Dạy vẽ Tiểu học | Teaching and Learning the Arts

Category: News

 

Arts education and creativity in Asia and the Pacific 

The Asia and Pacific Regional Conference emphasized the importance of arts education as an essential area of quality education for peace and sustainable development. Moreover, it stipulated that quality education could not be accomplished without quality arts education . The effects of arts education towards peaceful coexistence have been demonstrated; however, they need to be studied and developed more thoroughly, particularly in connection to violence , which is one of the important global concerns of our contemporary societies.

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In the Republic of Korea, the Government has recognized the importance of arts education and the consequential need for policy support and implementation. This recognition provided the foundations of an announcement by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MCT) and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MOE) to promote a comprehensive initiative to facilitate arts education. Over the last two years, the Ministries have planned and implemented various policies to promote national arts education across the country. The enactment of The Arts Education Support Law is underway to provide further institutional support. 

 

Two fields within society are positively affected by arts education. Firstly, it creates a demand for professionals in the arts with an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity. Secondly, it supports the programmes and activities that are needed to establish respect for each other’s diversity of historical experience and culture  .

 

a. Arts in the educational development of the child

 

The UNESCO Director-General’s international appeal to promote arts education in formal and non-formal settings stressed the message, “Creativity is our hope”. Within this framework, the need to reform education systems in the region to include the “Arts in Education” approach, its benefits and its relation to the “art for art’s sake” method was extensively discussed .

The key features of the Arts in Education (AiE) approach include:

• AiE uses the arts as a tool for equipping students with knowledge and skills across the curriculum to stimulate cognitive development and to encourage innovative and creative thinking.

• The AiE approach is often explained using the concept of “multiple intelligences”, reflecting the belief that there are many kinds of intelligence and a number of ways of learning.

It is also worth mentioning that many researchers have pointed out that, through engendering a range of cross-cutting skills and abilities in learners and by motivating students to take an active participation in class, arts education is recognized as a means of achieving one of UNESCO’s central educational goals: quality education. It is, therefore, critical that the arts be given a central place in all educational programmes and activities, both formal and informal, with the ultimate goal of mainstreaming arts education worldwide . 

 

b. Current Policy related to Arts Education in the Asia-Pacific Region

 

A survey conducted in the Asia-Pacific Region revealed that arts education is present on the official curriculum of 42% of all countries in the Region. For the majority of countries surveyed, the ministries of culture and education handle arts education in an independent or joint capacity, and the implementation of integrated learning transpires in a variety of pedagogical approaches. The major obstacles to arts education were identified as lack of budget, resources and expertise .

 

In Australia, for instance, education is the joint responsibility of Federal and State Governments. Federal Government directs policy, research and national programmes, whereas State and Territory Governments are responsible for school management, curriculum, accreditation and assessment. Within the framework of strategies such as the National Statement on Education and the Arts, programmes such as the Boys from the Bush have been launched in rural Australia, which have successfully improved the participation and achievement of primary school boys through dance, music and public speaking . However, it was reported that quality in arts education was a vital constituent to better fulfil the objectives of the programmes.

 

Other examples such as Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Bhutan, Malaysia and Maldives, demonstrate an integration of arts education in the primary and secondary school curriculum. In Mongolia and Bangladesh, for instance, some arts education is taught at secondary level, but the teaching methods don’t focus on promoting children’s abilities in creativity and critical thinking. In Cambodia, a three-year plan to integrate arts education into the curricula is currently being developed. 

 

One of the obstacles that arts education faces is that it is often taught theoretically at the primary level, and as elective subjects in secondary schools. Artistic practices are based on children’s artistic expressions, which are the foundations for creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. The challenges for implementing arts education in Asia include a lack of teacher training, resources and a solid government plan. Moreover, “western” models, which are used in most Asian countries, do not take into consideration Asian traditional cultures, which are not separated from everyday life, and are performed with local materials in a more playful atmosphere outside of formal educational settings, so that children can develop their skills of observation, expression and imagination .

It was noted that in some countries, such as New Zealand, unprecedented reforms in arts education over the last five years include the implementation of the Arts in New Zealand curriculum and a national standards-based assessment . As a bi-cultural nation, New Zealand has dual arts curricula, which was implemented in 2003. While the English curriculum follows a standard “western” model, the Maori curriculum encompasses the beliefs, values and customary arts of the indigenous population. The benefits of the new credit-based system of education for arts education includes learning programmes that are designed to meet student needs, where arts subjects are weighted the same as maths or science on the curriculum and where credit is attributed for learning outside the classroom. Parallel to this reform is that teachers are asked to completely review their teaching practice, and that families, whanau, and the community have an involvement in the educational process. This new policy brought about a shift in practice from encouraging educators to look at learner-based outcomes, to recognizing evidence- and collaborative-based practices, therefore establishing the view of the arts as a critical entry point to school life for the family and the community. Other countries in the Region that have Maori populations such as Fiji and the Cook Islands have similar approaches to arts education, however, they are not yet entirely developed. 

 

Some participants remarked on the increase of mobility within the Region, which has contributed to greater migration issues and the marginalization of arts education. Democratization in decentralization may be possible by going into the periphery communities and encouraging cultural expression through the arts. There is a need for subsidised arts training for teachers and greater developments are required in the areas of partnership programmes and media production, such as radio programmes. The links between the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and arts-education projects have to be mainstreamed to help reduce poverty .

 

In a number of countries in the Pacific, such as the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga, the arts are very important because they are skills that people bring back to their villages. The arts are a living tradition through which beliefs about the environment and lifestyle are expressed . To some extent, several governments are recognizing the importance of arts education as a process of addressing the issue of “the dormant giant”; in other words, the national cultures which are left behind .

 

In conclusion, it is important to stress the following common issues in addressing arts education: 

1. The need to promote a bilingual/multilingual education system.

2. The importance of the traditional arts within an integrated learning process, both in formal and informal education. 

3. The great imbalance in the quality of arts education, as it is largely taught outside the curriculum by NGOs. 

4. The acknowledgement of educational reforms currently being undertaken and which strongly emphasize the arts. 

5. The encouragement of teachers to upgrade their skills .

 

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