is worth knowing comes from the great men of Western culture (Anderson, 1996a). However advocates for multicultural education argue that,
Western culture is inherently repressive internally in relation to minority subcultures and externally imperialistic; 2) the Western canon is unrepresentative of a broad social spectrum, thus inherently elitist; 3) its political agenda is keeping power and control for the elite but that this agenda is disguised through positioning value assumptions as neutrals or truth (Anderson, 1996a, p. 56).
Of course, one must still look critically at the art of other cultures. 
Although cultural pluralists in art education argue that Western mainstream art is neither politically nor ideologically innocent, we tend to embrace the art of other cultures as if it were harmless, failing to examine its politics and ideology (Collins & Sandell, 1992, p. 9).
Collins and Sandell further state,
Valuing cultural differences out of their context perpetuates the Western tendency to romanticize and trivialize, to render harmless and diverting the differences of other cultures, but it does not begin to suggest how we might balance our need for connection with our desire for transcendence (1992, p. 11).
Choice-based art education is a nationally recognized grassroots approach to art education.  It started over thirty-five years ago in Massachusetts classrooms and was researched at Massachusetts College of Art.  In choice-based art education students are regarded as artists and they are offered real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of art. Choice-based art education supports multiple modes of learning for the diverse needs of students (Douglas, 2013).
In a choice-based classroom, each class begins with a five minute demo by the teacher.  This is the extent of whole class instruction.  Then the majority of class time is spent working in studio centers where students choose the media they will work with and the content of their artwork.  The teacher then acts as a coach helping each student create his or her best work.  This may include small group instruction and individual instruction.  Classes conclude with students sharing their work with the class (Douglas & Jaquith, 2009, Hathaway, 2013). 
In non-choice-based classrooms, such as DBAE classrooms, multiculturalism is often taught in a superficial way.  For example, students may make Day of the Dead skeletons without learning anything about the culture surrounding this holiday.  Kuster states, “The implementation of multicultural art education in the United States from the 1970s until the present has been strongly focused on generalized explicit or overt cultural characteristics such as dress, speech, and holiday or ceremonial behaviors” (2006, p. 33)  Multicultural education must go more in depth.  According to Kuster,
…multiculturalism is more than adding on to the curriculum a conglomeration of superficial aspects of cultural life. Multicultural competence causes students to better understand how each person within a society affects and is influenced by others, thus contributing to the on-going definition and the creation of culture (2006 p.33).   
  According to Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki and Wasson,
By merely presenting exemplars of cultural products such as Egyptian Hieroglyphics, American Indian totem poles, and/or Australian bark paintings followed by the production of copies of these forms, many art educators are missing the point. Such tokenism not only trivializes the aesthetic production of all sociocultural groups, but, what is worse, it avoids confronting the real challenge of critically apprehending the meaning of the object, artist, process, in the sociocultural context. Further it fails to make legitimate links and contributions to the students' lives in ways that are morally, ethically and cognitively sound (1992, p. 21).
There are several ways in which the choice-based classroom naturally meets the needs of a multicultural classroom.  Because students decide their own projects and work at their own pace, the choice-based classroom meets students, from all cultures, where they are and all ability levels are accepted and encouraged. Students also naturally draw inspiration from their own interests so the choice-based classroom also allows all students to incorporate their sociocultural identity into their work.  Students are not just copying another culture’s tradition.  They can explore and further understand their own culture.  According to Lopez,
Whereas in most lessons, the educator stands as the authority on the subject, here by choosing to examine the diverse cultures of our students, we are required to relinquish authority and allow our students to teach us through their lived experiences. Students then become ambassadors of their personal culture (2009, p. 23).
Further, as students share their work at the end of each class, they learn about each other’s cultures from someone in that culture.
Because whole-group direct instruction is limited to the first five minutes of class, it is easy to think there is not enough time for in depth multicultural curriculum, but that is not the case.  One method for incorporating multicultural curriculum into the classroom is to meet individual students where they are with their interest (Douglas & Jaquith 2009).  For example, if a student is making a dragon, this offers the teacher the opportunity to teach that student about the similarities and differences between European dragons, Asian dragons, and South American dragons.  The student has already shown an interest in dragons and will likely be open to learning more about them.  Because the teacher is not leading the whole class in a single project the teacher has the time and insight into the student’s interest to help the student make a personally meaningful connection.  The teacher has to be on the lookout for opportunities to supplement students’ learning with multicultural curriculum.
In the choice-based classroom, the room itself is a teaching tool (Douglas & Jaquith, 2009, Hathaway, 2013, Hetland, Winner, Veenema, &Sheridan 2007).  Each studio center includes informative signage to guide students as they use that center.  The teacher can use this opportunity to showcase the work of minority artists as exemplars for each center.  For instance, the teacher can show examples of Kara Walker and Romare Bearden’s work in the collage center and examples of Haegue Yang and Lee Bul’s work in the sculpture center.  
Along the same note, the teacher can further utilize the classroom as a teaching tool by creating bulletin boards about different cultures throughout the year.   The bulletin boards can include background information about the culture and multiple examples of artists’ work from that culture.  The bulletin boards can then be changed regularly so students learn about a variety of cultures throughout the year.  For example, one bulletin board may be about the Edo period in Japan, with background information about that period and examples by key artists from that time.  Then the bulletin board may be changed to teach about the culture of the Mayan people or contemporary Indian art.  Another approach the teacher could use is to compare and contrast how different cultures treat a subject. For example, a bulletin board may contain self-portraits from a variety of cultures or landscapes from different cultures.  The options are endless.
An additional method for incorporating a multicultural curriculum into the choice-based classroom is to utilize the five minute museum approach.  The five minute museum is when for the five minute demo at the beginning of a class students are shown artwork which they discuss for five minutes, thus turning the classroom into a museum of sorts (Douglas & Jaquith, 2009). There are several approaches the teacher can take when using the five minute museum.  For instance, the teacher can show a variety of work from a single culture and students can gain a greater understanding of that culture.  Another tactic the teacher can employ is to choose a theme and show work from a variety of cultures that relate to the selected theme.  Students can then compare and contrast how artists from different cultural backgrounds express the same theme.  A third way the teacher might approach the five minute museum is to select a specific time period and show what artist from different cultures were working on at that time period.  For example the teacher could have students compare and contrast the work of several contemporary artists from different cultural backgrounds.  The five minute museum not only give students the opportunity to practice talking about art, it also gives students the chance to learn about a variety of cultures.
Another technique for integrating a multicultural curriculum into the choice-based classroom is to work with other teachers.   When students are learning about a culture in their English Language Arts class or their Social Studies class, it is the perfect time to teach those students about the art of that culture.  According to Lopez, ” through integration with the other curriculums such as social studies and language arts, educators could offer all students deeper exposure, understanding and relevance” (2009, p. 23).  For example, when students learn about the colonization of the Americas in their Social Studies class, the teacher can use this opportunity to teach about the art of a local Native American tribe or when students read Langston Hughes in their English Language Arts class the teacher can teach about the artist of the Harlem Renaissance.
 Finally, the teacher can always teach about a topic for more than one class.  When you cannot cover the topic in one five minute demo break it up into two or three five minute demos.  For example, the art of South Africa may take several classes as you also teach about the history of Apartheid and compare it to the United States’ history of Jim Crow laws.  This may take several classes to fully cover a topic such as this and there is nothing wrong with that.
There are a few things to look out for when teaching a multicultural curriculum.  Do not be superficial when teaching about a culture (Stuhr, Petrovich-Mwaniki, & Wasson, 1990; Stinespring & Kennedy, 1995).   Do not just show students a culture’s artwork, teach them about the work’s context within the culture (Anderson, 1996).  For example, do not just show students artwork by Native Americans, but explain the works’ context within the Native American culture.
Also be careful to not teach stereotypes (Stinespring & Kennedy, 1995).  For instance, when teaching about the artwork of the Australian Aboriginal people, do not just show dot paintings, because the students will think that dot paintings are all the Australian Aboriginal people create.  Show a variety of work so that students get a more complete understanding of the art of the Australian Aboriginal people.
In conclusion, here are six strategies for incorporating a multicultural curriculum in a choice-based art class.  First, meet students where they are with their interests.  Look for the teachable moments that naturally arise out of students following their passions.  Use the room itself as a teaching tool by incorporating multicultural examples in each studio center.  Also, utilize bulletin boards to teach about multiple cultures.  The five minute museum is another approach teachers can use to incorporate multicultural education in a choice-based classroom.  Collaborating with other teachers to teach integrated lessons and build on what students are learning in their other classes is another method for adding a multicultural component to the choice-based classroom.  Finally, the teacher can use several classes to go more in depth, using multiple five minute demos to fully cover a topic.  Do not think of a multicultural curriculum as just one more thing you have to include, instead look at it as an opportunity to expand your students’ worldviews.

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Twenty-First Century Skills in Art Education

Twenty-First Century Skills in Art Education
Joni H. Hough
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

            According to the National Task Force on the Arts in Education (2009), the National Center for Education Statistics shows that in the last thirty years, schools in the United States have dropped from international leaders to lagging behind many industrialized countries in every subject.  “Twenty-first century skills” has become a buzz phrase in education as a way to improve schools in the United States and regain standing as an international education leader.  Delacruz (2009) states that,
“…technology is ubiquitous…kids and families, students and communities are plugged in, cued to the latest electronic developments and diversions, ready to creatively adapt them to their own purposes.  Schools and policy makers are increasingly focused on what teachers need to know about and do with technology” (p. 13).  
Policy makers are quickly trying to integrate these skills into education standards.  For example, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (n.d.), North Carolina is in the middle of a five year process of completely reworking all K-12 curriculum standards, student testing assessment strategies, and school accountability programs to improve their alignment with twenty-first century skills.
            While students will need to be fluent in the use of a variety of technological devises to succeed in the twenty-first century, and teaching those skills is vital to students’ futures, technology is not an all-encompassing answer.  According to Bassett (2005), great twenty-first century schools, “…will expect proficiency, fluency, multicultural literacy, and high-quality performance by students in a variety of areas” (p. 77).  Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) is more in depth in defining twenty-first century skills.  They divide twenty-first century skills into four categories:  Core Subjects and Twenty-First Century Themes, Life and Career Skills, Learning and Innovation Skills, and Information, Media, and Technology Skills.
            The core subjects include traditional subjects like English/language arts, world languages, arts, math, economics, science, geography, history, and civics.  However, Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) advocates weaving twenty-first century themes into the core subjects.  These include:  global awareness, financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy, and environmental literacy.
            They also promote skills in learning and innovation.  These include creativity and innovation, meaning creative thinking, working creatively with others, and implementing innovations.  Critical thinking and problem solving are stressed, which includes using effective reasoning, using systems thinking, making judgments and decisions, and solving problems.  Communication and collaboration skills are also encouraged.  This consists of communicating clearly and accurately in a variety of formats and collaborating with diverse people in a respectful manner (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009).
            Further, Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) emphasizes information, media, and technology skills.  This includes accessing, evaluating, using, and managing information, analyzing media and creating media products, applying technology effectively as a tool for researching, organizing, evaluating, and communicating information, and understanding the ethical and legal issues related to using technology
Finally, Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009) encourages the teaching of life and career skills that students need in the twenty-first century.  These include the ability to be flexible and adapt to changes, manage goals and time effectively, work independently, and be a self-directed learner, work effectively with others in diverse teams, manage projects and produce results, as well as guide, lead, and be responsible to others.
These are invaluable skills that students must have to succeed in the future, but they are also skills students need to learn now.  According to the National Art Education Association’s [NAEA] report, Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education (2009),
“Every day, American young people spend more than four hours watching television, DVDs or videos; one hour using a computer; and 49 minutes playing video games. In many cases, youths are engaged in two or more of these activities at the same time. Little wonder this era has become known as the ‘digital age,’ and Americans born after 1980 have become known as ‘digital natives’” (p. 3).
Freedman (2000) further iterates that,
“…a shift in the cultural sphere-above all, the emergence of an all-encompassing visual culture-has fundamentally transformed the nature of political discourse, social interaction, and cultural identity. Visual culture is expanding, as is the realm of the visual arts.  This realm includes fine art, television, film and video, computer technology, fashion photography, advertising, and so on. The increasing pervasiveness of such forms of visual culture, and the freedom with which these forms cross traditional borders, can be seen in the use of fine art in advertising, realistic computer generated characters in films, and video museum exhibitions” (p. 315-316).
According to Delacruz (2009),
“…the democratizing impact of the Internet phenomenon no less profound and transformative of human civilization and consciousness as the invention of the printing press.  The potential of technology includes its ability to compress time and space, to form virtual communities in cyberspace, and to facilitate creativity, cultural production, collaboration, and resource sharing among individuals in worldwide networks.  But that potential is also confounded by problems and dangers: the digital divide, privatization and commercialization of the Internet and its contents, loss of privacy, copyright restrictions that limit access and uses of information, censorship, fear of litigation, and cyber-bullying and Internet sexual predators” (p. 14).
With students bombarded with so much mass media and visual culture, it is imperative that they learn to assess and evaluate the information they are consuming now.  Students need to learn how to protect their privacy and the privacy of others.  Through age-appropriate instruction for students and education for parents, students will learn how to safely navigate new technologies and have access to a world that was unimaginable a few decades ago.   According to Freedman (2000), 
“From my social perspective, it is the responsibility of our field to address the issues and problems of student experience with visual culture. Unlike the strongest traditions of our field, which have focused heavily on promoting an appreciation of the visual arts of the past, art education from this perspective is concerned with taking a more critical stance and addressing the increasingly difficult challenges of the visual arts in the future” (325). 
This is no longer some far off future that educators have to prepare for.  It is students’ lives now. 
            Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to new technologies that cannot be overcome as easily as teaching visual culture to students.  Delacruz (2009) states,
“Two of the most striking aspects of the electronic revolution are that kids are leading the way and that schools are lagging behind. Schools are incompatible with students' current ways of working with new technologies. Schools' computers are slower, less capable, less interesting, and less accessible to today s media-savvy youth.  School culture also truncates teacher innovation, and for many reasons: teacher resistance to top-down mandates, poor school technology infrastructures, ill-conceived or inadequate technology professional development opportunities and incentives and standardization and restrictive school and community mores and expectations.  Art teachers' utilization of new digital media in innovative ways is far from common practice” (p. 14). 
While Delacruz is correct that many students are more media savvy than their teachers, this is not the case for all students.  Jenkins, Purishotma, Clinton, Weigel, and Robinson (n.d.) state that many of the programs in schools to teach twenty-first century skills do not “…address the fundamental inequalities in young people’s access to new media technologies and the opportunities for participation they represent (what we call the participation gap)” (p. 12).
In addressing the participation gap, Jenkins, et al (n.d.), continue on to say,
“Expanding access to computers will help bridge some of the gaps between digital haves and have nots, but only in a context in which free wi-fi is coupled with new educational initiatives to help youth and adults learn how to use those tools effectively” (p. 13).
Regrettably, many teachers and schools do not have the resources for these initiatives.  Even the teachers who can or do want to employ newer technologies do not have administrative or technical support.  Delacruz (2009) points out,
“It’s not merely because teachers are resistant to change, although teacher resistance continues to be an impediment.  Technology introduces new-world thinking onto an old-world system of top-down, teacher-centered curriculum delivery systems and prescriptive educative content.  Old world schooling prizes the standardization of predictable learning goals and an assessment system designed for easy measurement of performance on nationalized, norm-referenced tests rather than a real desire to understand what students really think, know, care about, or are able to do. In such a system, the more unusual the classroom teacher's technology innovation, the less likely it is to be supported in schools” (p. 14).
            With no computer access at home, outdated computer at school, and limited support from administration for teachers, where are underprivileged students to go to gain access to new technologies?  Local libraries should be an answer.  However, as Jenkins et al (n.d.) state,
“What a person can accomplish with an outdated machine in a public library with mandatory filtering software and no opportunity for storage or transmission pales in comparison to what person can accomplish with a home computer with unfettered Internet access, high bandwidth, and continuous connectivity. (Current legislation to block access to social networking software in schools and public libraries will further widen the participation gap.) The school system’s inability to close this participation gap has negative consequences for everyone involved.  On the one hand, those youth who are most advanced in media literacies are often stripped of their technologies and robbed of their best techniques for learning in an effort to ensure a uniform experience for all in the classroom.  On the other hand, many youth who have had no exposure to these new kinds of participatory cultures outside school find themselves struggling to keep up with their peers” (p. 13).
In this case, schools are doing a disservice to all students.  With all of the recent budget cuts to many school systems around the country, closing the participatory gap does not seem likely in the near future.
            While art educators cannot address all of the skills students need for the twenty-first century, there are some that art education already addresses.   In fact, the lessons students learn from the arts are essential for their success.  For example, Hetland and Winner state in the NAEA (2009) report, Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education,
“While students in art classes learn techniques specific to art, such as how to draw, how to mix paint, or how to center a pot, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in schools.  These habits include observing, envisioning, innovating, and reflecting…though far more difficult to quantify on a test than reading comprehension or math computation, each has a high value as a learning tool, both in school and elsewhere in life” (p. 5).
The same report further states, “visual arts instruction also helps students learn to value diverse perspectives and cultures, something that is increasingly important in a global society” (p. 7).  In addition, Gude (2009) states, “through artworks, students absorb the perceptions of others— situated in other times and places, embodied in other races, genders, ages, classes, and abilities” (p.4).
            While most visual arts classes attend to some twenty-first century skills, a Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) classroom addresses even more.  Douglas (2009) points out that in a choice-based art class, students develop and expand learning and innovation skills, technology skills, and life and career skills, which are key skills according to Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009). 
Under the learning and innovation skills category, students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills by finding and solving their own artistic problems and by using a variety of learning strategies, including inquiry, divergent thinking, play, experimentation, planning ahead, reflection and evaluation.  Students develop creativity and innovation because intrinsically motivated students respond to problems in original and imaginative ways.  Also, the predictability of studio centers allows students to refine their ideas over time, giving depth to their work that cannot be achieved in a planned three day lesson.  Students learn to communicate their ideas through their artist’s statement that accompanies their work in art shows.  They also learn to communicate their needs because they are motivated to do well because their work is self-directed.  Moreover, students learn to work together based on common goals and peers learn to help each other as some students become “experts” in certain areas (Douglas, 2009).
            In a TAB classroom, students and teachers utilize technology in a variety of ways.  Teachers use technology to present information to the whole class, small groups, or to work individually with students.  Students use computers to research ideas, find visual examples, and to expand concepts.  Students also document and comment on their work in digital portfolios.  Students also use technology for creating art.  Students use digital photography, image manipulation, animation, and other graphic programs to make their art (Douglas, 2009).
            Opportunities for students to learn life and career skill are abundant in the TAB classroom.  Students learn to be flexible and adaptable because every class begins with a demonstration or discussion of a new concept, idea, or technique, students learn to work with the materials that are available to them, and TAB teachers model these skills by responding to students’ new ideas and artistic processes.  Students take initiative by setting up their materials, beginning work, and putting away their materials at the end of class without teacher assistance.  They are self-directed because they are intrinsically motivated because they are making their own work with their own personal context.  Social skills are learned through collaborative work with classmates.  Negotiations occur as students navigate shared materials and space.  Students learn about their own styles and perspectives as well as the styles and perspectives of other students through discussions of ongoing and completed work.  Students also learn about other cultures through whole class demonstrations and discussions, as well as when it is relevant to their work or a small group in the class.  Students are expected to be productive by coming to class with ideas or a willingness to experiment with new materials.  Because student work is self-directed, they are held accountable for their progress.  Although, the teacher organizes the classroom environment, it is students’ responsibility to maintain it by taking care of materials, and keeping studio center clean and organized.  Students take on leadership roles by helping peers, helping curate exhibits, or even designing new studio centers (Douglas 2009).
It is vital that art educators teach as many twenty-first century skills as possible.  Not only is it of utmost importance to students, but is also an additional tool for art advocacy.  It is also crucial that art educators work with colleagues in other subject areas to insure that all twenty-first century skills are addressed so that all students can reach their personal and professional goals in the present and in their futures.  

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Multicultural Paper: Mmapula Mmagoba “Helen” Sebidi

Joni Hough
March 20, 2010
ARTE 5122

Multicultural Paper:
Mmapula Mmagoba “Helen” Sebidi

Mmapula Mmagoba Sebidi is a South African painter, sculptor, and collage artist.  She was born in 1943 and grew up under apartheid, which greatly influenced her life and her artwork.  Professionally, she uses the name Helen Sebidi. 

South Africa has a long history that predates written language.  Archeological evidence suggests that South African people were trading with Chinese people as early as the twelfth century (, n.d.).  South Africa was colonized by the English and Dutch in the seventeenth century. English domination of the Dutch descendents (known as Boers or Afrikaners) resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal.  The discovery of diamonds around 1900 resulted in an English invasion which sparked the Boer Wars.   In 1948, the Afrikaner National Party gained political power and created apartheid.  Apartheid was the social and political policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority governments in South Africa (The History of Apartheid in South Africa, n.d.). 

Policies under apartheid included 1950’s Population Registration Act, which required that all South Africans be racially classified as either white, black (African), or colored (of mixed decent or Asian), the Group Areas Act, which assigned races to different residential and business sections in urban areas, and the Land Acts of 1954 and 1955 restricted nonwhite residence to specific areas (The History of Apartheid in South Africa, n.d.).

Despite the risks, resistance to apartheid existed within South Africa.  A number of groups opposed apartheid using a variety of tactics, including violence, strikes, demonstrations, and sabotage.  These strategies were often met with severe punishment by the government.  Many artists, including Sebidi, created works that protested apartheid in more subtle ways that were less likely to incur scrutiny from government officials.  There was also resistance to apartheid from the international community, which included sanctions from the United Nations.  In 1994 the country's constitution was finally rewritten and free general elections were held for the first time.  Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa's first black president and the last vestiges of the apartheid system were finally outlawed (Robinson, n.d.).
Because of the migrant labor system under Apartheid, Sebidi was raised by her grandmother in rural, Marapyane, while her parents worked in Johannesburg (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).  From her grandmother, Sebidi learned traditional mural painting and pottery.  She was forced to quit school after the eighth grade and at the age of 16, Sebidi moved to Johannesburg to help support her family.  She worked as a domestic servant for a German expatriate, from whom she learned about easel painting (Peffer, 2009 and Arnold, 1997).
            While in Johannesburg, Sebidi studied oil painting from John Koenakeefe Mohl, a figurative and landscape painter, who had studies in West Germany.  From Mohl, Sebidi learned Western styles of illusionism, which she employed in her idealistic paintings of rural life.  Mohl would later encourage Sebidi to create the work that became her first solo art exhibit (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).
In the early 1970’s, Sebidi moved back to Marapyane to care for her aging grandmother and to raise her child.  She continued painting idealistic images of rural life and in 1977 she began traveling to Johannesburg monthly to sell her art at the Artists Under the Sun market.  Sebidi’s work, which was mostly apolitical at this time, was popular with white patrons allowing her to make a living from selling her work (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).
After the death of her grandmother, Sebidi moved back to Johannesburg to further study and teach art. In 1985, Sebidi became involved with the Katlehong Art Centre, where she began making pottery and terra-cotta sculptures. The goal of the Katlehong Art Centre was to create awareness about black artists and to teach artists how to market themselves and become self-sufficient. It was also a way to create a professional South African black art, without it being labeled traditional or township art.  At the Katlehong Art Centre, Sebidi created the work that she showed in her first solo art exhibit in 1986.  Sebidi was the first black woman to have a solo art exhibit in South Africa.  In 1986, Sebidi also joined the Johannesburg Art Foundation, where she discovered modern styles of abstraction and collage.  The Johannesburg Art Foundation was an art school where black and white South African artists worked together and it was often under police scrutiny (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, Sebidi has continued to work as an artist in Johannesburg.  She has exhibited within South Africa and internationally and her work is featured in many private collections.  The South African President presented Sebidi with the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2004 and the Order of the Baobab in Gold in 2008 for her excellent contribution to the field of visual and traditional arts and craft (South African History Online, n.d. & Artist’s Proof Studio, n.d.).
In Sebidi’s early work, she “opted to render memories of a harmonious interaction between humankind and nature”, such as in 1972’s Rural Scene (Arnold, 1996, p. 137).  She was strongly influenced by the figurative and landscape work of her mentor and teacher, John Koenakeefe Mohl (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).  In this work, Sebidi portrays traditional women’s work in rural South Africa, with three women, each with a child strapped to her back and a basket on her head.   By showing the women from behind, Sebidi treats the subjects as archetypes rather than as individuals.  The strong vertical lines created by the women and exaggerated by the dark baskets on their heads, shows the strength of the African woman. The horizontal lines created by the vegetation on the hill and in the horizontal alternating on pale blues and yellow in the sky implies a sense of peacefulness in the rural landscape.  The diagonal movement of the staggered women, the diagonal lines of the women’s clothes, and the sloping hillside, combined with the bright yellow paint that Sebidi carries throughout the painting creates a feeling of harmony and balance in Sebidi’s work.  This harmony produces an idealistic impression of rural life.
Sebidi’s work drastically changed after she joined the Johannesburg Art Foundation (Arnold, 1996).  There she discovered abstraction and collage and abandoned the illusionistic style of her early work.  She spent her first year at the Johannesburg Art Foundation creating figure studies.  She painted a multitude of hands, feet, and portraits (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).  According to the Iziko Museums of Cape Town, Sebidi said, "First I kept on drawing figures in the studio, feet, hands, portraits; and I kept all this rubbish from the whole year piling up on the carpet. At the end of the year I said to myself, 'I want to see if I can grow these up', I took myself away from other people - I said 'Now break all this in pieces and see what comes out.'  What came out was the deconstruction and reconstruction of space and form, of images literally torn apart, fragmented and reworked, reconstituted in collage" (Iziko Museums of Cape Town, 2001).  Sebidi used this collage technique in her 1988-89 piece, The Child's Mother Holds the Sharp Side of the Knife. 

In this work, Sebidi has packed a multitude of images into the picture to express several ideas.  As suggested by the title, this collage addresses the roles of women in South African society.  When explaining this work, Sebidi said, "I see a woman chained, pulling her tradition.  In our language they always say 'yours is yours.'  You've got to handle it, you've got to be, don't let go . . . In African tradition they say it is the woman who holds the sharp side of the knife.  Here, woman is holding the knife in this way and is saying: 'this is what I have to do, and it's my way'" (South African Resistance Art, n.d.).
As with many of the collages Sebidi created during the late 1980’s, she has crowded the picture plane with numerous images of people.  These people are so jammed together that in the background they cease to be individuals as body parts are crammed into each other becoming visually indecipherable.  With this technique, Sebidi illustrates the congestion of the urban areas that black South Africans are allowed to occupy because of the Group Areas Act and the Land Acts under apartheid. 
The faces of the people in this collage demonstrate another theme in Sebidi’s work.  Most of the faces are created with half of the face in one color and the other half of the face in another color.  These disruptions in color symbolize the schism between traditional, rural life of black South Africans and fast-paced, overcrowded urban areas where many black South Africans migrated to find work.
After apartheid, Sebidi’s work took on a lighter note.  In her composition, Hope It Comes Back, she still utilizes the bright colors and fragmented faces that became the signature of her collages, but her images lack the crowded picture plane of her work from the mid 1980’s through the early 1990’s.  As in her early work, Sebidi shows the sky and land with an optimistic, idealistic feel.  In this image, an adult holds up a child to pick a flower as several people watch, as if a tradition is being passed down from one generation to
the next.  The onlookers, though crowded together, still have space around them.  There is a sense of freedom to move around.  Though the people are still shown in a fragmented style, they no longer have to two-tone faces Sebidi used to express the schism between urban and rural life.  The people, with their heavy dark lines, do not seem to have forgotten the hard past, but the bright colors of the people and vegetation along with the title, convey a sense of hopefulness about the future of South Africa.
Mmapula Mmagoba “Helen” Sebidi’s work shows the progression of her life, from a girl growing up in rural South Africa, to a woman working under the harshness of apartheid in the crowded metropolis of Johannesburg, then an artist working in a free South Africa who has been honored by the government.  The themes of her work include idealistic landscapes, people crowded beyond decipherability, the struggle of black South African women, the schism between rural and urban living, and hope for the future.  Through Sebidi’s work, students can learn about how an artist’s social, cultural, and political background influences her artwork.


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