National Arts Education Association, 2010
Baltimore Maryland
This year’s theme, Art Education and Social Justice, explores the role of visual arts and education as vehicles of social equity and agency in today’s increasingly visual culture.

Sessions Presented

Karen Wade presented: Assessing learning in the elementary art studio: A social justice approach this year. The link connects you to her visual presentation on

How do social justice and assessment work together in the art room? The story unfolds when students take ownership. Examples include student and teacher reflections, video, and examples of student work.

In the past year, I have implemented significant changes in my elementary art program as a result of professional development in assessment. As a participant in the Arts Educator 2.0 project, I investigated art assessment using resources including Assessing Expressive Learning by Dorn, Majeda and Sabol (2004), peer group discussions, and mentoring. I then used a variety of authentic and alternative assessment strategies such as Beattie’s cooperation assessment (1997) in my classroom. I plan to present my assessment journey in a narrative format using specific examples of lessons, assessment techniques, videos recorded in my classroom and student and teacher reflections. Participants will engage in dialogue about their assessment experiences during and after my presentation. This presentation will help other art educators to see assessment as serving learning and to perceive technology as a way for teachers to reflect on their teaching practices.

Leslie Gates & Mary Elizabeth Meier presented:

Mary Elizabeth Meier presented:

Mary Elizabeth Meier presented:

Sessions Attended

Title Collaborations in Contemporary Art making
Time Wed 1 PM
Presenter Teresa Roberts

  • Differentiation (potentially unnecessary) between participatory and collaborative artworks.
  • Offered a typology (in handout) which situated object-centered, relational, and dialogic characteristics of “types” of participation
    • Example of object-centered collaboration: Tim Roda, Untitled #27
    • Example of relational collaboration: Maria Pask, Beautiful City
    • Example of dialogic collaboration: Wochenkausur, Public Debate
  • In relational work, there’s not much to “see,” which disrupts our idea of art and how to evaluate it. It exists in memory and in, of course, documentation.
  • Implications for Art Education
    • Collaboration can:
      • Enhance innovation
      • Promote democracy
    • Key Questions to ask before incorporating collaborative practices into your classroom
      • Are my educational & artistic philosophies, and my personality compatible with a collective approach?
      • Am I open to expanding classroom artmaking beyond traditional individualist, modernist, and/or expressive views of art?
      • Am I willing to surrender or diminish my role as the expert transmitter of formal and technical knowledge?
      • Am I willing to restructure lesson plans in more process-based directions?
      • Do I have an appropriate context for the kind of planning process-based procedures and assessments required?

Title Everyday antiracism in the artroom
Time Wed 3 PM
Presenter Patty Bode

  • Grounded in CRT and Art Education
  • Social justice ed (grounded in the work of S. Nieto): challenges, confronts, disrupts misconceptions, untruths, and stereotypes. It assumes students will become agents of social change.
  • Had participants fill out the front and back of two index cards:
    • Card 1 side 1: Describe yourself as a racial being
    • Card 1 side 2: Describe your students as racial beings? How do they identify?
    • Card 2 side 1: Describe an uncomfortable point in your present art ed working context where race was not discussed
    • Card 2 side 2: Describe an uncomfortable point in your present art ed working context where race was discussed
  • Discussion themes (card 1)
    • I was more descript of students than of self
    • Place matters when discussing racial identity
    • One word was not enough to describe myself
    • Culture and phenotype are both important
    • Race of students is very different from our race
    • This conversation built a sense of intimacy and trust within group
    • How I am viewed matters when I talk about how I see myself.
    • There is an interest in lines of difference
  • Discussion themes (card 2)
    • It was hard to articulate the “sense of injustice” these situations invoked
    • Some members were unsure how to talk about race in a professional manner
    • The examples shared were blatant examples
    • Race is sometimes the elephant in the room
    • We only offered examples of uncomfortable situations created by others, none we had personally created…examples were all “outside self.”

Title Examining the spectator’s gaze as reflexive pedagogy
Time Thur 11 AM
Presenter Paul Duncum

  • Spectator’s Gaze: refers to how people view images and the unmediated world, as well as the context in which they view the images.
  • Intradietic Gaze: gaze of caracters within the image. What they…
  • The spectator’s gaze focuses on the gaze of the viewer, on us.
  • Cultural critics have proposed many kinds of gazes
    • Gender and sexuality
    • Race and sexuality
    • Entertainment and leisure
    • Institutional
    • The way we live now
  • Five kinds of pleasure
    • Spectatorship: refers to the pleasure and the love of looking
    • Voyeurism: Combines pleasure of looking with the person looking being in a place of power over the object of the gaze
    • Identification: viewers imagine themselves as a character within a picture. Based on Lacan’s theory of a mirror phase
    • Exhibitionism: desirable object is simultaneously looking at he viewer as if the viewer is also desired.
    • Transgression: gazing from a position not normally associated with one’s identity
  • Power and pleasure
    • The power of the object – who may want to be exhibited.
    • Women may choose to play passive roles even as if only as a “decorative layer.”
    • Sometimes power is shared/ we are invited into a partnership with the object in the image.
    • Only in cases where people are photographed against their will is the viewer in complete power.
  • Ethical/Political Agenda
    • Should we be looking at all?
    • Requires us to see ourselves seeing others
    • How we look at things form the basics of social judgments
  • The spectator’s gaze as reflexive
    • Showed two images and had students write about their own gaze
    • Students moved beyond simply describing to talk about their gaze
    • Students chose an image, were asked to write one page about their gaze, and the context of their gaze.
  • Conclusion
    • Sample experiences helped to get to know students
    • Some students reflected on the process.

Title Concept-based inquiry into art-making: the possibility of change through art (or) “How 27 adolescent art students engaged in critical inquiry, and what we all learned.”
Time Thur 1 PM
Presenter Margaret Walker

  • Asked to judge the high school art show, noticed each student was developing a personal style
  • D. Miller’s classroom process
    • Semester-long overarching theme
    • Related lesson prompts
    • Art-making proposals
    • Studio
    • Critique
    • Reflection paper
  • Information Distribution Systems, explored through education, politics, family, and religion
    • Prompt: How can intimate objects such as those observed in our still life be used to promote political ideology?
    • Artifact: We will create a series of drawing and one “monumental piece”…no size or medium limitations.

Title The Balancing Act: Re-examining the leadership role through the scholarly lives of novice moms
Time Thur 2 PM
Presenters Song, Baxter, Kantawala, Walker

  • Requires collaboration
  • Brief historical overview
    • The “othering” of females in academia. Seen as “othered” by portraying their involvement in academe as a:
      • Sancturay
      • Sacrifice
      • Chastity
    • Known for what they were not doing
    • “The Celluloid Ceiling” by Reynolds
    • 1940s women were encouraged to the workforce, and after the pass of the GI bill, people were entering college in record numbers
    • More than 100 videos showing academics, only 6 involved women as academics
  • The Role of the Mentor in a woman’s career
    • Peer Mentoring
      • Ethic of care
      • Integration of work and home
      • Feminist principles of equal balance of power
      • Coauthoring and collaboration
    • Collaboration
      • A social inquiry practice that supports learning (Lattuca & Creamer, 2005)
      • Four transitions involved in development collaborative practices:
    • Dialogue
    • Familiarity
    • Collaborative Consciousness
    • Understanding ourselves as scholars
    • Understanding the academic environment and our role in it
    • Understanding our peers and the dialogue necessary for balance
  • Art Practice as Research – How to use this struggle in your art making
    • Solo show at Moravian using found objects and dryer sheets
    • bell hooks – Teaching to Transgress “we are invited to teach ideas as though it doesn’t emerge from our bodies.”
  • Our dual roles as informing our teaching
    • Role of transparency in helping future teachers/current students understand these struggles of balancing between family life and work.

Title Art, Culture, & Ethnicity: A Panel Discussion of a Forthcoming NAEA book
Time Friday 11 am
Presenters Bernard Young, et al (a panel of authors from the NAEA forthcoming book)

  • Community based art as a community act
    • Heuristic inquiry – self study
    • Part of an emancipatory pedagogy
  • Multiculturalism & Art Education: An Afro-Centric Perspective
    • More holistic understanding of self and others
    • Polycentric perspectives
    • Issues of postmodern blackness
    • Human-centered perspective, community connections are respected and confirmed
    • Being black does not necessarily make someone afro-centric
    • Centering oneself in history and experience
    • Come to view all group’s view as central and important
    • See subjects as interconnected and interdisciplinary
    • Spiritual forces:
Higher being
external image 0clip_image001.png

Non-human spirits Deceased ancestors
  • Building community in Harlem Intergenerational program
    • 7 month participatory study
    • Students (teenagers) had little experience with seniors, had stereotypical views (e.g. “they need help”).
    • Seniors had little contact with teens, only knew what they had seen on the news, were scared of teenagers
    • Used oral histories and home visits between the teens and seniors
    • Used paintings to generate story-telling
    • Stereotypes diminished as interactions occurred, teens continued to visit the seniors
    • As a result, teens are less intimidated by art, and seniors felt their lives had more value.

Title Students as Inquirers
Time Friday 1:30 PM
Presenters Daniel Barney

  • Sources:
    • “Against Common Sense” Kevin Kumashiro (?)
    • “Why doesn’t this feel empowering?” Elizabeth Ellsworth
    • a/r/tography methods
    • “Is teaching for social justice undemocratic?” Eric Freedman
    • “Engaging minds” Brent Davis et al
  • Questions:
    • Can I occasion a space of possibilities?
    • Can I attend to the conditions that allow students to interact relationally? (e.g. necessary time)
  • Decentralized classroom structure and complexity theory – “complex learning systems” the structure is robust if you can remove the teacher and meaningful learning and connections exist
  • Attempting to research an emergent curriculum with two negotiations:
    • Imposed theme of “dress” as subject matter for exploration
    • Imposed art-class specific learning space – “dress explored through artistic inquiry”
  • Each participant has their own “public” that they share their work with – the outlet for my research isn’t the only outlet for their learning
  • Began to teach methods to students:
    • How do we gather information?
    • How do they learn?
    • How do they share it?
  • Final dissertation available: A student of dress through artistic… University of British Columbia / Circle / Barney

Title Obtuse Research: Flights of excess in art education
Time Friday 2 PM
Presenters Charles R. Garoian & Yvonne M. Gaudelius

  • Artists represent an important theoretical idea – not just used as “examples” to illustrate anthropological or sociological texts.
  • Art of Matt Kenyon as data collection method, performed an unannounced performance at WalMart
  • Included work of Roland Barthe – images can carry different forms or levels of meaning:
    • Representational
    • Symbolic
    • Obtuse
    • A signifier without a signified
    • Belongs to the family of puns, jokes, useless exertions, indifferent to moral or aesthetic categories
  • Included work of Mclaren – teacher as:
    • Hegemonic overlord
    • Entertainer
    • Liminal servant
  • The liminality of the obtuse hypothesis constitutes an open space where predetermined conclusions are held at bay and where…
  • Matt Kenyon website (S.W.A.M.P.)
  • Presentation conversation space:
Work of Kenyon

Obtuse Liminal servant

Title What’s Worth Teaching in Art?
Time Friday 4 PM
Presenters Melanie Davenport, Elizabeth Delacruz, Mary Elizabeth Meier, Deb Smith-Shank, Nancy Walkup, Craig Roland

Pecha Kucha Method began in Japan in 2003

Melanie Davenport
  • Critical consumption
  • Innate urge to create (and procreate)
  • Aspects of literacy, graphically, numeracy, articulacy
  • Share trade secrets
Elizabeth Delacruz
  • Civil society workers of the 21st century
  • Teach how to share and take good care of things
  • Teach that creativity matters
  • Teach how to make communities meaningful
  • Teach that it’s good to question
  • Teach how beneficial it is for social transformation
  • Teach that playfulness and humor in art works
  • Teach that civil discourse is informed, engaged, and civil
  • Teach that there is power in numbers
  • Teach that one’s own family narratives have much to tell
  • Teach how to tell your own story / create your own history
  • Teach how to recontextualize and represent family
  • Teach media literacy
  • Teach how to talk back to media representations of culture
  • Teach strategies of parodies and satire
  • Teach research skills using online sources
  • Teach how and why to engage local culture
  • Teach empathy
Mary Elizabeth Meier
  • Reciprocal relationship to teaching/learning
  • Teaching content, knowledge, and skills
  • Shifted towards observer, listener, and guide
  • Student-directed explorations
  • Student learning as ongoing endeavors
  • More choices/opportunities
  • Living curriculum
    • Not written in advance of students
    • Willing to be perpetually unfinished
Deb Smith-Shank
  • What do we do with our own positionality?
  • Teaching art is a political act
  • Social issues are important
  • Look closely and carefully
  • Multiple meanings – to code and de-code visual culture
  • Objects & ideas have histories and contexts
  • Master of metaphor
  • Art ed is a path to empowerment
  • Exploration, life long learning, service, and collaboration
Nancy Walkup
  • Making art is a worthy endeavor
  • Students can think, discuss, and make
  • Art honors history & culture
  • Art can express compassion
  • There are many ways to be creative
  • Art can make meaningful interdisciplinary connections
  • Students can develop visual literacy
  • Students can encounter contemporary art and artists
  • Student artwork should be valued and exhibited
Craig Roland
  • A continuing quest for the “perfect” art curriculum
  • Started teaching what I was taught
  • Eventually began teaching new media
  • Curriculum considers society, child, and subject
  • Cultural literacy
  • Artists get ideas from other artists
  • Revision/purpose/mix
  • Information overload!
  • Information vs. teaching thinking
  • Thinking like an artist
  • UBD helped with “What’s worth teaching?”
  • Art has both personal and social value
  • Teach students to care
  • Visual intelligence

Assessing Learning in the Elementary Art Studio: A Social Justice Approach
Time Sat 8:30 AM
Presenters Karen Wade

  • Finding common assessment language:
    • Formative assessment – gathering in process information to improve practice
    • Summative assessment – gathering information at the end to evaluate what happened
  • Centered around improving student learning
  • Flower metaphor:
    • Seed: a crisis emerged when a parent questioned a grade
    • Nutrients: artseducator2.0, designing a personal professional development plan, Donna Kay Beattie’s “Assessment in Art Education” and Dorn et al’s “Assessing Expressive Learning.”
    • Growth: Trying new assessment methods in my classroom
      • Trial 1: Cooperation assessment
      • Trial 2: Student stake ownership in choosing evaluation criteria, writing rating scales, and self-evaluating an open-ended project. Students came up with a range of evaluation criteria.
    • Fruit: change in the classroom (towards democracy and student empowerment)
    • More seeds: raising questions