(Poly)-centric Multiculturalism: A Path to Inclusive Art Curriculum and Pedagogy

By Samuel Adu-Poku.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

“Centricity,” as a multicultural education construct, has generated heated debate over the centrality and/or marginality of culture, race, ethnicity and other social identities in the production and dissemination of “emancipatory knowledge.” Centricity involves the placement of learners within the context of their own cultural references in order to find their niche within the school curricula. “Poly(centric) multiculturalism,” however, is grounded on the assumption that there are “polycenters” of aesthetics, culture, knowledge and history that learners must pursue to achieve a more holistic understanding of themselves and others (Verharen, 1995). This presentation examines interactions of cultures and social identities within art education. The theoretical underpinnings and the tenets of “polycentric multiculturalism” are explored within an art education curriculum. I argue that a curriculum trajectory that connects and promotes multiple centers of culture, aesthetics, history and knowledge can engender inclusive art education. Appreciation of the interconnectedness of non-hegemonic knowledge forms within “polycentric multiculturalism” could serve as a catalyst for a transformative multicultural art education.

Keywords: Multiculturalism, Polycentric, Centricity, Transformative, Emancipatory

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.247-256. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 587.341KB).

Dr. Samuel Adu-Poku

Associate Professor, Art Education, Department of Art, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Samuel Adu-Poku is an associate professor and program coordinator of Art Education, in the Department of Art, Youngstown State University (YSU) in Ohio. Samuel received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies (Art Education) from the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick, Canada respectively after obtaining a B.A. in Fine Art at the University of Science and Technology in Ghana. Samuel teaches undergraduate and graduate art education courses and provides leadership in developing the art education program at YSU. Samuel has a reputation as and Artist/ Researcher/ Teacher with outstanding scholarly background and record of art exhibitions in Ghana, Canada and Ohio. Samuel has published a number of research articles, book chapters and scholarly essays. His research is centered on curriculum development, teacher education, multicultural art education and Africentric studies. Recently, he received two prestigious dissertation research awards in Canada and the United States– The inaugural Arts Researchers & Teachers Society Award (CACS-ARTS) for SIG 2003 from the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, and the Arts & Learning SIG 2004 Dissertation Award from the American Educational Research Association respectively.

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