Visualizing Rights

Presenter/Author Information

R. Darden Bradshaw, University of DaytonFollow

Location

University of Dayton

Start Date

10-2-2015 8:45 AM

End Date

10-2-2015 10:15 AM

Abstract

Our lives are mediated through the visual (Mirzoeff, 1999; Freedman, 2002). This mediation informs, in multiple and conflicting ways, our views, our beliefs, attitudes and mores, our choices, and thereby our resulting actions. This barrage of the visual impacts the postmodern student encountered in K-12 education. Students readily gain access to information that was once the sole domain of adults (Kincheloe, 2004) yet the prevailing system of education has not adapted. Visual culture is seldom used as an engagement strategy in school despite its ubiquitous role as hidden curriculum and ever-present place in the world beyond the school. Learners are not necessarily critically aware of the messages conveyed through music, magazine advertisements, toys, and other forms of visual culture. This disconnect supports visual culture messages going unexamined, becoming internalized, and potentially exacerbating the pervasive culture of oppression, divisiveness, and exclusion within schools thereby creating a space where power-laden behaviors like bullying fester and occur.

Through a qualitative action research study, grounded in social justice art education, I examine ways integrating art and visual culture into the curriculum fosters safe spaces for students to find voice; to take risks in deconstructing and reconstructing their identities, beliefs, and understandings of others and their worlds and to develop empathy. The examination of visual culture inundating students’ lives and the concept of social empathy serve as transgressive pedagogical practices bridging relationships in learning in the arts and learning in other curricular areas. Findings indicate students draw from visual culture to find commonalities among and with their peers becoming more accepting of one another; visual culture art integration empowers youth to critically question the visual culture messages they have accepted and, through art making, reconstruct and challenge those messages – to join others to work together for a more democratically just world through empathy.

Comments

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Oct 2nd, 8:45 AM Oct 2nd, 10:15 AM

Fostering Empathy through Visual Culture Art Intergration (abstract)

University of Dayton

Our lives are mediated through the visual (Mirzoeff, 1999; Freedman, 2002). This mediation informs, in multiple and conflicting ways, our views, our beliefs, attitudes and mores, our choices, and thereby our resulting actions. This barrage of the visual impacts the postmodern student encountered in K-12 education. Students readily gain access to information that was once the sole domain of adults (Kincheloe, 2004) yet the prevailing system of education has not adapted. Visual culture is seldom used as an engagement strategy in school despite its ubiquitous role as hidden curriculum and ever-present place in the world beyond the school. Learners are not necessarily critically aware of the messages conveyed through music, magazine advertisements, toys, and other forms of visual culture. This disconnect supports visual culture messages going unexamined, becoming internalized, and potentially exacerbating the pervasive culture of oppression, divisiveness, and exclusion within schools thereby creating a space where power-laden behaviors like bullying fester and occur.

Through a qualitative action research study, grounded in social justice art education, I examine ways integrating art and visual culture into the curriculum fosters safe spaces for students to find voice; to take risks in deconstructing and reconstructing their identities, beliefs, and understandings of others and their worlds and to develop empathy. The examination of visual culture inundating students’ lives and the concept of social empathy serve as transgressive pedagogical practices bridging relationships in learning in the arts and learning in other curricular areas. Findings indicate students draw from visual culture to find commonalities among and with their peers becoming more accepting of one another; visual culture art integration empowers youth to critically question the visual culture messages they have accepted and, through art making, reconstruct and challenge those messages – to join others to work together for a more democratically just world through empathy.