Ideological Arts Education

You have been asked to examine the curriculum of the subject area you expect to teach once you graduate. Re-read that curriculum with the frames of literacy presented this week: autonomous and ideological? In what ways are these two frames present in the curriculum that you examined? Which one is more prominent? Following Lihsa Almashy’s example, what changes can you do to connect the mandated curriculum to the students lives.

I am in my fourth year of Arts Education, with a concentration in Visual Arts Education. As such, I paid special attention to the Arts Education curricula (specifically the outcomes and indicators relevant to visual arts) and I believe that the current Arts Education curricula would moreso be considered an ideological curricula. The article states this about ideological perspectives of literacy:

“…more culturally sensitive. Literacy is a social practice, not simply a technical and neutral skill; it is always embedded in socially constructed epistemological principles. Literacy is always contested, both its meaning and its practices.”

And so, if you keep this definition in mind and take a look at the Arts Education curriculum, the first thing to note how few of the outcomes actually deal with creating art. Twenty years ago, the outcomes were largely focused on making art and less so about actually creating things from meaning. One of the three aims/goals of arts education is “cultural/historical”, which is where (as educators) we can bring in more critical content. An autonomous curricula in ergards to arts ed would focus more on creating art without exploring the meaning behind it.


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