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Why Art Matters

For Members by Members

Dr. Patty Bode

February Mentor, Principal, Amherst Regional Middle School

Monthly Mentor Posts

  • Shaping Human Potential. Countering Islamophobia directly aligns with our NAEA mission to “advance visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding.” Language matters. Art education can assertively participate in these efforts through studies and studio practices related to Islamic art by engaging at least these three strategies: 1) expanding historical and cultural contexts of current curriculum; 2) inviting dialogue that analyzes vocabulary; 3) connecting traditional art forms to contemporary practices. Each of these three strategies will be addressed in the next three forthcoming monthly mentor blog posts.
  • Promoting global understanding: Islamic patterns in context. The study of Islamic patterns in tessellating geometric imagery can authentically integrate PK-12 curriculum through mathematics and visual art. Including sociocultural and historical perspectives about these patterns adds vibrant meaning to this unit of study, and simultaneously expands some understanding about Islamic traditions and breaks down misconceptions about some Muslim experiences.
  • Language, power, humor and visual culture. Inviting dialogue that analyzes the relationship of language to visual culture may stimulate student awareness of the power laden within spoken text and dialogue within the school and classroom, as well as in the broader social context of popular culture. In an earlier posting, I mentioned that youth literature resources about Islam and Muslim experiences may guide this effort to hear, see and understand this complexity through the voices of Muslim authors and characters.
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