ERIC Number: EJ894981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
Deweyan Multicultural Democracy, Rortian Solidarity, and the Popular Arts: Krumping into Presence
Seltzer-Kelly, Deborah; Westwood, Sean J.; Pena-Guzman, David M.
Studies in Philosophy and Education, v29 n5 p441-457 Sep 2010
Curiously, while the efficacy of the arts for the development of multicultural understandings has long been theorized, empirical studies of this effect have been lacking. This essay recounts our combined empirical and philosophical study of this issue. We explicate the philosophical considerations that shaped the development of the arts course we studied, which was grounded in rather traditional humanist educational thought, informed by Deweyan considerations for pedagogy and multiculturalism. We also provide an overview of the course and of the study design: the ways in which the course worked to teach aesthetic theory through a combination of popular and canonical works, and the ways in which it sought to instill a sense of cross-cultural appreciation and solidarity among students through the inclusion of art from different cultures and generations. We then share our research findings and our return to the realm of philosophy to interpret them. Our postcolonial analysis incorporates emerging discussions of the arts as a tool for resistance and dialogue within the system of public education, and revisit and reconsider the very concept of education for pluralistic democracy. This approach problematizes traditional conceptions of pluralism, in which an attempt is made to dissolve difference in a common understanding, and instead advocates that works from among the contemporary popular arts and works drawn from the artistic "canon" alike must be considered and employed for their instrumental value to the educational process--especially for their ability to prompt an intersubjectivity that is accompanied by a heightened awareness of difference.
Descriptors: Multicultural Education, Democracy, Cultural Pluralism, Public Education, Art Education, Courses, Progressive Education, Democratic Values, Course Descriptions, Aesthetics, Popular Culture, Critical Theory, Educational Philosophy, Role of Education, Educational Environment, Humanistic Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A