logo logo International Journal of Educational Methodology

IJEM is a leading, peer-reviewed, open access, research journal that provides an online forum for studies in education, by and for scholars and practitioners, worldwide.

Subscribe to

Receive Email Alerts

for special events, calls for papers, and professional development opportunities.


Publisher (HQ)

Eurasian Society of Educational Research
College House, 2nd Floor 17 King Edwards Road, Ruislip, London, UK. HA4 7AE
College House, 2nd Floor 17 King Edwards Road, Ruislip, London, UK. HA4 7AE
art education pre service visual arts teachers social justice visual phenomenology

Social Justice Perception of Pre-Service Visual Arts Teachers: Visual Inquiries

Ebru Güler

This study seeks to reveal the perceptions of pre-service visual arts teachers on social justice through art-based practices focused on social justice.


This study seeks to reveal the perceptions of pre-service visual arts teachers on social justice through art-based practices focused on social justice. Designing on visual phenomenology, this study was performed in the fall semester of the 2018-2019 academic year. Five different activities involving visual inquiries are presented to reveal the perceptions of the pre-service teachers on social justice. The research participants are 35 (13 male, 22 female) sophomore-level pre-service teachers. The data are obtained through course documents, reflective diaries and semi-structured interviews. The data are then analysed through content analysis; reliability and validity are ensured through triangulation. This study identifies four different themes: association, questioning, transformation and reflection. The findings show that the pre-service teachers questioned common issues related to social justice. It was observed in the activities performed in this study that the pre-service teachers identified the visual themes. They mentioned common social justice issues based on the things they experienced and their observations. These are such as women's rights, violence against women, children's rights, LGBT, animal rights, language and religion differences, income imbalance, racism, and discrimination. The issues they questioned were the direct expression of the individual experiences of the pre-service teachers through visuals.

Keywords: Art education, pre-service visual arts teachers, social justice, visual phenomenology.

cloud_download PDF
Article Metrics



Alazmi, F. (2017). Art education as a means of promoting democracy: Preparing pre-service art teachers for social justice education (Publication No. 10601197) [Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Florida State University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global.

Albertazzi, L. (2013). (Ed.) Handbook of experimental phenomenology: Visual perception of shape, space and appearance. Wiley-Blackwell.

Alexander, A. S., & Murphy, E. R. (2020). It started with this project: A mixed methods examination of a service learning project for preservice art educators. Studies in Art Education, 61(4), 312-329. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2020.1820833 

Anderson, T. (2010). An introduction to art education for social justice. In T. Anderson, D. Gussak, K. K. Hallmark, & A. Paul (Eds.), Art education for social justice (pp. 2-13). National Art Education Association.

Bastos, F., & Zimmerman, E. (2017). Creativity in art education: Intersecting with design, visual culture, and social justice. Gearte Journal/ Revista Gearte, 4(3), 384-401. https://doi.org/10.22456/2357-9854.75178

Bedir Erişti, S. D. (Ed.). (2016). Görsel araştırma yöntemleri teori, uygulama ve örnek [Visual research methods theory, practice and example]. Pegem Akademi.

Belliveau, G. (2006). Engaging in drama: Using arts-based research to explore a social justice project in teacher education. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 7(5), 1-16.

Berghoff, B., Borgmann, C., & Parr, C. (2005). Arts together: Steps toward transformative teacher education. National Art Education.

Beyerbach, B. (2017). Social justice education through the arts. In B. Beyerbach, D. Deborah & T. Ramalho (Eds.), Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts (pp. 1-16). Peter Lang Us.

Beyerbach, B., Deborah, D., & Ramalho, T. (Eds). (2017). Activist art in social justice pedagogy: Engaging students in glocal issues through the arts. Peter Lang Publishing.

Blandy, D., & Bolin, P. E. (2012). Looking at, engaging more: Approaches for investigating material culture. Art Education, 65(4), 40–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2012.11519183

Blandy, D., & Bolin, P. E. (2018). Learning things: Material culture in art education. Teachers College Press.

Bradshaw, R. D. (2019, October 1-4). Pre-service teachers and middle school students: A collaboration for social justice art education [Paper presentation]. The Social Practice of Human Rights Conference, University of Dayton, OH, USA.

Broome, J., Pereira, A., & Anderson, T. (2018). Critical thinking: art criticism as a tool for analysing and evaluating art, instructional practice and social justice issues. The International Journal of Art & Design Education, 37(2), 265-276. https://doi.org/10.1111/jade.12111

Brown, K. M. (2005). Social justice education for preservice leaders: Evaluating transformative learning strategies. Equity & Excellence in Education, 38(2), 155-167. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665680590935133

Bullough, R. V. Jr. (2019). Empathy, teaching dispositions, social justice and teacher education, Teachers and Teaching, 25(5), 507-522. https://doi.org/10.1080/13540602.2019.1602518

Cho, H. (2017). Navigating the meanings of social justice, teaching for social justice, and multicultural education. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 19(2),1-19. https://doi.org/10.18251/ijme.v19i2.1307

Çığır, E. (2016). Görsel sanatlar öğretimine yönelik sosyal ağ odaklı görsel kültür uygulamalarının incelenmesi [The investigation of visual culture practices focused on social network on visual art teaching] [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Anadolu University.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Pearson Education Inc.

Darts, D. G. (2004). Visual culture jam: art, pedagogy and creative resistance [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The University of British Columbia.

Desai, D. (2003). Multicultural art education and the heterosexual imagination: A question of culture. Studies in Art Education, 44(2), 147-161. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2003.11651735

Desai, D. (2005). Places to go: Challenges to multicultural art education in a global economy. Studies in Art Education, 46(4), 293-308. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2005.11651792

Desai, D. (2017). Artistic activism in dangerous times: Teaching and learning against the grain. Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art, 6(2), 135–144. https://doi.org/10.1386/vi.6.2.135_2

Desai, D. (2020). Educating for social change through art: A personal reckoning, Studies in Art Education, 61(1), 10-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2019.1699366

Dewhurst, M. (2010). An inevitable question: Exploring the defining features of social justice art education. Art Education, 63(5), 6–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2010.11519082

Dewhurst, M. (2014). Social justice art: A framework for activist art pedagogy. Harvard University Press.

Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency. (2020, March 7). Public service advertisements [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRvjNVkptEw

Duncum, P. (2010). Seven principles for visual culture education. Art Education, 63(1), 6–10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2010.11519047

Emotion Turkey. (2020, March 7). Emotion Turkey ads [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iluylTYTBXY

Ersoy, A., & Avcı, E. (2016). Eylem araştırması [Action research]. In S. D. Bedir Erişti (Eds.), Görsel araştırma yöntemleri teori, uygulama ve örnek içinde [Visual research methods in theory, practice and example] (pp. 110-146). Pegem Akademi.

Freedman, K. (1994). About the issue: The social reconstruction of art education. Studies in Art Education, 35(3), 157-170. https://doi.org/10.2307/1320214

Freedman, K. (2003). Teaching visual culture: Curriculum, aesthetics and the social life of art. Teachers College Press.

Garber, E. (2004). Social justice and art education. Visual Arts Research, 30(2), 4-22.

Garber, E., & Costantino, T. (2007). Social issues in art and visual/material culture education. In L. Bresler (Eds.), International handbook of research in arts education (pp. 1055-1080). Springer.

Giroux, H. A. (1991). Postmodernism as border pedagogy: Redefining the boundaries of race and ethnicity. In H. A. Giroux (Eds.), Postmodernism, feminism, and cultural politics: Redrawing educational boundaries (pp. 217-256). SUNY Press

Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts, and social change. Jossey-Bass.

Güler, E. (2020). Visual culture-based workshop: visual diaries. Bartın University Journal of Faculty of Education, 9(2), 388-406. https://doi.org/10.14686/buefad.624538

Güler, E., & Bedir Erişti, S. D. (2019). Görsel sanatlar öğretiminde sosyal ağ odaklı görsel kültür eğitimi etkinliği: hieronymus bosch’un ‘dünyevi zevkler bahçesi’ eserinin incelenmesi [Social network-based visual culture ınstructional activity in visual arts education: examining hieronymus bosch’s ‘the garden of earthly delights]. Eğitimde nitel araştırmalar Dergisi/ Journal of Qualitative Research in Education, 7(2), 738-767. https://doi.org/10.14689/issn.2148-2624.1.7c.2s.12m

Hanley, M. S. (2013). Culturally relevant arts education for social justice: A way out of no way. Routledge.

Hattier, C. (2017). Art as a tool for communication: The importance of social justice art curriculum [Unpublished master's thesis]. California State University.  

Hicks, L. E. (1994). Social reconstruction and community. Studies in Art Education, 35(3), 149-156. https://doi.org/10.2307/1320216

Hochtritt, L. (2019). Art educators’ thrift shopping practices as social action, Studies in Art Education, 60(4), 303-316. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2019.1665418

Janks, H. (2017). Critical literacy and the social justice project of education. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 16(2), 132-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/ETPC-09-2016-0111

Kraehe, A. M., & Brown, K. D. (2011). Awakening teachers’ capacities for social justice with/in arts-based inquiries. Equity & Excellence in Education, 44(4), 488-511. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2011.610682

Lawton, P. H. (2019). At the crossroads of intersecting ideologies: community-based art education, community engagement, and social practice art. Studies in Art Education, 60(3), 203-218. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2019.1639486

Li, D. (2020). Social-justice art-education from a teacher’s perspective [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Houston.

Lowenstein, K. L. (2009). The work of multicultural teacher education: Reconceptualizing white teacher candidates as learners. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 163–196. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654308326161

Madary, M. (2016). Visual Phenomenology. MIT Press.

Maguire, C., & Lenihan, T. (2014). Social Justice in Art Education: Fostering the Capabilities of Individuals and Enhancing Collective Solidarities. In M. Buffington & S. Wilson McKay (Eds.), Practice theory: Seeing the power of teacher researchers (pp. 39-53). The National Art Education Association.

Martin, F. P., & Freedman, K. (2019). Social justice in art education: an example from Africa’s last colony. In R. Hickman (Eds.), The ınternational encyclopedia of art and design education (pp. 1-12). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Merriam, S. B. (2015). Nitel araştırma: Desen ve uygulama için bir rehber [Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation] (3rd ed., Trans. Ed. S. Turan). Nobel Akademik Yayıncılık.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (2015). Nitel veri analizi [Qualitative data analysis]. (3rd ed., Trans. Ed. S. Akbaba Altun & A. Ersoy). Pegem Akademi.

Neuman, W. L. (2014). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitate approaches (7th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.

Osei-Kofi, N. (2013). The emancipatory potential of arts-based research for social justice. Equity & Excellence in Education, 46(1), 135-149. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2013.750202

Özsoy, V., & Mamur, N. (2019). Görsel sanatlar öğrenme ve öğretim yaklaşımları [Visual arts learning and teaching approaches]. Pegem Akademi.

Ploof, J., & Hochtritt, L. (2018). Practicing social justice art education: Reclaiming our agency through collective curriculum. Art Education, 71(1), 38-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/00043125.2018.1389592

QNB Finansbank. (2020, March 7). QNB Finansbank valentine's day ads [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtynpMp7o7o

Quinn, T. (2006). Out of cite, out of mind: Social justice and art education. The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, 26, 282-301.

Quinn, T. M., Ploof, J., & Hochtritt, L. (2012). Art and social justice education: Culture as commons. Routledge.

Shin, R. (2011). Social justice and informal learning: breaking the social comfort zone and facilitating positive ethnic interaction. Studies in Art Education, 53(1), 71-87. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2011.11518853

Sleeter, C. E. (2001). Preparing teachers for culturally diverse schools: Research and the overwhelming presence of whiteness. Journal of Teacher Education, 52(2), 94–106. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487101052002002

Sosin, A. A., Bekkala, E., & Pepper- Sanello, M. (2010). Visual arts as a lever for social justice education: Labor studies in the high school art. Journal for Learning through the Arts, 6(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.21977/D96110023

Spillane, S. (2019). Review of art as social action: An introduction to the principles and practices of teaching social practice art. Studies in Art Education, 60(3), 252-254. https://doi.org/10.1080/00393541.2019.1640574

Stevens, S. (2015). Arts-based education for social justice [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Swarthmore College.

Stuhr, P. (1995). A social reconstructionist multicultural art curriculum design: Using the Powwow as an example. In R. W. Neperud (Eds.), Context content and community in art education: Beyond postmodernism (pp. 193-221). Teachers College Press.

Stuhr, P. L., Ballengee-Morris, C., & Daniel, V. A. H. (2008). Social justice through curriculum: Investigating issues of diversity. In T. Eça & R. Mason (Eds.), International dialogues about visual culture, education and art (pp. 81-95). Intellect.

Turkcell. (2020, March 7). Turkcell’s village teacher Derya Doğru’s advertisement [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXpRO5vP_UI

Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citizen? The politics of educating for democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237-269. https://doi.org/10.3102/00028312041002237

Yoon, I. (2017). Confronting systems of oppression: Teaching and learning social justice through art with university students [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The University of Arizona.