Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Grad Student Success, What's New? | 0 comments

Culturally Responsive Art Pedagogy in Special Education: An Analysis of the Role of Art Education in the Development of Social Skills

by Tanya Joy Harrison

This action research study explored the need to expand culturally responsive art pedagogy into the field of art with a focus on the effects it has on special education. Culturally responsive pedagogy acknowledges that students come from diverse racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds and therefore facilitates and supports the achievement of all students because it identifies, nurtures, and utilizes the strengths of each student. Art is a powerful unifier that is accessible to all students, regardless of native language, ability or disability, which makes it a useful tool in special education. Research on multicultural education provided a foundation for how a culturally relevant education can be provided for students with severe or multiple physical disabilities. The literature suggests that all students, regardless of the severity or multiplicity of their disabilities, should be taught within the context of their own cultural heritage. Thus, culturally responsive pedagogy served students by promoting their unique needs and makes teachers more responsive and effective. This study traced culturally responsive art pedagogy’s ability to reinforce the basic and social skills of special education students by challenging students to articulate, through art, the skills that are most important in their lives.


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