Comforting the Disturbed and Disturbing the Comfortable

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  • Title: Comforting the Disturbed and Disturbing the Comfortable: Museum Educators’ Views on Discussing Race in Art Museum Settings
  • Author(s): Hannah Heller
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Inclusive Museum
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
  • Keywords: Museum Education, Anti-Racist Education, Critical Thinking, Pedagogy, Museum Educators
  • Volume: 11
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 1835-2014 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1835-2022 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v11i04/53-62
  • Citation: Heller, Hannah. 2018. "Comforting the Disturbed and Disturbing the Comfortable: Museum Educators’ Views on Discussing Race in Art Museum Settings." The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum 11 (4): 53-62. doi:10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v11i04/53-62.
  • Extent: 10 pages

Abstract

This qualitative study draws on the literature on critical thinking and use of discomfort or struggle as a pedagogical tool to probe the impact and efficacy of discomfort as a tool for learning in museum spaces, specifically in the context of anti-racist education. Museum educators were observed teaching from content that treats race and subsequently interviewed to clarify some of their choices. Data revealed a tension between the educators’ appreciation for critical thinking and struggling with challenging content in theory and implementation of those tools in practice.