“Peace to kids and listen to them!” a case study in a summer art program for teens
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This case study investigates how teens in a low-income community center summer art program expressed their perspectives on their identities and their communities. Constructivist and advocacy paradigms guided the research methodology. The summer art program utilized an emergent asset-based curriculum grounded in social justice art education. Through the mediums of spray-paint stenciling and zine making, students addressed how to improve their communities. Through their stencil designs, the teens tackled complex topics such as immigration and bullying. They then synthesized their ideas of how to create positive community change. Within the summer art program, students expressed their perspectives across fifteen main themes including: immigration, bullying, voice, youth identity, soccer, geographic place, ethnicity, family, friends, the apartments, extracurricular activities, school, respect, perception of self, and economic status. The findings of this study demonstrate and support the integration of youth voice and choice in art education.