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Meltdown at Fukushima: Global Catastrophic Events, Visual Literacy, and Art Education.

Meltdown at Fukushima: Global Catastrophic Events, Visual Literacy, and Art Education.
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Author(s): Lynette K. Henderson (California State University – Northridge, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 20
Source title: Convergence of Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Global Civic Engagement
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ryan Shin (University of Arizona, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1665-1.ch005

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Abstract

How do we integrate topics such as a global catastrophic event with visual literacy? With a spotlight on the 2011 tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear reactors on the coast of Japan, this chapter discusses theory and practice for an innovative thematic curriculum unit. This unit integrates formal studio skills with student learning about an international environmental crisis affecting geographical shores and water life. Students studied the environmental effects of radioactive contamination on sea life in the Pacific Ocean, and ongoing problems and concerns for people in Japan, the U.S. and beyond. Following research activities, students focused on studio work to create mixed-media and brilliantly colored ocean creatures, culminating in a group exhibition entitled Radioactive Seafood Market. The exhibition functioned as a powerful visual learning experience about art and global issues, for both students and the viewing public. Student artwork and exhibition examples include elementary and high school students, and pre-service teachers for high school art education and K-5 classrooms.

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