Penn State School of Visual Arts Professor Karen Keifer-Boyd has co-authored Including Difference: A Communitarian Approach to Art Education in the Least Restrictive Environment with Michelle Kraft. Published by the National Art Education Association, Including Difference combines concepts related to analysis of the current special education law and case law, issues related to pre-service teacher education, and strategies to address the varied needs of a broad spectrum of learners within the art class setting. This book contributes to the small but growing body of literature on current special education law and inclusion practices in the art class environment at a time when teacher certification programs are reexamining curriculum for integrated and stand-alone courses that meet increasing state expectations for addressing educational diversity.
“Including Difference is dedicated to art educators who endeavor to create participatory, inclusive classroom communities for learners of all abilities,” said Keifer-Boyd. “Michelle and I express our appreciation to the participants of Human Empowerment through the ARTS (HEARTS)—to both the pre-service educators who enrolled in the course to which HEARTS was attached, and to the students in the HEARTS program. It was the collective of those individuals’ open minds, their genuine concern for one another, and their heartfelt desire to engage one another that enabled us all to create the fully participatory least restrictive learning community that we feel is embodied in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Without their willingness to contribute, the HEARTS program and this book could not have happened. “
Karen Keifer-Boyd, Ph.D., is a professor of art education and women’s studies at Penn State. Her articles on feminist pedagogy, Judy Chicago’s content-based art pedagogy, visual culture, intertextuality, cyberNet activism art pedagogy, arts-based and action research, transcultural dialogues, CyberHouse, and identity speculative fiction are in more than forty-five peer-reviewed research publications, and translated into several languages.