April 2010

The Hijacking of Art Education

by Michelle Marder Kamhi

Parents and others who think that children are mainly learning about painting and drawing in today's art classrooms should consider this: a movement has for some time been afoot to hijack art education for purposes of often radical political indoctrination. This effort--which I have warned of in "Where's the Art in Today's Art Education?" and "Rescuing Art from 'Visual Culture Studies'"--has gained a major platform in the 2010 convention of the National Art Education Association (NAEA), the chief organization of K-12 art teachers and of the professors who train them. It also threatens to influence art education requirements in the nation's Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly dubbed "No Child Left Behind," whose re-authorization is pending.

I do not believe that this politically tainted approach to art education represents the view of many, much less most, of the more than 20,000 members belonging to the NAEA. But it is all too common among those in higher education who are training the next generation of teachers, as well as among many in leadership positions in the association, as evidenced by the theme of this year's convention and the recent thrust of the association's journals, Art Education and Studies in Art Education. Unless teachers, parents, and others who disagree with this approach let their objections be known, loud and clear, the hijacking of art education by a misguided minority will succeed.

To understand the extent of the threat posed and combat it effectively, it is essential to recognize the nature of the views being advocated and the ways in which (and by whom) such views are already being injected into "art education." That is what I aim to shed light on here.

"Art Education and Social Justice": The 2010 NAEA Convention

A telling sign of the nature of this movement is the logo adopted by the NAEA for its 2010 convention, whose theme is "Art Education and Social Justice." It is the raised-clenched-fist symbol commonly associated with radical, even violent, political activism. Nor should one be much comforted by the fact that this fist is holding a pair of paint brushes.

Needless to say, art has often dealt with injustice--from moving interpretations of biblical themes such as the Massacre of the Innocents [more] [more] to Goya's Disasters of War and Third of May to Picasso's Guernica and work by the still living artist Elizabeth Catlett depicting the brutal effects of racism in America. The NAEA convention theme is conceived mainly in terms of politics, however, not art.

According to the "2010 National Convention Notes from the Program Coordinator": "Education is always political. The teacher has to ask, what kinds of politics am I doing in the classroom. That is, in whose favor am I being a teacher." That quote is attributed to the Brazilian Marxist and education theorist Paulo Freire--whose Pedagogy of the Oppressed has, lamentably, become required reading for future teachers in many American schools of education. (1)

Just what does the term social justice mean? The NAEA web page informs us that "Within the realm of education, [it] alludes to the notion of education as a political act, and when coupled with the term art education hints at models of resistance--teaching as a form of activism." Resistance to what? And activism for or against what or whom? What, for example, are we to make of the declaration that Art Education and Social Justice "questions" such things as American democracy, truths, and accomplishments, while "embracing" democracy, not knowing, and social literacy? To gain some sense of what these opposing notions point to, one has to dig deeper and examine the sources cited regarding the convention's theme.

Harnessing the Arts to the President's Agenda

One of the chief sources cited in the 2010 NAEA program coordinator's notes is a White House Briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, [and] National Recovery held in May 2009. According to a published report, the purpose of the briefing was, in part, to determine "how the remarkable mobilizing power of community arts can be used by the Obama administration as a tool and a pathway for national recovery" and "to identify existing efforts within the cultural and social justice movements that are in alignment with the national agenda . . . on such issues as green jobs, health care and economic justice."

The artists and "creative organizers" who attended came away with the feeling that they "were being challenged to come up with promising and attractive ideas about how artists can work for the administration's agenda." As one attendee put it, they could act as "a think tank to serve the administration's aims." These aims were made clearer in various post-briefing strategy sessions planned as a continuation of the briefing. The Healthcare Reform session, for example, identified multiple roles that "that artists can play in support of health care reform," such as creating "a counter narrative to the [Frank] Luntz memo/Republican talking points designed to destroy health care reform."

The NAEA does not refer to such partisan concerns. Nor does it note that the only artists and groups involved in the meeting represented "alternative" or "underground" forms such as rap, hip hop, and "street art" or graffiti--surely not the sorts of art most parents expect their children to learn about in school. But its reference to the briefing clearly implies tacit approval. As does its quoting White House Deputy Social Secretary Joseph Reinstein's declaration that "The administration believes the arts play a critical role beyond art education in saying what a democracy is." Many Americans across the political spectrum would object to such a role for the arts, still more so for art education. When one considers the views of "democracy" that emerge in further examination of the NAEA's sources, there is even greater cause for concern.

Democracy, the Arts, and Maxine Greene's "Progressive" Vision

A clue to the general thrust of the social justice theme lies in the following statement quoted in the NAEA's notes on the 2010 convention: "[T]he arts will help disrupt the walls that obscure . . . spheres of freedom." The source of that rather poorly phrased motto (does one "disrupt" walls, and what exactly are "spheres of freedom"?) is Maxine Greene, an influential professor of education at Teachers College in New York for more than forty years. Her keen interest in the arts, as well as her "progressive" social and political views, are well known in education circles.

As Philosopher-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education since 1976, Greene conducts workshops focusing on literature as art; lectures at its summer sessions; and has inspired the creation of an alternative high school devoted to "Arts, Imagination and Inquiry." In 2003, she founded the Maxine Greene Foundation for Social Imagination, the Arts, and Education, to support "the creation . . . and informed appreciation of works [of art] that . . . move people to perceive alternative possibilities for the making of humane communities."

Greene Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to teachers who "go beyond the standardized and the ordinary"; artists "whose works embody fresh social visions"; and individuals "who radically challenge or alter the public's imagination about social policy issues." The 2008 grantees included the Education for Liberation Network--whose 2007 conference, entitled "Free Minds, Free People: A Conference on Education for Liberation," bore the following slogan on its program cover: "If education is not given to the people, they will have to take it."

The source of that quote is Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Latin American revolutionary whose vision of the path to democracy included "the acrid smell of gunpowder and blood, . . . the bestial howl of the triumphant proletariat," and the violent "slaughter" of his political adversaries. (2) As Fidel Castro's chief executioner during the Cuban revolution, Che is alleged to have referred to judicial procedures as "an archaic bourgeois detail" best ignored by a revolutionary, who "must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate." If those precise words are not his, he nonetheless enacted them through the summary execution of countless political prisoners, often at his own hands, without benefit of trial. When he referred to the people "taking" things, therefore, he did not limit himself to peaceful means. As for what he did for them once he gained power, it is well documented that he steered the Castro regime in "a radically repressive direction," as one professor of political science and history has put it. In addition to stifling basic freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and protest, he imposed severe economic controls that were nothing short of ruinous. (3)

"School Reformer" William Ayers

Though Che is hardly a model of democratic action to be held up to anyone, much less to all-too-impressionable young people, he is clearly admired by William Ayers--a prominent member of the Greene Foundation's board of directors--whose connection to the NAEA appears to be growing. This former Weather Underground terrorist is now a professor of education at the University of Illinois, where his office door may still display a picture of Che (among others) as the Chicago Tribune reported it did in 2008. Ayers co-authored one of the four sources cited by the NAEA regarding its social justice convention theme, and will be presenting a session at the 2010 convention entitled "Art and the Freedom School Curriculum." That session will instruct teachers "how to empower their students by exploring the action-based research methods made available through [a] presentation of the Mississippi Freedom School Curriculum."

The Mississippi Freedom Schools, some readers may recall, were temporary, alternative free schools developed as part of the 1964 Freedom Summer civil rights project. Their main thrust was to engage African Americans in the South in the political process through education and voter registration drives. At a time when blacks were still largely disenfranchised and disempowered by discriminatory laws and practices, the Freedom Schools met an urgent need. But one may well wonder whether today's conditions are really comparable and just how relevant the Freedom School Curriculum is in the present educational environment (more on that later), much less to art education per se.

Like his mentor Maxine Greene--with whom he studied at Teachers College in the 1980s, earning his doctorate in education there in 1987--Ayers views the arts mainly as a vehicle for social and political change. In a review of a book about Greene's educational philosophy, in a recent issue of the NAEA's research journal Studies in Art Education, he indicates his admiration for her "'unique attention to literature and the arts,'" as well as for "her radical commitment to social imagination." Like her, he places great value on the effect of art's imaginary realms on the development of "the self." But one needs to look elsewhere to find what he means when he praises her view of "the different ways of knowing and being" presented in the arts and "the obstacles to our humanity" that they can help uncover.

Ayers has often been characterized as a "school reformer." According to education writer Sol Stern, however, "calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer." Stern--who was an editor and staff writer for the New Left magazine Ramparts in the turbulent years from 1966 to 1972--argues that Ayers explicitly aims "to indoctrinate public school children with the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive." (4) That characterization of Ayers's view of the United States is certainly corroborated by remarks he made in an interview with RT (Russia Today) as recently as December of last year. In it he suggested, among other things, that "white supremacy" is a potent force in America, albeit one dealt a "real blow" by the election of President Obama; that America's presence in Afghanistan is "an invasion and an occupation"; that America is largely run by "militarists and cryptofascists"; and that in sum "the idea that we've been a force for good [in the world] for the last six decades is utter nonsense."

As for what "different ways of knowing and being" Ayers admires, we can gain some idea from a speech he gave in Caracas, Venezuela, to the World Education Forum in 2006, with President Hugo Chávez at his side. Lauding "the profound educational reforms under way" in Venezuela under Chávez, Ayers declared: "We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how . . . you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane."

Further implying that "education without revolution" is impossible, Ayers maintained that capitalism "promotes racism and militarism--turning people into consumers, not citizens." In conclusion, he proclaimed: "Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education--a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation." He then raised his clenched fist, chanting: "Viva Presidente Chávez!"

Judged by other eyes, however, Chávez looks less and less like Ayers's hero of the people and more and more like a totalitarian dictator. In recent years, he has moved to stifle all opposition by shutting down independent media outlets and adopting harsh measures against political opponents. He has also harassed various religious groups and has openly fueled anti-Jewish sentiment. At the same time, his economic controls have contributed to high inflation and shortages of many staple consumer goods. (5)

In short, the grim realities of Venezuelan life cast an ominous shadow upon Ayers's idealized view. Such evidence of his defective judgment is all the more disturbing when one considers that he is now serving as the Vice President for Curriculum Studies in the American Education Research Association, the nation's largest organization of education school professors and researchers. Credentials like that no doubt make it easy for some art educators to regard him as a respectable colleague. Some of them even signed a petition in his defense in 2008 that stated, in part: "The current characterizations of Professor Ayers--'unrepentant terrorist,' 'lunatic leftist'--are unrecognizable to those who know or work with him. . . . His participation in political activity 40 years ago is history; what is most relevant now is his continued engagement in progressive causes, and his exemplary contribution . . . to the field of education."

Those who signed that petition are either disingenuous or terribly naive--or they simply share Ayers's distorted views.

Where's the Art in "Social Justice Art Education"?

One of the signers of the Ayers petition was Therese Quinn, an associate professor of art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Quinn is the author of "Out of Cite [sic], Out of Mind: Social Justice and Art Education," one of the sources cited by the NAEA regarding its 2010 convention theme. (Quinn also co-authored another of those sources with Ayers, and will co-present the aforementioned Freedom School session with him.) Quinn's article could well be regarded as sounding the keynote for the conference. Tellingly, she spends most of her 20-page paper discussing the concept of social justice and almost none of it discussing art.

In Quinn's view, social justice encompasses both "recognition and redistribution" (a phrase borrowed from feminist theorist Nancy Fraser). The concept of redistribution, Quinn explains, refers to "the equitable allocation of resources"--a goal implying that government should intervene to ensure equality of results. In the view of many Americans, however, that idea smacks of socialism, and is antithetical to the founding principles of our nation. In any case, it pertains to the economic realm, and its connection to art education is therefore indirect at best.

"Recognition," on the other hand, is more closely related to art education, since it pertains to the cultural realm. This goal ostensibly aims at accentuating multiculturalism and diversity, but it amounts, in effect, to a narrowly limited view of diversity. While emphasizing and honoring diversity in terms of countless group identities--from race and gender to religion and ethnicity--advocates of "social justice" resist acknowledging individual differences in talents, abilities, and sheer hard work (not to mention in what Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as "the content of [one's] character"), and seem to ignore that such differences naturally result in different levels of achievement. They also fail to recognize that diverse cultural and religious traditions may differ in the degree and quality of their contribution to humanity.

That egalitarian attitude may help to explain the otherwise baffling fact that accomplishments are listed among the things that the NAEA's Art Education and Social Justice theme "questions." Such egalitarianism is completely at odds with the principle of meritocracy that lies at the heart of the American political system and way of life, however. The concept of political equality embedded in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution refers to equal protection under the law and equal freedom to pursue one's life. It does not guarantee either equal attainments or equal recognition for one's person and achievements, however modest they may be. Under this system, true social justice consists of honoring individuals in proportion to their achievements, while recognizing that those achievements also tend to benefit the larger community.

Conspicuously absent from Quinn's quasi-keynote paper is any consideration of genuine art in education. While she quotes Maxine Greene's assertion that "the arts will help disrupt the walls that obscure . . . spheres of freedom," she cites no actual works of art to indicate how they might do so. Ignoring genuine art entirely, she instead focuses on "visual culture" and the sort of postmodernist work that I and others have argued is at root anti-art. (6) At the same time, she mischaracterizes the discipline-based approach to art education that she seeks to displace, when she quotes without objection the claim that in Disciplined-Based Art Education (DBAE) "aesthetics is taught disconnected from its social context." In truth, a defining characteristic of the DBAE approach is that it considers the cultural contexts in which art is created.

Arguing that "[s]ocial justice art education would necessarily address the kind of contextual issues raised via visual culture" (that is, by things other than art), Quinn observes that it is particularly compatible with "postmodern approaches to art," and with certain "tendencies in contemporary cultural practice, [such as] a move away from art as product and solo endeavor, toward collective work not (always) aimed at artifact creation, including temporary, activist, and online projects." So much for the paint brushes clutched in the fist of NAEA's 2010 convention logo!

In that connection, Quinn cites an essay entitled "Some Call It Art" by Gregory Sholette, a founding member of PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution). Sholette advocates "[retooling] the bankrupt idea of artistic autonomy" in order to create "a model for sedition, intervention, and ultimately political transformation." Such a transformation, in his view, "requires a final emptying-out and decomposition of artistic autonomy as a bourgeois ideology." He therefore welcomes the widespread "'de-skilling' of artistic craft" that has occurred in the artworld since the 1960s. As he observes, the artworld's acceptance of "conceptual art" (one of postmodernism's anti-art genres) dispensed with skill and led, in effect, to "the total disappearance of the art object"--as did the use of "ephemeral materials, dead-pan performances and aimlessly shot video" that produced work "indistinguishable from advertising and pop-culture."

As Sholette recognizes, these developments in the postmodernist artworld have paved the way for politically engaged work employing similar media and exhibiting a similar lack of skill. But that does not make such work art, any more than work by the contemporary artworld stars who employ these means truly qualifies as art. Nonetheless, Sholette believes that "art activists" have succeeded in creating "an informal political aesthetic." As examples, he cites work by such collaborative "interdisciplinary" groups as RTMark, Critical Art Ensemble, and the Center for Land Use Reclamation, which are also cited approvingly by Quinn. While the work of these groups is undoubtedly activist and political, its "aesthetic" has nothing to do with art. Nor would it be recognized as such by most people. Not surprisingly, that is of no concern to Sholette. He concludes that instead of asking "what is art?" we should be asking "what is politics?"

Ayers, too, is far more concerned with politics than with art. Although he begins the book review cited above with a literary quote from Charles Dickens's novel Hard Times alluding to the need for cultivating the imagination over mere "facts," he has little to say about visual work, which is what the NAEA purportedly deals with. The only such works he refers to are Andres Serrano's Piss Christ (his controversial photograph of a crucifix submerged in a container of urine), Chris Ofili's painting The Holy Virgin Mary (notorious for its inclusion of clods of elephant dung), and photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe (best known for his highly graphic images of men engaged in sadomasochistic homoerotic acts). For Ayers, such works--all of which have provoked intense public controversy--exemplify the "arts as potential, as stimulants of the social imagination, [which] threaten the people who are drunk on power, [who are] focused on facts without ethics" (emphasis in the original). For many ordinary people, however, the value (even the status) of such works as art is highly questionable, as Louis Torres and I have argued. (7)

Future Federal Policy on Arts Education

As I've indicated above, "visual culture art education," closely allied with "social justice art education," is also more concerned with politics than with art. Advocates of both approaches are attempting to influence federal policy on arts education. A National Education Taskforce (NET) headed by Dennis Fehr--an associate professor of "visual studies" at Texas Tech University--has proposed inserting new language into the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), requiring both the study of "visual culture" and the "examination of social justice and ethical questions posed by artworks." (For my objections to that and other aspects of the NET proposal, see "What Hope Is There for Art Education?".)

According to the NET website, the purpose of the taskforce is quite general--to "produce current research on education issues for the U. S. Congress." When I inquired about the possibility of its publishing remarks (8) that I had submitted to a Department of Education hearing on ESEA reauthorization, however, Fehr informed me that the "NETwork" is devoted solely to "publish[ing] emergent ideas about visual culture," not to considering other viewpoints. (9)

Moreover, the political bias driving Fehr's efforts was evident between the lines of a talk he gave at a symposium sponsored by the University Council for Art Education last September on the future of arts education. To demonstrate the urgent need to improve "visual literacy" in America, he presented two media images that he claimed had influenced presidential elections. One was a 1984 televised image of President Ronald Reagan seated before a row of American flags that made him look very patriotic, allegedly blinding viewers to criticism of his policies. The other showed the 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis looking rather ridiculous atop a military tank--an image intended to show that he was strong on defense. Visual illiteracy regarding the implications of these images, Fehr implied, had had dire consequences for the country (Reagan won re-election, and Dukakis lost to George H.W. Bush). In Fehr's view, this served as compelling proof that teaching about such things in the art classroom is essential for our future.

Setting aside for the moment the basic question Why the art classroom? we might ask why Fehr chose those examples but overlooked a case in which media images were far more widely acknowledged to have influenced a presidential election--the 1960 televised debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. In those debates, Nixon's haggard, unattractive physical appearance, alongside the fit-looking handsome figure of Kennedy, weighed heavily against him and he lost the election, despite minimal differences in the substance of the debates. (10) Can it be that Fehr is untroubled by the influence of media images when he is happy with the outcome? If the influence of visual media is taken up as a subject by teachers, shouldn't the main point be that voters should decide elections based on issues and values, not on superficial appearances? In any case, let me repeat what I argued in "What Hope Is There for Art Education?": such questions belong in social studies and civics classes, not in the art classroom.

Paulo Freire and "Critical Pedagogy"

The social justice theme in art education is intricately linked to "critical theory"--and, more particularly, to what is called "critical pedagogy." These methodologies derive from the Marxist-inspired approach to philosophic and social analysis known as the Frankfurt School.

Critical theory was first defined by the Frankfurt thinker Max Horkheimer in 1937, but its main conduit into American education has been Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed, cited above. The purpose of critical theory is not just intellectual, it is practical, aiming (in Horkheimer's words) "to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them" by critical questioning of dominant institutions. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Freire adopted such an approach in teaching disenfranchised peasants in rural Brazil to read and write, so that they could vote and be mobilized to elect reform candidates.

Rejecting what he called the "banking concept of education"--in which the teacher "deposits" content into passive students that merely reinforces the existing power structures--he encouraged his students to assume an active role in their own education. Through a "dialogic" process in which teacher and students were considered equals, learners were presumably brought to grasp the relationship between their personal problems and experiences and the social contexts in which they were embedded. Having achieved impressive literacy outcomes with that approach, Freire began writing books based on his teaching experience. His Pedagogy of the Oppressed, written in 1968, was preceded by Education as the Practice of Freedom. Such work prompted Harvard University to host Freire for a visiting professorship in 1969. Since then, his Pedagogy has become an education school bible in the United States.

Critical pedagogy emphasizes the importance of social and historical context. Yet advocates of Freire's work have been remarkably blind to its inappropriateness in the present context of K-12 education in the United States. Freire's rejection of the "banking" approach to education in favor of greater student-teacher equality and interchange may have made sense with respect to adult learners, who came to the process with considerable life experience. But his view that "[l]iberating education consists in acts of [active] cognition, not transferrals of information" could verge on the absurd if applied literally in a class of very young children. And its application in the higher grades is also problematic. Education requires both transferrals of information (even if indirect) and active discovery.

Moreover, although critical theory purports to leave students free to discover truths on their own, it in fact guides them toward the "truth" according to its own Marxist worldview. (I can personally attest to that fact, having attended a leadership conference at Hampshire College some years ago that employed critical theory techniques.) Finally, with respect to the role of active discovery in education, the ideas of Maria Montessori, with their greater emphasis on the individual, provide a far more reliable guide than the essentially collectivist notions of Freire.

If students today are "oppressed," it is neither by the capitalist "power structure" nor by the alleged flaws in "American democracy"--which "critical pedagogy" aims to remedy. It is mainly by their own ignorance (and sometimes that of their relatives and neighbors)--which education is supposed to remedy. The recent film Precious offers moving testimony to that truth, as do the many accounts of ambitious young blacks confronted by the taunts of peers when they strive to lift themselves out of poverty by study and hard work. (11)

In any case, whatever inequities or injustices now exist in American society are scarcely comparable to the sort of institutionalized injustice Freire confronted in the essentially feudal society of rural Brazil, where a large segment of the population was illiterate and politically disenfranchised. Nor is the United States where it was in the early 1960s, when the Freedom Schools met a real need in the institutionally segregated South. Since then, we have come a long way, not only with respect to civil rights for blacks but also with regard to attitudes and practices affecting women and homosexuality.

Freire's critical pedagogy should not be confused with the methodology of critical thinking, which is a very different matter. (12) Teaching critical thinking aims to develop students' powers of reasoning by helping them to recognize faulty arguments--arguments based on insufficiently defined concepts, unsupported assertions, invalid generalizations, and appeal to unreliable authorities. Such teaching should begin in age-appropriate ways as soon as children have acquired basic language skills and reasoning capacity.

Regarding the goal of human liberation sought by "social justice" advocates, critical thinking skills might be productively applied, by all concerned with this issue, to the basic question of which has been the greater net force for true human liberation: the collectivist Marxist ideals underlying Freire's critical pedagogy or the Enlightenment values of individualism, property rights, the rule of law, and limited government that are at the heart of "American democracy"--or, more accurately, the American republic.

What Will Be the Future of Art Education?

"Social justice" and "visual culture" studies are already openly ensconced in leading schools of art education--from New York University's Steinhardt School to Ohio State University and the University of Illinois--where the next generation of art teachers is being trained. What will such studies lead to in K-12 classrooms? Judging from representative articles published in the NAEA's journals Art Education and Studies in Art Education in recent years, we can expect lessons ranging from anti-capitalist critiques of Build-A-Bear Workshops and the local shopping mall to student emulation of graffiti artists whose work purportedly "forces pedestrians to revise their conceptions" regarding complex social and political issues such as attitudes toward sexuality or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (see "What Hope Is There for Art Education?").

If the hijacking of art education by "social justice" and "visual culture" advocates prevails, students will be disserved in multiple ways. They will not only be politically indoctrinated, in a context relatively insulated from opposing views. They will also be more and more deprived of the truly humanizing experiences that the making and appreciation of art can provide--art dealing not just with issues of social justice but with the myriad other themes of personal and social significance that art everywhere has always been concerned with. Finally, they will be subtly led to believe that the only things that really matter in life are those in the social realm; that the private, personal dimension of their lives is of trivial significance. That, perhaps, would be the most lamentable consequence of all.

Now is the time for those who understand the importance of such concerns to speak out.

Principal Sources and Further Reading

Ayers, William. Interview with RT (Russia Today), published online December 15, 2009.

----. Review of John Baldacchino, Education Beyond Education: Self and the Imaginary in Maxine Greene's Philosophy, in Studies in Art Education, Winter 2010, pp. 189-91.

----. Speech at the World Education Forum, Centro Interncional Miranda, Caracas, Venezuela, November 7, 2006.

"Critical Theory," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, accessed January 28, 2010.

[DBAE.] "Defining Characteristics of a Disciplined-based Art Education Program," from "Discipline-Based Art Education: Becoming Students of Art," Journal of Aesthetic Education (Summer 1987), p. 135.

Fehr, Dennis. Talk given at a Symposium on "The Future of Arts Education," sponsored by the University Council for Art Education, Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 25, 2009.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition. New York: Continuum, 2007.

Kamhi, Michelle Marder. "Anti-Art Is Not Art," What Art Is Online, June 2002.

----. "Rescuing Art from 'Visual Culture Studies'," Aristos, January 2004; reprinted, with notes, in Arts Education Policy Review, September/October 2004.

----. "What Hope Is There for Art Education?" Aristos, July 2009.

----. "Where's the Art in Today's Art Education?" What Art Is Online, November 2002; reprinted, with notes, in Arts Education Policy Review, March/April 2003.

---- and Louis Torres. "What about the Other Face of Contemporary Art?" Art Education, March 2008; reprinted in Aristos, June 2008.

National Art Education Association (NAEA). "2010 National Convention Notes from the Program Coordinator," accessed March 14, 2010.

National Education Taskforce. Arts Language Proposal for the re-authorization of Public Law 107-110. Accessed March 10, 2010.

Quinn, Therese. "Out of Cite, Out of Mind: Social Justice and Art Education," Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 2006, pp. 282-301.

Sholette, Gregory. "Some Call It Art," accessed March 10, 2010. (Sholette is a founding member of PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution [more]).

Stern, Sol. "Pedagogy of the Oppressor," City Journal, Spring 2009.

----. "The Bomber as School Reformer," Eye on the News, City Journal online, October 6, 2008.

Torres, Louis. "The Interminable Monopology of the Avant-Garde" (includes a section on art education).

White House Briefing on Art, Community, Social Justice, National Recovery, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2009; report published online by State Voices.


1. Sol Stern, "Pedagogy of the Oppressor," City Journal, Spring 2009.

2. Guevara, Ernesto Che. "A Note in the Margin," in The Motorcycle Diaries. New York: Ocean Press, 2003.

3. Daniel James, Ché Guevara: A Biography (New York: Cooper Square Press, 2001), esp. 113-14; and Douglas Young, "The Real Che Guevara," Samizdata.net, accessed February 28, 2010.

4. Sol Stern, "The Bomber as School Reformer," Eye on the News, City Journal online, October 6, 2008.

5. Mariano Castillo, "U.S. Report: Chavez Moving to Silence Media Critics," CNN.com, August 18, 2009; and Abraham H. Foxman, "Chávez's Anti-Semitism," The Washington Post, February 5, 2008.

6. Kamhi, "Anti-Art Is Not Art"; Kamhi and Torres, "What about the Other Face of Contemporary Art?"; and Thomas McEvilley, The Triumph of Anti-Art (Kingston, NY: McPherson, 2005).

7. Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi, What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand (Chicago: Open Court, 2000), esp. pp. 284-86 and 294-97.

8. Michelle Marder Kamhi, "The Future of Education in the Visual Arts," comments submitted for a U. S. Department of Education meeting on January 20, 2010, regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

9. Dennis Fehr, personal email communication, February 11, 2010.

10. Erika Tyner Allen. "The Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debates, 1960." The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Accessed March 19, 2010.

11. See, for example, Mark Curnutte, "For Some Black Students, Failing Is Safer," Cincinnati Enquirer, May 28, 1998; and John H. McWhorter, "What's Holding Blacks Back?" City Journal, Winter 2001.

12. Deborah A. Kuster, "Critical Theory in Art Education: Some Comparisons," National Art Education Association, Translations (From Theory to Practice), Summer 2008.