International Journal of Art & Design Education

Putting Disability Studies to Work in Art Education (pages 291–300)

Volume 33.3   2014



Putting disability studies to work in art education suggests a form of action or industry, a creative opportunity for something to be done, recognising the relationship between theory and practice. Drawing on discourse analysis, this article offers an initial theoretical discussion of some of the ways in which disability is revealed and created through discourses about art education in articles published over the past 30 years in iJADE. This article proposes that the lens of critical social pedagogies applied to work relating to gender, race and class should be extended to disability in order to promote critical engagement through art education rather than critical avoidance. Drawing on Elliot Eisner's six lessons in what can be learnt from the arts, the article concludes by recognising the importance of art education as a means of epistemic validation, where different ways of being in the world are valued. Art education and arts practice offer a means of valuing and expressing the ‘dynamic difference of what it means to be human’. The article argues that the combination of disability studies and art education can, therefore, be a force to be reckoned with