Home Forums Dialogue Portal Dialogue Portal: Part 2 DIVERSITY AWARENESS

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    I believe the challenges are curriculum standards that districts view as viable content for the students. Ignorance of who and what is important through history from individuals who do not teach the content seem to sometimes drive the content ie. school board, superintendent, etc..



    I agree that many of the problems come from specific standards that a district will set in place. In many cases, the superintendent or administration has no knowledge or experience in special areas like art or music- making it very difficult for them to understand the challenges that come with teaching these subjects.

    Elizabeth Eagle

    I feel that the largest challenges in changing art curriculum to support a change in consciousness is for teachers to allow themselves to be empowered to do so; to encourage themselves to move on from old curriculum that is not current for student’s in today’s world. I feel that this time is the most opportune for powering ahead and encouraging students to look at art through the social constructs they live in and explore these issues; with the 21st century and the goals and changes that belong to this time, it is most pertinent to change and challenge educational curriculum to fit in a diverse time.


    Changing curriculum to fit the students in the classroom is necessary for student involvement and interest. It is a big responsibility to adapt the curriculum to be socially responsible. How does the teacher determine appropriate topics? I think that if students have a say and input in their projects and overall curriculum it benefits the school and society as a whole. It creates socially responsibly and passionate individuals that learn how to express their thoughts in creative outlets.

    One idea a socially responsive curriculum could explore is the issue of inclusion in university projects and specifically the Penn State University libraries.

    The issue:

    Penn State students, faculty and workers have access to diverse research from all over the world. It is presented in books and through Penn State e-libraries. However, ease of use is an issue with the typical student growing up and learning to use the Duey Decimal system in a library of about 100 square feet, at the largest, being introduced to the Patee/Paterno Library and being overwhelmed by the expanse of knowledge available and underwhelmed by the help to navigate the vast cyber and drywall hallways of information.

    A system that allowed for an easier way to obtain these ideas would vastly benefit the students and the surrounding community.

    Also, the library is filled with such great opportunities, but there is no access for the local community that struggles with poverty and literacy rates. What is the point of this knowledge if it cannot be shared?

    Question: How can students use art class to change this issue in their local community?


    Transforming art curriculum. Expanding the classroom so that everyone is included is not necessarily a simple task but, one that should be taken very seriously. By taking in the interests of each individual student and allowing for them to discover art for themselves is one way I believe this can be achieved. Allowing them to choose their seats and projects could also help with this. It may be easier said then done, but just creating a community of learners, explorers, and artists without stereotypes and hierarchy that is established at the beginning of the year. If the children know they are accepted in a class and that they have the opportunity to explore new things, it will be more beneficial for us as future teachers and them as developing humans. I believe by giving the students a certain amount of freedom, it will allow for students of all races, genders, etc. to feel included in the classroom.

    Katy Lehman

    In an effort to change art curriculum so that it is more reflective of the changes in consciousness regarding gender, race, and other identities I believe there are far more opportunities than challenges. I believe a huge part of educating children on gender, race, and other identities is to start by helping children to cultivate self-awareness and self-love. In order to have an understanding of others, self-awareness is crucial. Projects for children at a young age can focus on biography or family heritage. Children create artwork about themselves, their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, heritage, etc. And they can share the projects with the class. Learning about themselves and then learning about one another. They develop a deeper relationship with their piers and gain more knowledge and others’s race, gender, religion, and heritage. When children learn about empathy, they will be able to live in harmony with people who are far different and more diverse than themselves. Boys will understand girls. Jews will understand Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and more. Asians will understand Mexicans, Europeans, Americans. They will understand each other because their friends taught through their art that they creatively put together and presented.

    Maggie Higgins

    I believe that changing the art curriculum to best fit the students wants and needs is something extremely overdue. Although I believe that the fundamentals of art are important to help with motor skills and overall art skills, incorporating art into real life is highly beneficial. By creating a curriculum that allows children to express themselves by celebrating the differences they have with classmates, leaves them with an incredible opportunity to discover self awareness. By realizing the not only physical differences but different walks of life their classmates come from, students can take this information into the real world and have it actually benefit them. Creating a curriculum that is based around kindness and diversity while incorporating art techniques into the projects would not only help us as educators become better people but would help to raise compassionate little artists!

    Jessica Farra

    As “Closet Cakes” and “Closet Ethnography” address, diversity and being able to share and understand where one perspective emerges from is vital to education. The relationships to others, self, and the world are vital to develop on and incorporate into the classroom. “The Tea is Ready” is also developing on this as time and outfits change to adapt the environment, then inviting others to tea to learn about each. This is vital to art education as well though learning about others.

    Liz Leslie

    I believe some challenges in changing the art curriculum to include gender, race, and identity changes are getting past an art history based on white dead men. I used to only teach about Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, etc. until I discovered that not all students can identify with these figures of the past. Of course I still feel they are important to art history, but their importance has been minimized as I have discovered contemporary artists such as Sandra Sielberzweig, and Heather Galler. I feel that adding more up to date artists and people living and working today can give students a greater connection to the material I am trying to teach.


    I think the art curriculum has to have that reflective piece in there otherwise we deny our students the information needed to become their own voice in their artwork. The challenges become allowing ourselves to be open and understanding to the changes happening around us so that we can be facilitators for our students. The moment we start to close ourselves to the changing in consciousness we close our students. This does not mean that you personally have to agree with everything but you have to be open enough to allow your students to be aware of the changes open their minds to it and allow for them to make their own decisions. You have to give them the history; you have to show how history is repetitive, then give them the facts. Once they have the facts we help and facilitate their own thoughts and opinions but don’t impose on them. You make them back their opinions up with “whys” and “how comes’” to follow their thought process but we have to allow for them to make their own opinions. It’s hard when other students have differing opinions or even when we the teachers have differing opinions. We have to create a space where it is safe, comfortable and acceptable to have the differing views but allow for conversation and allow for the space to encourage that type of thinking.

    caroline grace

    I believe that it is completely necessary to incorporate the changes in consciousness, concerning gender, race, and other identities in the classroom to remain current with students. With that being said, there will be challenges when students and especially parents consider unfamiliar, uncomfortable topics to be unsettling or unnecessary in the classroom.
    While teaching in a predominantly white, rural school I have heard students make unacceptable comments regarding gender and race. It is important to teach them while they are in middle school that there is diversity that exists beyond their environment.

    Andrea T.

    The challenges are finding work that is representational of a diverse group of artists in art history older than thirty years. The other challenge is finding work that addresses the diverse audience, but is still relevant to young students or those without a socially conscious educational background.
    However, finding art that challenges students’ preconceptions is a wonderful opportunity to start dialogue and get them thinking about ideas they haven’t been introduced to before. It also gives students who are not typically reflected in traditional Western art history to see themselves reflected by adult, working artists

    Courtney L

    I think this challenge relates to the question of who has written the history that we learn? Typically, it is common to student white, male artists. These artists should have a place in the art history we study, but alongside artists that all students can relate and connect with. Teachers must feel empowered to find ways in which students can connect to what is being taught and this comes from being deliberate about which artists we are highlighting as educators.


    Dave Wilders had went to Airedale Institution in Castleford, under Muriel Pyrah, whose speculative methods attracted nationwide interest at the moment, motivating what was referred to as “self-directed learning”.

    Her class has currently been recreated as an interactive display by the Glaswegian musician Ruth Ewan, in the Longside Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield.

    Mrs Pyrah’s method, “asking out”, advised kids that had been raised to be seen and not listened to, to ask concerns and straight involve with each various other.

    She industrialized her methods in spite of having actually had no official educating. Sir Alec Clegg, that was principal education and learning policeman from the West Riding, stated her job “was unlike anything I‘d ever before seen and certainly I‘ve never ever seen its like”.

    Among her students, the late Alison Drake, took place to end up being instrumental in social advancements in Castleford, consisting of the remediation from Queen’s Mill.

    Mrs Pyrah passed away in 2001, matured 95. Yalla Shoot A collection from art created for her by Castleford kids goes to the Nationwide Arts Education and learning Archive, and has passionate movies and tv programs.


    Professor’s discoveries: From behind bars springs art from the heart – He declares to have been a “screw-up” in secondary school ; an “idiot” that stopped working courses and a man attracted to doing “stupid stuff” — all this resulting in psychological centers, jails, and fatality paddle.

    No, he wasn’t incarcerated or sick. Teacher David Gussak, previous Chairman from the Division from Art Education and learning and teacher in the Finish Art Treatment Program at Florida Specify College can stroll from such apprehension centers whenever he sort. And in once again — taking with him finish interns that have an interest in knowing the many methods art and art treatment can impact males and females that are psychologically sick or withstanding long-lasting incarceration.

    Gussak is literally not a huge guy, however his character fills up his school workplace and most likely any one of the worldwide halls where he talks a half-dozen times a year. With lengthy, curly hair, shoes, and a bush-hat, he strides about school grinning, joking, and possibly deliberating enhancements to the blog site he composes for Psychology Today or for a 6th scholastic book. His 5th, ” Art and Art Treatment with the Imprisoned ” will be released this month.

    Years back, the teen “screw-up” that Gussak keeps in mind himself being was changed by an enthusiastic scholastic dynamo, however one that keeps an compassion for individuals whose inability to specific themselves have discovered articulate with art.

    “I was birthed in the Bronx, ” he states, “but began university in California. I was paying my method with institution and discovered myself functioning as a psych technology with gang participants. ” Gussak states that having actually seen a few of his old friends’ trajectory right into jails and possibly determining to a specific degree with these young inmates’ frustrations, he discovered his very own course going towards a occupation which might deal alleviation to those within the bad guy justice system.
    Dave Gussak has a brand-new version to his book on art treatment behind bars.

    Dave Gussak has a brand-new version to his book on art treatment behind bars. (Picture : Unique to the Democrat)

    And art and art treatment might be the secret.

    However not a ” great musician ” himself, Gussak might at an early stage determine the advantages from creating— with paper, with pen, or when the incarcerated were rejected the executes with which to earn traditional art — to just produce with whatever went to hand—tissue paper, soap, also food.

    Graduating with his Master’s level in Art Treatment, Gussak started operating at a big jail in Vacaville, California each time when “art therapy” was just starting to be comprehended as a restorative modality. “Our workplaces were bleak, dark places… transformed cells. ”

    However his enormous power quickly discovered him providing workshops and providing talks throughout the country—and also previously getting his PhD at Emporia Specify College, he’d end up being a Board participant from the North California Art Treatment Organization. And he was dealing with males and females and young people that really were benefitting from art treatment.

    Gussak has gone on compose or modify : Illustration Time ; Art Education and learning for Social Justice ; Art on Test ; the 900 page Manual from Art Treatment, and his most recent book, Art and Art Treatment with the Imprisoned : Re-Creating Identification.
    Behind bars, musicians can get produce with products, utilizing dissolved M&Ms, sweet wrappers and cardboard.

    Behind bars, musicians can get produce with products, utilizing dissolved M&Ms, sweet wrappers and cardboard. (Picture : Unique to the Democrat)

    “In a jail system, people that produce have an raised condition, ” states Gussak. “They can embellish points ; trade their skills for canteen products ; style tattoos. ” However there‘s intrinsic worth also, he states.

    “People behind bars have no identity… they‘re currently numbers. With development, you‘re as a matter of fact, acquiring a brand-new feeling from self. A few of what “you” is filteringed system with. Therefore can the rage and the tension from the incarcerated life. ” That belongs to the factor. Gussak states it’s much better to be assaulted with art compared to literally. “Art development can offer a cathartic electrical outlet for fierce impulses. ”

    However Gussak is a Yalla Shoot scientist along with an art specialist. He states that recidivism is decreased by 80% 6 months after launch from centers that had art treatment, and by 67% after 2 years. He states that while producing art items, inmates’ defenses are reduced ; there‘s higher socializing ; much more individual disclosures without rage, and less event records. And after that in some cases, the art that‘s being made is simply ordinary incredible.

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