ARTE 577/477

ARTE 577/477 – Social Justice Issues in Art Education

Course Description:  Experiences relative to developing knowledge and competency in creating a K-12 art curriculum that is engaged with contemporary art and critical social issues in art education and grounded in the lives and concerns of all students in the art classroom.

Methods of Instruction: Class discussions, studio lab visual response, individual reading and research

Course Objectives:
Students can expect to –

  1. Develop an awareness of the lives and accomplishments of historical and contemporary artists who chose/choose to incorporate issues of social justice in their work.
  2. Understand ways to include information about social justice issues in the art curriculum.
  3. Develop an awareness of the call from art educators for equity, inclusion and school reform related to issues of social justice.
  4. Gain an awareness of how schools that accept and value all students regardless of identity help to bring about a positive sense of self in each student.
  5. Develop an understanding how a positive sense of self in all students can advance their educational achievement and personal growth.
  6. Explore ways to visually represent ideas and thoughts in response to readings and digital media focused on social justice issues.


1. Abstracts of Readings
2. Individual Research Activities – URLs of Artists
3. Visual Response Activities
4. Online Portfolio of Visual Response to Social Issues            

Ayers, W., Quinn, T., & Stovall, D. (Eds.) (2009). Handbook of Social Justice in Education. New York: Routledge

Beyerbach, B. (2011). Social justice education through the arts. In B. Beyerbach & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy. New York: Peter Lang.

Beyerbach, B. & Davis, R.D. (Eds.) (2011). Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts. Counterpoints: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education, 403, 1-223.

Corpus, M.M. (2004). Seeing children of color: A critical multicultural art curriculum. Democracy & Education, 15(3-4, 42- 48.

Cosier, K. & Sanders, J.H., III (2007). Queering art teacher education. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 26(1), 21-30.

Desai, D. (2010). The challenge of new colorblind racism in art education. Art Education, 63(5), 22-29.

Dewhurst, M. (2010). The inevitable question: Exploring the defining features of social justice art education. Art Education, 63(5), 6-13.

Fey, C., Shin, R., Cinquemani, S. & Marino, C. (2010). Instructional Resources: Exploring racism through photography. Art Education, 63(5), 44-51.

Garber, E. (2004). Social justice and art education. Visual Arts Research, 30(2), 4-22.

Graham, M. (2007). Art, ecology, and art education: Locating art education in a critical place-based pedagogy. Studies in Art Education, 48(4), 375-391.

Harris, P., Gordon, R., & Fremantle, C. (2013). Practising equality?: Issues for co-creative and participatory practices addressing social justice and equality. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 10(2), 183-200.

Hickey, L.D. (2005).   Colouring outside the lines: Art, social justice and identity in the classroom. Unpublished master’s thesis, The University of British Columbia. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Johnston, D. (2008). Is the idea of social justice meaningful? Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society, 11(4), 607-614.

Kagan, J. & Capella, C. (2011). Art class at the Onondaga Nation school. In B. Beyerbach & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts. New York: Peter

Katsew, A. (2010). Y se repite. Art Education, 63(5), 56-61.

La Porte, A. M. (2010). Fundreds in Arkansas. Art Education, 63(5), 78-83.

Lampela, L. (2007b). Moving from the inside out: Harmony Hammond’s Radiant Affection.  The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education, 4(2), 5-11.

Lampela, L.  (2005). Writing effective lesson plans while utilizing the work of lesbian and gay artists. Art Education, 58(2), 33-39.

Langlois, L. (2011). Acting up in and out of class. In B. Beyerbach & R. D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts. New York: Peter Lang.

Maguire, C. & Lenihan, T. (2010). Fostering capabilities: Toward social justice in art education. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, 28, 39-53.

Nordlund, C., Speirs, P., & Stewart, M. (2010). An invitation to social change: Fifteen principles for teaching art. Art Education, 63(5), 36-43.

Parsons, D. (2011). Photography and social justice: Preservice teachers and the ocularized, urban other. In B. Beyerbach & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy. New York: Peter Lang.

Payne, B. M. (2010). Your art is gay and retarded: Eliminating discrimination speech against homosexual and intellectually disable students in the secondary arts education classroom. Art Education, 63(5), 52-54.

Quinn, T. (2006). Out of cite, out of mind: Social justice and art education. The Journal of Social Issues in Art Education, 26, 282-301.

Quinn, T., Hochtritt, L., & Ploof, J. (Eds.), (2011). Art and social justice education: Culture as commons. New York: Routledge.

Seppi, L. R. (2011). Indigenous activisim: Art, identity, and the politics of the quincentenary. In B. Beyerbach & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy. New York: Peter Lang.

Sosin, A.A., Bekkala, E., & Pepper-Senello (2010). Visual arts as a lever for social justice education: Labor studies in the high school art curriculum. Journal for Learning Through Arts, 6(1), 1-23.

Stephenson, R. K. (2010). Breaking down visual culture: Teaching art in context. Democracy & Education, 15(3-4), 84-86.

Tremblay, G. (2013). Creating art environments that address social justice issues. The International Journal of Education & the Arts, 14(2.3).

Winslow, J. (2011). Creating student activities through community participatory documentaries. In B. Beyerbach & R.D. Davis (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy. New York: Peter Lang.