Class Year

2020

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Education Department

First Advisor

Kimberly Williams Brown

Second Advisor

Lisa Collins

Abstract

This paper analyzes a social justice arts program that I developed and taught to third, fourth, and fifth grade students at one school in the Poughkeepsie, NY area. I begin this project by considering my own experiences in art class as an elementary school student, and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of my school’s art curriculum. Next, I take a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate the current literature on social justice arts education. In this section, I define the characteristics of a high-quality social justice arts program and analyze commonly-available arts education resources for teachers. I continue with an outline of the development of my particular curriculum, as well as my methods for selecting schools and evaluating my program. Finally, I analyze the impact of this project on both myself and my students. I ultimately argue that social justice education of any form takes time, strong relationships, communication, and support from multiple actors.

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