DISRuPtiVE Pedagogies in Art Education

By Bastos, Flávia M. C. | Art Education, May 2009 | Go to article overview

DISRuPtiVE Pedagogies in Art Education


Bastos, Flávia M. C., Art Education


This issue of Art Education explores an array of unconventional and exciting approaches to art teaching. Reflecting on her years as a student and a professor, hooks (1994) recalled being inspired by "teachers who have had the courage to transgress those boundaries that would confine each pupil to a rote, assembly-line approach to learning" (p.13).

Disrupting conventional expectations and conservative practices of schooling educators can make room for an engaged pedagogy that celebrates possibilities, values each student, and inspires transformation. Commonly defined as the methods and practice of teaching, pedagogy also embraces "a critical reflectiveness of dynamic and context-specific classroom strategies-those radical acts that we use to imagine, embody, and enact social justice through our teaching (Armstrong & Juhl, 2007, p. 7).

Eight authors unveil meanings and possibilities disruptive pedagogies can assume in art education contexts. Rikki Asher describes her experience teaching a university course called Puppetry in Classrooms, which featured the art of puppetry, its historical context, and the inclusion of social issues into the art curriculum. Connie Stewart applies lessons from trickster stories, such as the Coyote, Raven, Eshu, and Hermes, to her role as an art educator who leads students to examine established conventions, find alternate paths, and reevaluate presuppositions about works of art. Gillian Furniss discusses her experience working with a young art student with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to illustrate how art teachers can be trained to enable young artists with Asperger Syndrome to fully participate in an academic art curriculum. In the Instructional Resources section, Kristina Hilliard and Kate Wurtzel connect Egyptian sculpture and architecture, specifically the representation of Hatshepsut and her reign, to displays of power, unveiling how art and the design of environments are utilized to empower self and others. Sheng Chung reports on a multifaceted, collaborative university-museum project involving artifacts research, museum exhibition, and curriculum development to address ways to change how cultural artifacts are presented to museum authences and illuminate the significance of such collaborations for art education. Natalie Barnes confronts the resistance to incorporate writing activities into art education classes with an exciting project that transformed a simple writing activity into a rich art learning experience. Diane Gregory shares her experience and advice to enrich the art classroom and advance student learning through the purposeful use of instructional technologies.

The premise of this editorial and of this issue is that intrinsic to art and quality art teaching practices is the process of stirring trouble and inviting disruption.

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