Global Consciousness in Art Education: Utility and Problematics of Curriculum Development within a Critical Postmodern Relational Praxis

  • Gloria J. Wilson Virginia Commonwealth University


When we, as practitioners of art education, challenge ourselves to reflect on established views about and beyond local, regional, and national history and knowledge and how these views have necessarily created boundaries, we might think of the utility and limitations of a critical postmodern relational framework. This type of framework allows for the possibilities of thinking through critical and postmodern theories as a starting point for examining and understanding cultures affected by colonial structures, which has resulted in the denial of agency and a flattening of narratives. Often, these “bedrock” views, in their simplistic, one-dimensional, and reductive nature, cast an “othering” on cultures lesser-known in contemporary art education. Additionally, this framework exposes the limitation of Western critical thought in attempting to understand and center the aesthetic practices of non-Western societies. To consider how we might address these views within our teaching, research, and art-making is no small task. In this paper, I present a look at how an attempt at designing a curriculum and art education project for a Secondary Methods art education course offered the potential to critically reflect on the challenges of how Western patterns of thought and practice re-inscribe a colonialist mindset and privilege.