Monday, February 28, 2011

Multicultural Shift in California

During my thirty plus year tenure teaching at Orland High School in Northern California, I was blessed with what I considered a diverse classroom; a room of as many Mexican American children as white.  When I first began teaching Art in the mid 80's, I would divide my teaching class hour in two: half in English and half in Spanglish/sign language. Although I found this difficult and considered it unfair to both groups, I loved the challenge as I loved the kids.

Today, L-, my ex-student-teacher-now-teacher-extraordinare, sends to me a website, about the British/Indian Singh twins, that is pertinent to HER classroom, forty miles from her own high school art room, where she was my student.  She texts me tonight, on freaking FIRE, about Anthony Bourdain's travels to Haiti, and she is now determined to "change the F--ing WORLD."  Yep, quoted directly.

We concluded our conversation cogitating a visit to Cambodia.

Multicultural education has taken on new dimensions.  As I'm writing the introduction to my (hopefully to publish) book of postmodern education in an art room, I'm recall the silly lessons we presented just a few decades ago- Mayan masks, rock hieroglyphics, totem poles- and fear that these lessons are still the foundation of too much "multicultural education."  L- is teaching about Afghanistan war rugs, feminism, and the Venus de Willendorf, and the value of artistic appropriation to social justice.

I wanna go back and do it all again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fascinating Times

What with Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, China, New Zealand, and Wisconsin, I reflect we live in unsettling times.  Why do the conglomeration of these event seem more radical than so many of the near past disasters?

I share a post about Education on Momma Politico.  All heady stuff, all the same but different.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Biological AND Imaginative AND Whimsical

Every now and then one runs into an artist who isn't necessarily profound, yet so IS.  Ashley Williams speaks  (video on the right side here) of her thinking when blending history, biology, and geography.  I find this to be so clever and quite divergent from much of what is studied today in the visual arts.

See more at Aerofauna.