SFMOMA and EED 737 – a Learning Partnership

Author: Admin
April 28, 2023

Elementary school classrooms are ideal places to connect art and socially responsive pedagogy where children are provided opportunities to critically reflect upon history and see themselves capable of making their society more just and democratic.  This semester, Ali Borjian’s Social Studies Methods class [EED 737: Social Studies, Social Justice, and Literacy] has been exploring ways to widen social justice education and to bring community art into elementary schools. Through a partnership with SFMOMA, Ali Borjian and his colleague Jacqueline Ruben developed a project whereby credential students would visit SFMOMA, learn about art principles, create lesson plans and teaching tools related to history and social justice, then return to the museum to share those with museum educators Julie Charles and Maya Manvi. 

Ali Borjian noted: “The partnership between SFMOMA and San Francisco State supports teachers’ efforts in bringing students’ interests, voices, and lives into the curriculum in order to make learning more relevant and meaningful to children. In this process, art education becomes more grounded in socially active learning where students learn about historical, social, and economic issues and learn to actively develop practices that help them to critically reflect upon their experiences and the struggles of their communities in seeking a more just society for everyone.”  

Similarly, one credential student wrote, “The class at SFMOMA was great! I really enjoyed all the visual thinking routines that the staff shared with us. In particular, we got a chance to practice a visual thinking routine, called QUEST, with Diego Rivera's Pan American Unity mural which made our discussion so rich. I know I'll be using some of these routines in my classroom.”