This project explores the function of art pedagogy as a tool for social justice, especially for youth. As a student pursuing the study of both education and social justice, the experience I've had in my life with art is hugely connected with these themes. In this exploratory project, I examined different creative youth development programs through the perspectives of art educators, exploring how, pedagogically, they contribute to the formation of social justice in the communities and students they serve through the teaching and creation of art. I began with the research question, how do different creative youth development contribute to social justice in the communities and students they serve using art as a pedagogical approach? My goal in asking this question was to develop a picture of the art pedagogies employed in these programs, and their relation to the broader topic of social justice. Then, after reviewing the literature related to this topic, which is outlined in the next section, I identified three components of social justice related to art education: self expression, cultural identity exploration, and critical engagement. All of these concepts emerged time and time again when reviewing literature about art education and youth, and also art and social justice. Focusing on these concepts, I explored the question of how these components of social justice are explored in particular creative youth development programs. My goal in asking these questions is to develop a picture of the art pedagogies employed in these programs, and their relation to the broader topic of social justice. In order to ask these questions, it was important I access the art educators behind art programs whose impact is connected to art and social justice. Through their perspectives, I was able to gain incite about the design, implementation, and outcomes of art pedagogy. I found that these programs, in employing art pedagogies, were powerful tools in helping youth connect to themselves and their communities, aiding in the production of social justice.
- ART PEDAGOGIES FOR YOUTH AND CONNECTIONS TO SOCIAL JUSTICE
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