chapter  9
23 Pages

Social Class and Art Room Curriculum

ByAmy Pfeiler-Wunder

This chapter is a partial account of a larger research undertaking, conducted over sixteen weeks in three elementary schools in a single, Midwestern school district serving the children of its 70,000 permanent residents and 30,000 university students. In this chapter, I draw on data from two of the schools-one serving predominantly children living in families in or near poverty and the second serving children whose families are considered upper middle and upper class by the economic standards of the area. There are other important demographics which play a role in my larger fi ndings, including, for example, the rapidly shifting racial and ethnic composition of the area. In this chapter, however, I focus on two issues related to the socioeconomic status (SES) of students’ families and how that was refl ected in two key ways in the art classrooms I studied.