Knight, Wanda B.
A.64 | Wednesday, 18 July 2007, 10:30 - 11:00, Room A1
Pedagogical strategies that challenge prospective art teachersí socially constructed frameworks for teaching diverse learners
Globalization, changing demographics, and other socio-economic factors have lead to increased diversity in art educatorís various teaching contexts. Differences in race, ethnicity, gender, age, physical abilities, language, sexual identifications, religion, and political beliefs are making teaching not only more exciting but more challenging as well. Teacher education programs have the responsibility of preparing teachers for a diverse society. Moreover, Art teacher education programs should (re)conceptualize the manner in which they prepare their prospective art teachers, and equip them with the knowledge and skills, that will be most suitable for effective teaching in various cultural contexts. In order to provide more meaningful knowledge and skills for effective teaching, teacher educators ought to help prospective teachers critically challenge their constructed worldviews. Prospective and practicing art teachers must be able to critically analyze important issues such as race, ethnicity, and culture, and recognize how they impact teaching and learning. This interactive presentation stresses the importance of preparing prospective art teachers to critically reflect on their own racial and cultural identities. More specifically, this presentation highlights innovative teaching methods and strategies. The teaching methods and strategies support prospective and practicing art teachers in performing the critical type of reflection necessary to help them develop and apply culturally relevant pedagogical practices when working with learners from culturally diverse backgrounds. For example, I utilize contemporary art and visual culture to challenge teacherís values, beliefs, and assumptions. Moreover, the issues (i.e. race, power, privilege, hegemony) that art educators tend to steer clear of due to the belief that they spark contention, are the very ones I use to incite practicing art educators and future teachers to challenge the values that underlie their curricular design, materials, and activities. Further, in the classroom, I utilize discussion or professional exchanges (rather than lecturing) as a major instructional strategy to encourage students to see the diversity of perspectives among classmates. As diversity becomes more of a reality in our various teaching contexts, issues related to increased diversity will intensify rather than diminish. Consequently, art educators from all racial, ethnic, political and ideological persuasions must actively participate in genuine discussions, dialogue, and debates that enable them to deal proactively with the challenges posed by the increasing diversity in our global society.
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