Social Studies Education and Public Art: The Detroit Billboard Project

Julie Anne Taylor, Okezie Iroha


Based on action research, this study examines the effects of community-oriented arts integration in the social studies. In Detroit, high school students engaged in persuasive writing and design while exploring community issues. The project culminated in the installation of student artwork on a billboard in the city's cultural center. The findings suggest that creative projects with real-world applications are motivational, and they promote civic education. The majority of the students reported that their awareness of community issues had increased. This study has implications for the implementation of projects for democratic education and service learning, arts integration in the social studies, and the use of authentic assessments in contextual, culturally responsive teaching.


arts integration; civic education; service learning

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