Picturing Care: Guest Post by Wendy Luttrell and Victoria Restler

Picturing Care: Reframing Gender, Race and Educational Justice

Wendy Luttrell, Graduate Center City University of New York

Victoria Restler, Rhode Island College

Everyone knows that schools cannot function and children cannot learn without care.  And yet, this topic is marginalized, if not absent from debates about how contemporary educational policies fuel racial and economic inequality.  Public discussions and debates about why schools are “failing” do not explicitly address all the care dimensions of life that support young people’s growth, well being and schooling.  The intensification of neoliberal, market-logic educational policies are squeezing out investments in the care aspects of education so that the work of care is increasingly a private matter rather than a public good.  Still, parents, children and teachers persevere through care, which goes unseen. This Special Issue seeks to re-orient a vision of educational care.

We believe that insights drawn from visual and arts-based methodologies that have burgeoned across several disciplines (including anthropology, education, public health, psychology, and sociology to name a few) will enable such a re-visioning. In the context of high stakes school accountability and an ever-narrowing quantitative angle of vision on teaching and learning, multimodal and arts-based educational scholarship can provide tools for reframing educational discourses about how care works, what it looks like, how it is unequally distributed, what it means to those who do it, and the policies and cultural politics that shape all this.

This special issue explores the intersections of visual and arts based research with scholarship on educational care in/justice that intentionally broadens, if not takes issue with dominant white, Western, feminist frames. We hope that Picturing Care, will both challenge neoliberal frames for viewing and valuing educational practice and also offer new ways to image and imagine school life, work, care and creative resistance.



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