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Visual and Plastic Arts in Teaching Literacy: Null Curricula?

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Visual and plastic arts in contemporary literacy instruction equal null curricula. Studies show that painting and sculpture facilitate teaching reading and writing (literacy), yet such pedagogy has not been formally adopted into USA curriculum. An example of null curriculum can be found in late 19th - early 20th century education the USA government provided for indigenous Navajo Dine people. Weaving, metalwork and associated design skills, as well as language arts, were ignored when educational experts advised teaching them. Contemporary studies as well as these historical events provide teachers with methods and content using visual and plastic arts to teach literacy. Appendixes include: a selection from an 1890 report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs; six photographs; 1928 findings of the Meriam Report, Eastern Association of Indian Affairs, Inc. "Bulletin" 17; 1946 US Senate sub-committee on Indian Affairs hearing, "Navajo Indian Education"; and "A booklet of Catholic prayers: Navajo-English, Circa 1910."

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Author:Wakeland, Robin Gay
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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