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Productive Ambiguity: Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding through Art

Productive Ambiguity: Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding through Art
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Author(s): Rebecca L. Shipe (Rhode Island College, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 17
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.ch004

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Abstract

This chapter presents how a concept termed “productive ambiguity,” or the ability to transform encounters with difference into opportunities for personal growth, relates to nurturing cross-cultural understanding through experiences with art. While reporting on relevant components of her recent dissertation research, the author describes how a small group of fifth graders examined the concept of productive ambiguity while engaging in relational aesthetic experiences and responding to themes through both pictures and words. Research findings reveal specific facilitation strategies that promoted self-reflection and human connection through creating, viewing and dialoguing about visual art. While comparing study findings with additional literature presented in this chapter, the reader is encouraged to critically consider the positive outcomes gained from these interactions, potential facilitation challenges, and other implications for the field of art and visual culture education.

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