"Acid Rain" From Social Issues Silhouettes Projects inspired by the work of Kara Walker
The terms Social Justice, Multicultural Education, and Character Education are thrown around in my teacher meetings, announcements, and throughout posters. But I've always wondered what exactly do they mean, how do they link together and how am I using or not using them in my classroom.
A quick google search came up with these definitions.
Multicultural education refers to any form of education or teaching that incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds. Multicultural Education Definition - The Glossary of Education Reform
Character education is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mannered, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant or socially acceptable beings. Character education - Wikipedia
Social justice [In education] means both educating students in a fair and just manner and also preparing them to become change agents, or people equipped to fight for what they believe is right once they enter the world. Issues & Definition of Social Justice in Education | Study.com
What I find interesting is that often we use the words Multicultural Education and Social Justice synonymously but according to their definitions they are not synonymous. One is looking at multiple perspectives and one is learning how to help build a fair system for those perspectives. A good classroom with have both and they will inform each other. So in essence, it is by teaching a multicultural framework that we can teach Character Ed traits and encourage students to strive towards become socially just citizens, while all time maintaining a fair and just manner in educating them.
6th Grade Clay Pumpkins inspired by the work of Yayoi Kusama
Japanese Artists - Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami and Hokusai
- Kusama: Her artwork talks of her personal journey through mental disease and how art can be a healing agent for personal issues.
- Murakami: I have also used his work to talk about the blend between old (traditional) and new (current or modern).
- Ai WeiWei: One of my favorite artists, he’s an open critic of the Chinese political system which has often found himself in prison due to his political views.
- Toyin Ojih Odutola: focus’ on the sociopolitcal construct of skin color, uses multimedia and gorgeous drawings.
- Kehinde Wiley: Portrait Painter who focus on painting African American portraits in a state of heroic poise.
- Jean-Michel Basquiat: a crossover graffiti artist whose work discussed the political and social workings of 1980s black America.
- Augusta Savage: African American Female Artist at the turn of the century who sculpted the busts of Dubois, Frederick Douglass and other prominent black figures. She was mostly known for her sculpture based on the hymn “Lift every voice and sing.”
- Kara Walker: Silhouette artist, painter and installation artist who explores race, gender, sexuality and violence in her art. Some pieces are pretty intense for younger artists.
- Glenn Ligon: Explores the American literature, history and society across a variety of artworks.
- Gee’s Bend Quilts: This is a community of African American women who have been making beautiful functional quilts for as long as the community has been around. It is a great opportunity to talk about how life inspires art, how form follows function, and what is art.
- Michael Kagan: is an artist that will appeal to your more science friendly students, many of his images focus on space, rockets, technology and machinery.
- Shepard Fairey: A street artist and graphic designer and founder of OBEY clothing, works with social activism and political statements.
- Guerrilla Girls: A collective group of artists who use humor and wit to discuss sexism, racism, and corruption in art, politics, and pop culture.
- Barbara Kruger: A great artist to talk about the art of appropriation and plagiarism
- Banksy: An elusive graffiti artist who comments on social and political issues in Britain
- Diego Rivera: His art focused on the daily life of the Mexican people, primarily known for his murals but also has many famous paintings and drawings.
- Frida Kahlo: Self-Portrait artist who focused on personal pain, the Mexican culture and feminist thinking.
- David Siqueiros: His painting “An Echo of a Scream” is one of the paintings that has stuck with me and influenced me since I was Junior in high school. He’s a social realist painter who spoke strongly to his political beliefs through his artwork.