Designing curricula with
This project combines place-based curriculum design, interdisciplinary collaboration between art and civics education, and the activation of local histories and current events.
Our aim is to support the development of a civically engaged art education, which revises and updates the term civics itself.
We ask: How might a civics education curriculum use art to become responsive to, inclusive of, and in the service of communities whose status as civic actors is frequently called into question?
Arts Based Research
As arts educators, we are interested in how the art classroom might become a central locale for teaching towards civic participation.
We frame art education through the lens of arts based research, positioning students as critical knowledge producers.
By positioning teens as this kind of arts based researcher, we hope to identify and utilize student strengths as they guide their learning through a personally relevant learning experience
This project focuses on civic participation as a form of social justice oriented activism.
We combine this perspective with an understanding of the centrality of creative cultural production to the development of cultural citizenship.
By focusing on the civically motivated creative practices of youth, we begin to note the ways in which art making is a gateway to civic engagement for many young people.
This study approaches curriculum design from an anticolonialist perspective, which suggests that curriculum, schools, and educational policy participate in systemic exclusion and inequity.
We heed a call to action on the behalf of curriculum specialists and teachers, to reimagine what civics education could look like in communities often excluded from the official narrative of what it means to participate in American civic life.
Recent publications and events
#thefutureisnow: A Model for Civically Engaged Art Education
R. Fendler, S.S. Shields, & D. Henn
A Vision of Civically Engaged Art Education: Teens as Arts-Based Researchers
S.S. Shields, R. Fendler, & D. Henn
‘Footsoldiers’ camp bring civil rights into focus for young artists
Tallahassee Democrat, 2018
A. K. Thompson
Meet our Collaborators