Shei-Chau Wang, associate professor of art education and student teacher coordinator in the NIU School of Art and Design is concluding the work on his Fulbright Grant in Indonesia. His project, Crossing Borders: Applying Visual and Cultural Inquiry to Art Education Programs in 21st Century Indonesia ran from September 2022 until March 2023.

Shei-Chau Wang

Shei-Chau Wang

His research work for the project was based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and he worked with the art education faculty at Fakultas Bahasa dan Seni at Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta to adopt concepts of visual culture, STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading ((and wRiting)), Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and art-based inquiry in pre-service teacher training curriculum.

Wang is working with art education faculty and graduate students to apply these concepts to develop pedagogical strategies that highlight the values of local wisdom embedded in Javanese cultures. With the teaching materials collected from an in-depth study of selected communities in Yogyakarta, he will help build a visual culture database to teach about local cultures unique to Yogyakarta.

By establishing close connections with local communities, Wang plans to collaborate with art education colleagues at Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta to engage in an oral history project in which selected retired public school art teachers will be interviewed for their pedagogical practices and contributions to enriching children’s aesthetic education with art making.

Other than the practical aspects of education, collected data will be analyzed for their sociocultural meanings and contextualized within the complex political history of Indonesia in the 20th century. Wang will also lead a study group consisting of faculty members and graduate students to help increase the visibility of art education scholarship at the international level.