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Teaching Contemporary Art With Young People

Themes in Art for K–12 Classrooms

Julia Marshall Connie Stewart Anne Thulson

144 pages
Teachers College Press

This full-color resource will help educators teach about current art and integrate its philosophy and methods into the K–12 classroom. The authors provide a framework that looks at art through the lens of nine themes—everyday life, work, power, earth, space and place, self and others, change and time, inheritance, and visual culture—highlighting the conceptual aspects of art and connecting disparate forms of expression. They also provide guidelines and examples for how to use contemporary art to change the dynamics of a classroom, apply inventive non-linear lenses to topics, broaden and update the art “canon,” and spur creative and critical thinking. Young people will find the selected artwork accessible and relevant to their lives, diverse and expansive, probing, serious, and funny. Challenging conventional notions of what should be considered art and how it should be created, this book offers a sampling of what is out there to inspire educators and students to explore the limitless world of new art.

Book Features:

  • Indicators and lenses that make contemporary art more familiar, accessible, understandable, and useable for teachers.
  • Easy-to-reference descriptions and over 80 color images from a variety of contemporary artists.
  • Strategies for integrating art thinking across the curriculum.
  • Suggestions to help teachers find contemporary art to fit their curriculum and school settings.
  • Examples of art-based projects from both art and general classrooms, including concepts, goals, materials, scaffolding activities, teacher reflections, and more.
  • Guidance for developing curriculum, including how to create guiding questions to spur student thinking.
  • A compilation of resources, including a dedicated website at teachingcontemporaryart.com.
Author Bio

Julia Marshall is professor emeritus of art education at San Francisco State University. Her books include Integrating the Visual Arts Across the Curriculum and Art-Centered Learning Across the Curriculum. Connie Stewart is a professor of art education at the University of Northern Colorado, School of Art and Design. Anne Thulson is an associate professor of art education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.