The following two arts-based activities were a final outcome of a 3-hour PhD course EDUC 710: Educational Studies in Context (aka Cultural Contexts of Education) at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education. Students began by assessing the various categories of Bloom’s taxonomy, creating definitions, and physically rearranging themselves within the room based upon the ideal order of higher thinking skills. Then they applied the taxonomy to the readings for the day (Bourdieu – 2-bourdieu-1986-copy) and Dilworth & Brown 2-dilworth-brown-2001-copy).

From the readings and taxonomy, the main topics were extracting including concepts of cultural and social capital, access to education, bias in education. These topics were then the focus for the final activity.

Provided with art supplies and examples of games and children’s books, each group was to develop a game or children’s book to address a selection of the key topics brought forth from the readings and discussion as a final stage of Bloom’s taxonomy, application.

The two groups developed the following to address what is the purpose of education? who is education for? and ways in which to deconstruct stereotypes of gender, race, class, and socioeconomic status.

  1. A children’s book developed within a doctoral level course on cultural contexts of education. The book addresses an overarching question of Who owns knowledge? and seeks to provide inspiration.
  2. A trilingual (Kazakh, Russian, English) game of drawing connections and breaking down stereotypes.