SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 22 of 75

Curriculum Overview The teachers designed an innovative curriculum that introduced students to important issues of multiculturalism and then asked them to get involved and make a difference. Each student was expected to develop a high level of technical artistry combined with conceptual acuity. They had to master photographic techniques, digital photo editing, and the use of light in a photographic studio. They learned digital editing skills and traditional darkroom methods. The teachers also fostered interviewing skills, writing skills, and intercultural sensitivity among the students. Before taking the photographs or doing the interviews, students viewed films that dealt with issues of tolerance, including El Norte, Hotel Rwanda, Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids, and Turtles Can Fly. These led to discussions and questions about discrimination, protest, symbolism, and activism. The students' work is technically proficient and emotionally compelling. It required thinking, artistry, creativity, and courage. Conclusion Immigration is making our country and schools increasingly diverse. Unfortunately, it also leads to prejudice, discrimination, and lack of understanding. The challenge for educators is to create learning opportunities that will allow students to gain understanding and appreciation of the diversity that surrounds them. Creating a work of art can be a potent way for students to value the differences among people. In this project, the process of creating the photographs allowed students to understand the experiences of people that they might otherwise never have talked with. By exhibiting their work, they were able share their insights with their peers and many members of the community. References Johnson, L. Art-Centered Approach to Diversity Education in Teaching and Learning. Multicultural Education. 9(4), 2002. Quezada, R. & Romo, J. Multiculturalism, Peace Education and Social Justice in Teacher Education. Multicultural Education 11(3), 2004. "I used to get into fights, but now I've learned to think before I act, it's much calmer here, not as much violence." —Julio Luc (Guatemala), Sabrina Cutaia, photographer Robert Graham serves as district coordinator of art in the Port Washington Public Schools in New York. grahmark@gmail. com. Kris Murphy and Joy Jaworski both teach at Schreiber High School in Port Washington. NatioNal StaNdard Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use. Web "When you want to achieve something, sometimes you must leave behind something that you don't really want to leave behind." —Merlyn Portillo, El Salvador liNk schreibr/art/ SchoolArts May/June 2007 21

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