This section of the curriculum checklist supports art and design educators to interrogate their curriculum, ensuring it meets criteria around ciriticality.


Criticality characterises the disposition for purposeful thinking and acting guided by criteria that are considered to be contextually appropriate and that are expected to result in positive outcomes related to the purpose. Criticality is the capacity and ability to read, write, think, and speak in ways to understand power and equity in order to understand and promote anti-oppression.

Source: Education Week (2020). Available here

Key Question: Have you planned in time into your curriculum to develop your students’ understanding & critical consciousness of historical and contemporary ideas of race and racial relations?


  • Does your curriculum and pedagogy give opportunities to challenge how whiteness, is a system of privilege – and that non-white students and non-white art, craft and design practices can be positioned on the margins of education.

Key Question: How does your curriculum, pedagogies and practices shared provide opportunities to discuss, question and explore historical and contemporary issues around race and ethnic identities?


  • Do the images and pieces you use promote safe discussions and explorations of self, race and ethnicity?
  • Do the cultures you study promote these debates and challenge the colonial narrative of ‘the other’?
  • Are negative African, Asian or other tropes perpetuated in the curriculum? For example, through enslavement, exoticism and Orientalism. Or through more contemporary images of poverty in Africa, subsequently, rescued by ‘white-western saviours’?

Criticality Resource Examples:

  1. Education by October Gallery. Available to view here
  2. Making Sense by South London gallery and Mountview. Available to view here
  3. Race Reporting Guide (2014) by Race Forward. Available to view here


Click here to read and contribute to our ARAEA reading, resource and review list.