Repositioning Art Education within Educational Equity in K-12 Urban Schools: A Partnership between Philadelphia Public Schools and the Barnes Foundation

  • Carolyn L. BerenatoEmail author
Part of the Education, Equity, Economy book series (EEEC, volume 7)


This chapter repositions art education within educational equity in K-12 urban schools by exploring how teachers and students experience art. Using John Dewey’s notion of art as experiential learning and the practice of democracy, this study is positioned within critical research aimed at repositioning art as a medium of teaching and learning aimed at educational equity. Participants in this study comprised teachers from 19 schools in the School District of Philadelphia involved in the Art of Looking Program coordinated by the Barnes Foundation. Teacher surveys, interviews, student assignments, observations, and documents from the program provided evidence that an alliance between the School District of Philadelphia and the Foundation’s art program contributed toward addressing the equity gap in art education that is evident in many urban schools. Findings showed that art education provided teachers with teaching tools for developing and enhancing students’ creativity, reflection, and critical thinking across content areas such as math, science, and social studies.


Urban schools Art education Art as experience Educational equity K-12 schools 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationCabrini UniversityRadnorUSA

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