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30 June 2019

Special Issue

The Future of Art Curriculum

Nearly a half century ago, educational philosopher Elliot Eisner charged that art educators were generally too fixated on art of the past (Eisner, 1972). Since then, many art education practitioners and thought leaders have focused on “the now” by producing art curriculum based on contemporary art practices, present-day social issues, and new technologies and visualities. If the past and the present are useful frames for developing art curriculum, then what happens when we focus on “the next”? How might we think about art curriculum of the future?

Today’s forecasters paint a future in which the world is dramatically different from what we have known throughout human history. Looking ahead, we are told we can expect advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and the global flow of information, images, and culture. Accelerating climate changes are on the horizon, as well as the large-scale displacement of human populations as a consequence. Moreover, increasing wealth gaps within and between nations show no sign of waning. What does art curriculum look like when it is oriented toward this or any other imagined future? How do conceptions of the future inform what is taught and experienced in art classrooms or during art museum tours? What conversations, pedagogies, instructional resources, assessments, and research agendas are created when art curriculum is approached through a futuristic framework? And what are the qualities of such a framework?

This special issue of Art Education seeks submissions that explore, sketch, or test out art curriculum of the future. Sometimes playful and other times serious, curriculum futurities involve thinking critically and creatively about “possible, probable, and preferable futures” (Bell, 2017, p. xxx). Art curriculum futurities can draw inspiration from what came before to innovate and renovate curriculum frameworks for subsequent generations, looking back on the past, reflecting on the present, but also continuing forward.

Authors may wish to respond to one of the questions previously listed or to one of the topics listed below:

  • Reimagining the future through art
  • Futuristic literacies and artistic habits of mind
  • From “best practices” to “next practices”
  • Futuristic aesthetics and philosophies for art curriculum
  • Identity development for diverse artistic futures
  • Reshaping curriculum futures in art museum education
  • Making spaces and technologies for art curriculum of the future
  • Futures-oriented collaborations and partnerships for art education
  • Curriculum futures for STEAM education
  • The sustainable and the unsustainable in art education
  • Design(ing) curriculum and design(ing) thinking in an uncertain world
  • The future of art educator professional development
  • Art curriculum for a just and equitable future

Submission Guidelines

Amelia M. Kraehe, Ph.D., Senior Editor of Art Education, the official journal of the National Art Education Association, invites manuscripts that address the theme, The Future of Art Curriculum.

All submissions for this special issue should follow the established submission guidelines for the journal. Send questions to: arteducationjournal@gmail.com.


Bell, W. (2017). Foundations of futures studies: Volume 1: History, purposes, and knowledge. New York, NY: Routledge.

Eisner, E. W. (1972). Educating artistic vision. New York, NY: Macmillan.



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