Counter Narratives in Interdisciplinary Arts Programs: Addressing Social Needs for Acceptance, Recognition, and Identity in Creative Processes

By Kenneth R. Austin.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses a study which reveals a dichotomy of issues, as well as the counter narratives of empowerment and dependency; freedom and restrictions; creativity and learned helplessness; and, faith and distrust in the field of interdisciplinary arts/multi-media arts. The study discloses a distinct pedagogical failure which poignantly brought about a catalyst for self-discovery, self-awareness, autonomy, self-efficacy, and an understanding of truth-seeking and truth-telling for emerging and aspiring students enrolled in an interdisciplinary arts program. In so doing, the students’ self-assured and individual stories carried a not so subtle ‘deal-with-it’ message that challenged the often unspoken and forbidden question of just how much reality (or not) is allowed in a classroom. The study asks how an authentic interdisciplinary arts program make allowances for work depicting original ideas of the student’s choosing (offensive or not, disturbing or not, alarming or not) but is also free from biases, distrust, instructional hegemony, and repressive tendencies. What is the social science for one’s need of acceptance, identity, and recognition from others in a classroom atmosphere designed to not only reveal autonomy, but collaboration and shared decision making? And, how are non-cognitive skills such as empathy and diligence being addressed in interdisciplinary programs?

Keywords: Self-efficacy, Creative Processes, Social Needs

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 11, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 916.610KB).

Dr. Kenneth R. Austin

Associate Professor, Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, USA