Race, Whiteness, and the National Curriculum in Art: Deconstructing Racialized Pedagogic Legacies in Postcolonial England

  • Fiona O’Rourke


This chapter employs Critical Race Theory to analyze how Whiteness—a political and ideological system of power that maintains “White” racial hegemony, covertly reproduces itself in educational institutions in postcolonial England through a National Curriculum in Art. By revealing how these processes of racialization work, this analysis intends to indicate how they can be strategically deconstructed to make this art curriculum racially equitable. Empirical data is drawn from pedagogic texts, including state curriculum policies and examination syllabi. Key findings indicate that Whiteness is a “silent” presence in these pedagogic texts, which is not explicitly named but lies deeply entrenched in its Eurocentric knowledges, discourses and visibilities. These findings have implications for English state policymakers who have a moral and legal responsibility to dismantle these racialized pedagogic legacies and provide children and young people with a curriculum that promotes racial equality.


Critical Race Theory Whiteness Racialization Curriculum 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona O’Rourke
    • 1
  1. 1.Goldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

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