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Walker Murphy on Teaching Artistry and Social Justice

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Apr 13, 2016

In the latest Teaching Artists Guild newsletter, Robyne Walker Murphy, Guild director of membership development and engagement, and Tina LaPadula, education director at Arts Corps (Seattle, WA), argued for the importance of embracing social justice principles within teaching artistry and discussed the ongoing work launched during the 2015 Teaching Artist Development conference track.

The article starts from the premise that incorporating a social justice focus into the classroom is necessary work for all teaching artists, not just those working in underprivileged neighborhoods. “Many teaching artists and educators have said to us, ‘That sounds great, but I don’t teach that demographic.’ To this we ask, ‘Is there a demographic that doesn’t need to understand inequity, privilege, and oppression?’ There can be no oppressed without oppressors.”

Reflecting on the Teaching Artist Development pre-conference at the 2015 Guild Conference, Robyne and Tina broke down some of the day’s key takeaways. Participants at the pre-con explored:


Ultimately, the authors suggest that social justice teaching artistry “teaches young people to use the very creative habits we care about in the arts, to think critically about the work and question the information they receive, to reflect on how things are, and to imagine new and better solutions.”

As a way of continuing this work, Robyne and Tina, working alongside the National Guild, are formulating a collection of social justice resources, including tools related to personal and classroom practice, pedagogy-based terms and definitions, lesson plans, assessment tools, and project examples from the field.

Read the full article here.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education. www.nationalguild.org