International Journal of Art & Design Education

Thirty-four Ethnic groups; where is Pedagogy?

Volume 5.1   1986



This paper is based upon work with school students within a Parisian secondary school. The school has students from up to thirty-four nationalities and this provides a context for discussing some of the issues associated with teaching students form diverse cultural backgrounds. Such issues include unfamiliarity with western cultural conventions and the fact that image building is not a universal phenomenon. Language differences also lead to differences in conceptual understanding, words being endowed with different affective weight according to their cultural context. In art teaching, there is an additional issue of critical discrimination, of identifying clichés and stereotypes, which might be common in a students’ home country. Art teachers need to be aware of the difficulties which some students might have in adapting to their adopted culture and should teach accordingly.