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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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Advance Praise For Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy



Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy

“Engaged. Inspired. Empowered. Agentic. What we wish for our students is exactly what this visionary revised edition of Activist Art in Social Justice Pedagogy offers its readers. Regardless of what or where you teach, this timely book will invite you to visualize yourself, your work, and your classroom as a site of creativity, imagination, and social power. Indeed, this book’s wonderful portraits of well-grounded activist work with children and youth are needed now more than ever.”

—Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University, Monterey Bay

“This book covers a lot of ground in showing the many powerful ways art can inspire social justice activism. From classrooms to communities, from the local to the global, the authors demonstrate how art can engage the emotions, promote critical thinking, and motivate the courage to act in the face of injustice. The book provides a range of examples of emerging/transforming stories of social justice pedagogy through activist art. An excellent resource for schools and communities seeking ways to draw upon art to energize action!”

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