Exploring Social Issues and Value Systems in Contemporary Art Education


The purpose of the study was to field test a unit of lessons in which students explore how a variety of social issues and value systems impact the meaning expressed in their artwork. By exposing students to different systems of belief, their historical contexts, and providing opportunities for students to discuss, research and symbolically express meaning I hope to develop critical thinking skills; promote increase in the social conscience of teenagers; help students develop critical thinking skills; promote student active involvement in their community at large; encourage social activism; and help students become part of the larger global community. The study utilized pre and post written tests, student artwork, student written responses and an auto-ethnographic approach to document student outcomes. Although evidence of progress was observed there is a need for additional research about ways art education might be used to assist students in the development of a social conscience and awareness of the global community

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