Saturday, March 31, 2012

Multiculturalism in the classroom

 How will you teach diversity through art?
 In my classroom, I hope to teach diversity through art in a variety of ways. By teaching a diverse group of artists, styles and materials, I will be able to introduce the complexity of the diverse art world while introducing the study of art history into my classroom. I hope to plan at least one lesson for each age group around the complex idea of diversity, unity, multiculturalism and acceptance into my curriculum. It is not only important to teach lessons about different cultures (like teaching an African mask lesson, or a Native American beading project) but to also incorporate the idea of the diversity found within the classroom, and how that diversity is an exciting and important concept. Through art, I hope my students will be able to create visually appealing images of tolerance and acceptance while also gaining knowledge of different areas of the world and different times in world history.

What is complex/difficult about teaching multiculturalism?
Introducing the concept of multiculturalism can be extremely challenging due to it's close relationship with bias and stereotyping. It would be important for me to introduce projects and research methods for each project dealing with diversity and multiculturalism because I want to make sure that my students are not using stereotypes or bias opinions in the artwork. Teaching diversity through art is not only to create beautiful artwork, but to open the minds of the students and to get them thinking critically about our community and our world.  I want to make sure to promote tolerance and acceptance, not bullying or jokes. Depending on the ages of the students, it would be important to have in-depth conversations about the obstacles they face on a daily basis and how those obstacles relate to diversity across the board, not just multiculturalism or race. I would want to emphasize that diversity can be found in every person not only for their backgrounds, but for their interests, traditions, religious practices, life experiences and personality traits.

I hope to be a positive influence on all of my students during my career. I hope to give them a voice that they feel comfortable with expressing, and a voice that they know is important. By teaching diversity through art, I think any student can feel empowered to make a difference in the school, community, and the world.

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