A rhizome is a botanical concept that addresses the connection between organisms that exist underground. Rhizomes represent horizontal growth and connection, in opposition to the hierarchical model that favours Western ideals. Juliet Hess reconceptualizes social justice arts education to suggest a rhizomatic approach, removing the Western classical as normative and addressing the strengths all cultures play in the arts on a global scale (Hess, 2015, p. 342). The arts learning in this manual takes an integrated approach to learning, and is intended for use as such. Similar to the image to the left, each medium of arts learning is connected to one another, as are the cultures, ideas, experiences, and viewpoints taught within.
"Employing a rhizomatic approach allows us
to think relationally instead of in a binary manner and also allows the potential movement away from the automatic reinscription of Western...as normative" (Hess, 2015, p. 342).
Hess, J. (2015). Decolonizing music education: Moving beyond tokenism. International Journal of Music Education, 33(3), 336-347.