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This unit is designed to make older middle school students look at and reflect upon art and film and to create art work with a deepening awareness of identity and an understanding of stereotype Examining stereotype in contemporary life in personal experience as a tool used by artists to heighten understanding and the uses and absence of stereotype in depiction of characters in cinema are key components of this series of lessons In addition to looking at and being critical students are asked to create art work which expresses and elaborates upon these ideas Through analysis of image and stereotype students will consider and evolve a more complex perception of personal identity At the core of the curriculum and educational mission of the Visual Art Department at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School are certain ubiquitous goals which drive all aspects of the program Among these goals is to imbue units and individual lessons with subject-matter which causes reflection on personal identity and diversity individual differences and similarities The Visual Art curriculum seeks to investigate world cultures throughout the four year program The cultures of the students in attendance at the school are emphasized as well as Native American cultures Comparisons and connections are made Students identify and examine their personal heritage and culture Students look at their differences and similarities Art work is generated from this inquiry In seeking to apply and use cultural diversity and identity in art the problems and challenges of stereotypes emerge The less familiar we are with individuating characteristics of others the more likely we are to treat them in terms of their ascribed group membership or as stereotypes Goldberg 29 This unit seeks to enable students to identify confront analyze and critique racial stereotype to know each other as unique individuals and to further develop their sense of identity Uses of Stereotype in Art and Film Contemporary artists address stereotype and identity in a variety of ways
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