Public Pedagogy and Social Justice in Arts Education

Lisa Hochtritt, Willa Ahlschwede, Bonnie Halsey-Dutton, Laura Mychal Fiesel, Liz Chevalier, Taylor Miller, Chelsea Farrar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this article we explore examples of public pedagogical actions and interventions, reading them through a social justice education framework lens. In our discussion we start with definitions of social justice, public pedagogy and case study methodologies. Then, we look at a variety of international examples to highlight the pervasiveness of public pedagogical opportunities in visual culture that include a festival, an individual, a citywide symposium, an online community, a cultural group and a museum exhibition. They are divided into three categories based on social justice principles suggested by Ayers et al. and later interpreted by Dewhurst: (1) Public pedagogy and social justice is rooted in people's experiences: Fiesta del Señor de Choquekillka: Ollantaytambo, Peru and Janet Weight Reed – an artist's public pedagogy utilising social media; (2) Public pedagogy and social justice is a process of reflection and action together: Ideas City Festival and the Vlogbrothers; (3) Public pedagogy and social justice seeks to dismantle systems of inequality to create a more humane society: CULTURUNNERS and sh[OUT]: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex art and culture. It is our hope that in looking more closely at these international examples of public pedagogy and social justice education that the power of such alternative sites of learning is apparent and encourages further interventions and investigations in such spaces of inquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Art and Design Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018


  • alternative sites of learning
  • art and design education
  • public pedagogy
  • social justice
  • socially engaged art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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