Bringing Art to Life through Multiple Perspectives: Pre-Service Art Educators and Social Justice


  • Alyssia Ruggiero Southern Illinois University


pre-service education, social justice, multiculturalism, Beayeux tapestry, Iraq war imagery


Three socially-conscious education constructs are presented as they emerged from a meaningful pre-service art education project and the student discussion that followed. Teaching and learning approaches are illuminated through a studio assignment in a secondary art education pre-service methods course. The pictorial narrative of the historical Beayeux tapestry, when compared with more recent images associated with the Iraq war, led to the creation of a contemporary 27-foot tapestry. The author dissects both the intellectual, emotional experiences of the students and the learning outcomes that were evoked by this collaborative assignment. Through her reflections, the author demonstrated an approach to education that is essential for pre-service educators; the need to teach from a multicultural perspective, to teach strategies for dealing with controversial issues, to tactfully and respectfully diffuse emotionally charged content, and to encourage social change are requirements of teaching in today’s classroom. This pedagogical approach is supported by current educational research and discourse.