A study about Navajo art education of familiar and unfamiliar art

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The following study is about the importance of including global art and art history in a bilingual/bicultural art classroom. The study was performed with twelve Navajo art students in a

The following study is about the importance of including global art and art history in a bilingual/bicultural art classroom. The study was performed with twelve Navajo art students in a predominately Navajo high school located in a small urban town off the Navajo Reservation. Navajo students selected traditional and contemporary artworks they were curious to learn more about from four global cultures, familiar (Navajo and European) and unfamiliar (Maori and Benin). They also responded to art criticism questions and identified reasons they were curious about the artworks they selected. Students were curious about familiar (Navajo and European) artworks more than unfamiliar artworks (Maori and Benin). Of all student responses, 69% focused on the artwork selected; 16% focused on meaning and expression, and 15% focused on the artist. This study concludes by suggesting that there should be a middle ground about what to teach to Navajo children. I suggest that art education should include other cultural information within the Navajo philosophy of education.