Magazine article School Arts

Art as Culture

Magazine article School Arts

Art as Culture

Article excerpt

Multicultural Education means different things to different people. To some, it raises the red flag of change, a concept not welcomed by all of us. For teachers in some other disciplines, the new emphasis on multiculturalism calls for the elimination of trusted and successful curriculum units, and the addition of learning activities that are unfamiliar and, perhaps, required by administrators attempting to be "politically correct." For most art teachers, however, multiculturalism is not a recent add-on. The arts of other cultures, reflecting artistic heritage and traditions of other people, along with different materials, skills, techniques and functions, have long expanded the value, vibrance and diversity of the art experience.

For art educators, the recent focus on the dynamics of other cultures has meant a wealth of new resources showcasing the arts and crafts of other individuals and groups. Suddenly, there are easily accessible posters, videos and slide sets to enrich our teaching as well as the minds and lives of our students. In fact, from our vantage point, we may need less urging into the area of multicultural learning than we need to be cautioned concerning the appropriate use of these rich teaching resources. This issue of SchoolArts includes many examples of art experiences in this important and sensitive area. Because the amount of space we can provide to each author sometimes precludes all steps in a lesson or curricular unit, readers should be aware of the need for sensitivity when using the art of another culture as a model or motivation. …

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