Pre-service Art Education: Examining Constructions of Whiteness in/through Visual Culture



In this paper, I describe an arts-based curricular project taught to ten White-identifying and two non-White-identifying pre-service art teachers in Fall of 2018. The curriculum used a cultural studies framework to examine Whiteness as both a hegemonic cultural construction and identity construct. As a means to expand an arts-based pedagogy and curriculum, I utilize film as a pedagogical tool, and the circuit of culture, as a framework to reveal the power inherent within various “moments” or processes of visualization culture. By using this framework, students analyzed, exposed and challenged White supremacist ideologies and were given a contemporary way to examine Whiteness and the power invested in its creation and how this investment impacts every part of their personal and professional lives. Three key cultural analyses of Whiteness are offered in this paper. In sum, I propose the necessity of development of Whiteness art education curricula in support of critical multicultural methods and give suggestions of next steps for art education.

Keywords: art-based pedagogy, art education, circuit of culture, cultural studies, preservice, racial identity, time-based media, Whiteness

How to Cite: Wilson, G. J. (2019) “Pre-service Art Education: Examining Constructions of Whiteness in/through Visual Culture”, Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. 36(1). doi: