This book deals with the issue of African Caribbean pupil invisibility in the art and design classroom. As such it addresses African Caribbean pupil invisibility in almost any teaching and learning context. The book argues that the slave trade, which ruptured their continuities with an African past, continues to impact on the learning of such pupils relative to others. In seeking to explicate this matter, the book places African Caribbean pupils in the wider context of African, Caribbean and Western cultural identities. Just where do they belong? To address this matter, it calls on the theorising of thinkers with an interest in identity construction, learning and belonging particularly with reference to the Caribbean. The book is organised in three sections, the first presents the rationale for the enquiry; the second outlines the outcome from a small research project with a focus on African Caribbean learners in the art and design classroom, and the third reflects on key issues that emerged from the research in relation to the rationale. The book ends by offering possibilities for developing African Caribbean teaching and learning in art and design.
African Caribbean Pupils in Art Education is very erudite and the centre of a world of reference and allusion - Dash relates its arguments and insights to many different writers and contexts. These will lead readers to many other writers and their arguments in related fields of study personalised research - interviews with teachers and students, adds realism and close-to-the-bone insight to the points Dash makes. These interviews are not 'academised' and made tedious or uninteresting, but real life and real classroom and curriculum issues come out clearly and undisguisedly in the subjects’ words. Many of their points are full of meaning and lucidity and add more power to Dash’s arguments.
Thus the book will be of real value to prospective teachers and teacher educators too, as a tool of learning and a stimulus for discussion. The book goes a long way beyond only being a text for Art Education students. It’s arguments have salience for all Educationalists and trainee teachers, as well as for staffrooms in Britain and North America (Canada and the U. S., for example). It deals with vital questions, both for African-Caribbean students and their white and Asian classmates, canvassing issues of intellectual and cultural confidence for African-Caribbean students and historical and contemporary truth for others.
Chris Searle, Director of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at the University of Manchester.