International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 10 Number 5

February 1, 2009

From Bricks and Mortar to the Public Sphere in Cyberspace:
Creating a Culture of Caring on the Digital Global Commons

Elizabeth M. Delacruz
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Citation: Delacruz, E.M. (2009). From bricks to mortar to the public sphere in cyberspace: Creating a culture of caring on the digital global commons. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 10(5). Retrieved [date] from
This paper is intended as a broad, conceptual and theoretical treatise on the aims of teaching art in the age of global digital media. To contextualize a set of general recommendations for art education technology pedagogy, I first provide an overview of the meteoric rise of on-line social networks, and consider questions about the nature and status of these networks as virtual communities, looking at both recent studies of Internet users and at contemporary discussions about what actually constitutes a community. Ideas about community are then connected to a discussion of the public sphere, the commons, and participatory democracy as each of these lead to calls for global civil society in cyberspace. Drawing from this thinking, recommendations for art education technology pedagogy are offered, focusing on approaches that give prominence to making time for inquiry and discourse with students about things that matter, the development of a culture of caring in the art classroom, and public engagement. A recommendation for a partnership model between university and K-12 art educators concludes the paper.

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