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ERIC Number: EJ1089317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1550-5170
Encountering the Foreign: Teaching and Learning with Difficult Artworks
Hanson, Kristan M.
Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, v11 n1 p81-96 2014
In this article the author addresses one of the essential questions that face teachers today: How can we welcome the foreign into our lessons in an authentic way that makes education relevant to the ongoing social, cultural, and political dialogues through which diverse learners understand themselves and their worlds? In response to this question, the author explores the value of teaching and learning with difficult artworks. Though not overtly controversial, difficult artworks often stage encounters with otherness that educators must decide how to navigate. In the context of the author's research, the term difficult is used to describe art that engages with issues such as love and sexuality, death and religious beliefs, or slavery and racial difference. While educators might fear relinquishing control of their curricula and pedagogies when discussing these weighty issues, it is imperative that they resist both didactic and idealistic visions of teaching. The author uses curriculum theory as a framework for investigating gallery teaching practices. Drawing on qualitative data gathered during an action research project at an urban encyclopedic art museum, the author discusses how the under-theorized tension between maintaining and yielding control of curricula inscribes educators' pedagogical thoughts and actions. Hospitality and the unexpected are considered as concepts for imagining curricula and pedagogies that might embrace the foreign as a vitally relevant, integral part of teaching and learning.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A