College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

James Bequette

  • Associate Professor

  • Office Hours

    by appointment

James Bequette

Areas of interest

Place-specific culturally relevant arts education taught from a critical perspective, visual and media arts teacher licensure and professional development, the design process and aesthetic problem solving


PhD, Stanford University
art education


My current inquiry in art education centers on Minnesota Native populations and is inspired by 15 years spent teaching in K-12 schools with mostly American Indian students. That practitioner experience along with recent graduate study at Stanford has contributed to my conceptualization of culturally relevant art education theory and practice. My research program at the University of Minnesota is thus multifaceted: I focus on the role art education – when culturally relevant and taught from a critical perspective – can play in improving American Indian school success and White students’ understanding of colonization’s impact on Native material culture. I also study how infusing non-Western cultural knowledge in elementary arts curriculum reinforces mathematics, science, and language arts learning, and state-level education policy relevant to art teacher licensure and academic standards for visual and media arts.

Classes taught

  • CI 8133 Curriculum and Instruction Core: Research Methods in Curriculum and Instruction
  • CI 8132 Curriculum and Instruction Core: Teaching Theory and Research
  • CI 8150 Narrative Research in Education
  • CI 8079 Research in Art Education
  • CI 8075 Seminar in Art Education
  • CI 5078 Application of Aesthetic Theory in Education
  • CI 5075 Social and Historical Foundations of Art Education
  • CI 5065 Improving Art Programs in the Schools
  • CI 5050 Postmodern Visual Culture and Global Education

Journal Articles:

Bequette, J., & Bequette, M. B. (2012). A Place for Art and Design Education in the STEM Conversation. Art Education 65(2), 40-47.

Bequette, J. (2009). Tapping a postcolonial community’s cultural capital: Empowering Native artists to engage more fully with traditional culture and their children’s art education. Visual Arts Research 35(1), 78-92.

Bequette, J., & Brennan, C. (2008). Advancing media arts education in visual arts classrooms: Addressing policy ambiguities and gaps in art teacher preparation. Studies in Art Education 49(4), 328-342.

Bequette, J. (2007). Traditional arts knowledge, traditional ecological lore: the intersection of art education and environmental education. Studies in Art Education 48(4), 360-374.

Bequette, J. (2005). Renegotiating boundaries between authenticity and relevance when choosing content for an American Indian multicultural arts program. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education, 23(1), 64-74.

Refereed Book Chapters:

Bequette, J., & Petkau, J. (In Press). Making visible race, power, and injustice in the museum and middle school art room: Collaborative research to understand cultural issues surrounding Mimbres pottery. In M. Buffington, & S. McKay (Eds.) Practice theory: Seeing the power of teacher researchers. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association (NAEA).

Bequette, J., & Ness, J. (In Press). Integrated culture-based arts education across subject area boundaries. In A. Cohan, & A. Honigsfeld (Eds.), Breaking the mold of education for culturally and linguistically diverse students: Innovative and successful practices for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Bequette, J., & Hrenko, K. (2011). Culture-based art education. In J. Reyhner, W. S. Gilbert, & L. Lockard (Eds.), Honoring our heritage: Culturally appropriate approaches for teaching Indigenous students (pp. 97-113). Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University Press.

Bequette, J., & Petkau, J. (2011). Moving from mimetic studio practice to student critical response. In P. Boland, & D. Blandy (Eds.) Matter matters: Art education and material culture studies (pp. 102-107). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association (NAEA).