International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 9 Number 7

June 10, 2008

Sites of Contention and Critical Thinking in the Elementary Art Classroom: A Political Cartooning Project

James Haywood Rolling, Jr.
Syracuse University, USA
Citation: Rolling, J. H. (2008). Sites of contention and critical thinking in the elementary art classroom: A political cartooning project. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 9(7). Retrieved [date] from
In this paper, the author explores the concept of childhood as a social category that impedes the perception of youngsters as critical thinkers in a visual culture. The author interrogates regularities within contemporary public schooling that work to represent the intellectual and cultural development of youngsters as the project of adult industry. Contrary to this representation, the author recounts the critical awareness and personal agency exercised by a group of 4th graders who engaged in a political cartooning exercise while examining the theme of social justice. The article includes an examination of the social construction of the concept of childhood as it intersects the discourse of Western socio-cultural superiority and the opening of sites of contention as a pedagogical strategy.

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