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Intercultural Identities: Addressing the Global Dimension through Art Education

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Recent educational policy and practice have established an extended role for all subjects in addressing children and young peoples' academic and interpersonal development, with strategies facilitating key skills and wider learning across areas of Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health education providing an integrated approach to education and welfare. The significance of global development education within a holistic curriculum acknowledges the increased awareness of the interconnected nature of our relationship with each other and with the planet we share as world citizens. The arts have a strong track-record in addressing such key issues – challenging hierarchical paradigms which reinforce prejudice and stereotyping, the arts encourage reflexive processes and critical engagement with diversity and pluralist perspectives. This article investigates curricular approaches to the global dimension within education in relation to theoretical perspectives and policies, presenting an intercultural art case study as a model of practice in engaging diverse participants in reflection on their own and others' experiences across a range of socio-cultural contexts. Current political shifts reaffirming the centrality of the discrete disciplines over cross-curricular practice could potentially undermine a more holistic approach to education. The article argues that policy and practice, implemented in response to changing political and philosophical ideology, must nevertheless maintain a commitment to fostering interdisciplinary values of cultural awareness. Such practice must form part of an inclusive internationalist educational vision, impacting on social cohesion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Visual artist and National Teaching Fellow in art education; her artwork and research explore the construction of socio-cultural identity and its expression through the arts.

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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