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Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy

Engaging Students in Glocal Issues Through the Arts, Revised Edition


Edited By Barbara Beyerbach, R. Deborah Davis and Tania Ramalho

Artists have always had a role in imagining a more socially just, inclusive world—many have devoted their lives to realizing this possibility. In a culture ever more embedded in performance and the visual, examining the role of arts in multicultural teaching for social justice is a timely focus. In Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy approaches to using activist art to teach a multicultural curriculum are examined and critiqued. Examples of activist artists and their strategies illustrate how study of and engagement in activist art processes glocally—connecting local and global issues—can deepen critical literacy and commitment to social justice. This book is relevant to those (1) interested in teaching more about artist/activist social movements around the globe, (2) preparing pre-service teachers to teach for social justice, (3) concerned about learning how to engage diverse learners through the arts, (4) teaching courses related to arts-based multicultural education, critical literacy, and culturally relevant teaching. As we think more broadly we address the question "why does a ‘social justice through the arts in education’ approach make sense"; describe examples of preservice teacher assignments examining artists’ roles in activist movements, promoting multicultural understanding and social justice; and share approaches to and examples of using the arts in the United States and abroad to deepen multicultural comprehension and teaching for social justice.

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We would like to acknowledge the many activist artists, educators, and students whose work has inspired us to write this book. We also thank the contributors, their colleagues, and students whose collective work has provided us with learning and wonderful resources to share. Special thanks to our SUNY Oswego Curriculum and Instruction Department Chair, Marcia Burrell, for always supporting our work. For reading several chapters of the work and providing encouragement, feedback, and valuable suggestions, we thank members of the writing group—Jean Ann, Bonita Hampton, Mary Harrell, Sharon Kane, Bobbi Schnorr, and Chris Walsh. Thanks to Traci Terpening and Beth Canale for reading and editing many of the chapters in the original volume. And last, but certainly not least, thanks to our families for their encouragement and support. ← ix | x →

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