Adopt National Core Arts Standards in New Mexico to decolonize art education.

This petition made change with 55 supporters!

My K-12 art teaching career has allowed me the opportunity to learn from diverse New Mexico cultures. When we teach art across cultures we keep our minds open and we learn.

It does an injustice to students of non-Western cultures to teach them to make art for the purpose of learning "the" elements and principles of design, which are rooted in an outmoded, 20th-century, formalist, modernist world view. Students sense that this perspective conflicts with the knowledge received within their own culture about why artists create.

Adopting the National Core Arts Standards for visual art to New Mexico will replace ethnocentric language. It will also associate learning about visual elements and structures with processes of responding, presenting, and connecting, not as an underlying purpose for creating art. Artists don't create in order to explore visual elements, and neither should art students. And nobody should be taught that elements and principles of design are some sort of universal truth of art.

Check out the NCAS Visual Arts Standards online.

Meanwhile, here is what New Mexico's current visual arts standards impose:

Content Standard 1:

  • K-5 Benchmark 1A: Participate in the process of making and looking at works of art to understand the elements of art, such as: color, form line, shape, size, texture and value.
  • 6-8 Benchmark 1A: Produce art that demonstrates the elements of art and principles of design in a variety of media.
  • 9-12 Benchmark 1A: Explore and understand the elements of art and principles of design and what makes them effective in solving specific art problems.

Hooray for the following, but how the others conflict with it!

  • 9-12 Benchmark 1C: Recognize that there are multiple points of view about organizational principles of design and elements of art.


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