Preadolescents reflect on their Drawings of Dance by Mary Stokrocki and Laurie Eldridge
Artmaking can be an important opportunity for students to articulate a sense of self(Daiello, hathaway, Rhoades & Walker, 2006)
Students' identities are built upon and sustained by-often unconscious-identification with media images. By creating opportunities for students to recall experiences and refect upon these experiences, educators can encourage students to explore complex aspects of identity such as ethnicity and race(Daiello, et al.,2006;Gude,2007)
The major reason for dancing was social-for fun and being with friends.
These inner-city, working-class students seemed very social and uninhibited in sharing their dance preferences. Similar to Buckingham's(2000) study, we found inner-city students are uninhibited in sharing their preferences.
Several students explored their identities and ethnicities and the larger social contexts of these individual concerns. Some students started a discussion about skin color and race that held great meaning for many of them. This topic emerged during student's informal conversations for several more class periods.
Students can become alienated from classrooms if their lives are not part of the curriculum(Reynolds,2007). Art educators need to find ways to include in curricula the visual experiences that are liked by and influential upon the students they teach(Duncum, 2000). However, having discussions about sensitive subjects that arise can be difficult, if not impossible, if teachers don't develop classroom protocols that allow such discussion to take place.
Students may be dealing with problems at home such as poverty, cultural alienation, helping parents interact with English speakers, and may not have role models in their homes for healthy ways of coping with the stresses and many challenges embedded in these and other situations(Reynolds, 2007)
Students need help at school in developing healthy ways of interacting with one another. Student need to develop the social skills of listening to others, thinking about what they have said, and then responding in ways that are not going to be hurtful to others.
This entails building trust in the classroom between the students and the teacher. The teacher needs skill in developing a warm, welcoming classroom that focuses on positive interaction with students(Garrot, 2002, Brown&Skinner, 2007)
This was a safe way for students and the teacher to engage in a conversation about issues of race and identity.
At the end of the class period Stokrocki asked students why the arts are important and one student summarized, "If there was no art, I'd go insane!".
Myungja Anna Koh