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Cultural Competencies & the Art and Design Critique

Resources on theory and practice of studio and portfolio critiques.

What do I do in the classroom?

Set up academic grounding on day one. E-mail Micki Harrington for the password to access these resources from Janine de Novais, presented at the September 2017 LUCAD in-service day.  They cover the importance of teaching students how to have respectful, scholarly discourse (including critique), and setting up your classroom as a place where personal feelings are left at the door and people can discuss sensitive topics as scholars.  This conversation needs to happen right away, so that you can refer back throughout the semester ("remember on the first day when we said...").  Encourage students to be brave and ask questions they are too afraid to ask outside of the classroom, and encourage others not to mock or take offense, but rather to take the opportunity to turn it into a teaching moment.

What do I do with my curriculum?

Look at the rubric below, used in the LUCAD curriculum committee, and the original Diane Goodman materials it was adapted from.  Goodman explains the rubric/flowchart in her article Cultural Competency for Social Justice: A Framework for Student, Staff, Faculty, and Organizational Development.

Further reading, suggested by LUCAD faculty:


If you struggle to identify the role privilege plays in your life, or how it applies to artists, consider reading some of these books:

Will these conversations make students uncomfortable?

It's important to create a safe, supportive environment for your students, but in a way that teaches them how to have scholarly discourse rather than by suppressing their voice. Faculty also need tools to support their own academic freedom.  Other people in higher ed. struggle to find the right balance as well, as you can see in this Issues & Controversies page about Pros and Cons of political correctness/free speech in schools

Here are some recent articles on the topic, written by/for faculty:

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