Arts education and creativity in primary and secondary school

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Arts education and creativity in primary and secondary school

    Arts Education and Creativity

    World Conference on Arts


    “Building Creative Capacities for the 21st


    Lisbon, Portugal, 6-9 March 2006

    Working Document


    This document has been produced for the World Conference on Arts Education “Building Creative Capacities for the 21st Century” (6-9 March 2006, Lisbon, Portugal).

It is based on conclusions from preparatory work that was carried out in the different geo-

    cultural regions in relation to arts education and creativity.

This document was prepared by of the Division of Arts and Cultural Enterprise of

    UNESCO Sector for Culture.

    Drafting Team, under the direction of Tereza Wagner: An-Heleen De Greef, Penelope Keenan, Lurdes Pereira Layout and Design: Claire Nooij


Cover: Logo of the Conference


    Published in 2006

    By the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Produced by Mundiconvenius

    Lisbon, Portugal


World Conference on Arts Education

    “Building Creative Capacities for the 21st Century”


Introduction 4

I. Regional reports 5

    A. Asia and the Pacific 5

    1. Arts education and creativity in Asia and the Pacific .................................................. 5

    2. Recommendations ................................................................................................... 13

B. Latin America and the Caribbean 16

    1. Arts Education in the Caribbean .............................................................................. 16

    2. Declaration .............................................................................................................. 20

    3. Towards Quality Arts Education: Challenges and Opportunities in Latin America ... 22

    4. Declaration of Bogotá .............................................................................................. 26

C. Europe and North America 29

    1. Synergies between Arts and Education in Europe and North America ...................... 29

    2. Recommendations ................................................................................................... 41

D. Africa ............................................................................................................................. 42

     1. Recommendations ................................................................................................... 42

E. Arab States 43

    1. Recommendations ................................................................................................... 43

II. National Reports 43

    A. Implementing Arts Education Programmes in Africa, the role of museums (Mali) 44

    B. General structure of the Art Education Curriculum in Oman (Fine Arts and Crafts) 46

III. International report 49

    Moving Forward on Arts and Education

    Recommendations for implementation of Arts Education programmes



    The document presents the current status of Arts Education in theory and practice in prospect of different dimensions, with a thematic approach and at geo-cultural level.

    The first part consists of four regional reports, which recapitulate the main outcomes and results of the discussions that were undertaken during a series of Regional Conferences in preparation for the World Conference in Asia/Pacific (November 2005, Seoul), Caribbean (June 2005, St. Augustine), Europe/North America (September 2005, Vilnius), Latin America (November 2005, Bogotá), in addition to conclusive statements of recommendations and declarations.

    The second part of the document elaborates on two national case studies of Mali and Oman, which touches on the subject of Arts Education curriculum development and implementing arts education programmes in partnership with local cultural institutions, such as museums.

    The document concludes with a report based on an international expert meeting in Australia (September 2005, Melbourne), which brings together different actors and specialists in the field of Arts Education in order to present an overview of how to improve the quality of arts education.

    The original versions of the papers and reports, from which the texts of this document were elaborated, can be viewed online at:


    I. Regional reports

     A. Asia and the Pacific

    1 1. 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 2that 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 3studied and developed more thoroughly, particularly in connection to violence, which is one of

    the important global concerns of our contemporary societies.

    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 4diversity 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 5benefits 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


    ; 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


    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

     1 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Preparation for the World Conference on Arts Education, 23 25 November 2005, Seoul, Korea. Original version in English 2 Samuel Lee, Secretary-General, Korean National Commission for UNESCO 3 Mi-kyung Lee, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Culture and Tourism Committee of the Korean National Assembly 4 Dongchae Chung, Minister for Culture and Tourism, Republic of Korea 5 Sheldon Shaeffer, Director, UNESCO Office in Bangkok


    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 6goal 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. 7The 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 8through 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 9. 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 10curriculum 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

     st6 Shaeffer, S. Educating for Creativity:An Agenda for the 21 Century. UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional

    Conference in Preparation for the World Conference on Arts Education 23 25 November 2005, Seoul,

    Republic of Korea. 7 Hyeon-seon Jeong, Gyeongin National University of Education, Republic of Korea 8 Sally Basser, General Manager, Indigenous Arts and Training, Department of Communications, Information and Technology and the Arts, Australia 9 Tarzan Rai, Designer, Curriculum Development Centre, Nepal 10 Helen Cooper, Senior Arts Advisor, Ministry of Education New Zealand


    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 11mainstreamed 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 12living 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 13behind.

    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. 145. The encouragement of teachers to upgrade their skills.

c. Advocacy and Evidence of the impact of Arts Education

Need for Imagination and Creativity

    Imagination and creativity need to be relocated to the core of the social agenda. Member States are increasingly being confronted with various global concerns that highlight the necessity of the arts in influencing the direction of current issues. Max Wyman described some of the evident and less evident benefits that the arts perpetuate, and contended for the re-introduction of creative activity at all stages of learning:

     15“Pyramid of influence” for arts-education advocacy:

    ; To policy-makers and politicians: emphasize what imagination-based education can do

    for a society, and what it can do to contribute to building a better world for all

     11 Cecile Guidote Alvarez, Executive Director, National Commission for Culture and the Arts Philippines 12 Nipon Dechachart, Instructor, Bunditpatanasilpa Institute and Arts Expert, Ministry of Culture, Thailand 13 Timothy Omani, Principal Curriculum Officer, Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, Solomon Islands 14 Erick Natuoivi, Vanuatu Institute of Teacher Education, Vanuatu 15 Max Wyman, President, Canadian National Commission for UNESCO


    ; To teachers and teacher trainers: emphasize what arts education can do to help them

    nurture intellectual, imaginative and spiritual growth in the individual

    ; To the arts community: find new ways to reach out to present and future audiences.

    ; To parents and general population: emphasize what arts education can do for human

    development and to instil essential human values.

Can we talk about Arts Education in general?

    In some “less developed” countries, there is the perceived need to develop arts education according to the model presented by “developed” countries. However, in the “developed” countries the arts are absent from everyday life and are the preserve of the elite. It is critical to pull art and arts education out of the limiting boxes that they have been placed in, and to bring back into focus the uses and purposes of art in traditional Asian societies and the many human needs that the arts help to meet. 16There are four key areas of learning through the arts that must be advocated.

    1. Creative, perceptual and cognitive skills

    ; Heightened concentration, special skills, hand-brain capabilities.

    2. Aesthetic skills and ideas of Asian art practices

    ; Asia previously had what we are now trying to retrieve: arts that were transformational and


    ; The arts were totally integrated with living.

    ; Don‟t look back to traditional art forms per se, but rather look back into Asian cultures for

    the purpose and aesthetic values of the arts to find the answers.

    3. Communication and sharing skills

    ; Arts education must shift from learning how to make art to learning through art.

    ; Compulsory art classes loaded with information and techniques must be changed.

    4. An understanding of our culture and values.

    These are some of the many challenges and issues that arts education will have to face and improve.

Quality Education and Arts Education

    Are we successful in educating young people to develop the knowledge, skills and qualities necessary to meet the demands of today‟s world? How effective have the current school curricula been? Are they valuable today and will they be relevant tomorrow? Are there better and more efficient ways for us to deal with pressing education and societal goals? The answers to those questions point to a great need to comprehensively restructure current 17school curricula and teaching practices.

Quality arts education, which promotes emotional development, as well as cognitive achievement, 18is a key factor to achieve quality education. 19The definition of quality in arts-education teaching by applying five of Cecilia Braslawski‟s

    ten principles of quality education to arts education can be approached through the following


    1. Relevance of the teaching content in relation to the social and cultural environment of the

    child. The concept deals with inner-contentment, well-being, independent thinking and

     16 Shakti Maira, Artist, India 17 Kyung-he Sung, Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, Republic of Korea 18 Tereza Wagner, Senior Programmeme Specialist, Division of Arts and Cultural Enterprises, UNESCO, Paris 19 Former Director of the International Bureau of Education, UNESCO, Geneva


    other feelings which create enjoyable or satisfying learning conditions. Practices should

    have universal scope but be locally relevant. In addition, they should be both active and

    reflective and also practical and theoretical.

    2. Teamwork has many benefits and is per se part and parcel of arts education. An

    interdisciplinary approach to knowledge is another important pedagogical method for

    improving quality education.

    3. Partnerships between schools, families, cultural and artistic institutions and the community.

    The contributions of external cultural organizations and institutes bring new value,

    guidance and pedagogical support to tuition, and encourage teachers to showcase

    students‟ work, thus also convincing parents of the benefits of arts education. Artists and

    recognized creative agents should also be included in the teaching process.

    4. Planned curricula for each grade level provide guidance and structure for the teaching of

    arts practices on each grade level. Project-based work should be encouraged, and time

    structured to allow for formal teaching and practice.

    5. Pluralism and the quality of teaching methods: the divide between practitioners and

    theoreticians has become a huge problem for arts education. Teachers should be allowed

    more freedom to investigate new methods of teaching and, if they wish, contribute to

    research in this field.

    Case studies and research are beginning to show that the arts make a valuable contribution to the total education of children especially in relation to academic performance, attitudes to school, and 20perceptions of learning. According to research on the impact of arts within education, the

    benefits of arts education fall into three main areas; the child, the teaching and learning environment, and the community.

Characteristics of good arts programmes:

    ; active partnerships with creative people and organizations

    ; accessible to all children

    ; ongoing professional development

    ; flexible organizational structures

    ; shared responsibility for planning and implementation

    ; permeable boundaries between the school, organization and the community

    ; detailed assessment and evaluation strategies

    It is most important to point out that arts education can be a meaningful tool for promoting emotionally well balanced young people, and may have therapeutic effects on children with special needs, only when quality is met.

d. Case studies

     21Policy Inter-ministerial Partnership: Arts Education in the Republic of Korea

    Since an Arts Education Policy was launched in 2003, major results have been achieved through cooperation between the two ministries of culture and education. The policy operates within a framework of five central objectives:

Establishment of policy directions and the expansion of consensus

    ; Research projects

    ; Weekly Arts Education Policy Forums online and off-line

    ; Arts education TV programmes, e.g. Visits to the World’s Arts Education Sites

    ; Internet hub site for arts education

     20 Anne Bamford, Director of the Engine Room, Wimbledon School of Arts, London, UK 21 Hoseong Yong, Director of the Culture & Arts Education Division, Arts Bureau, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Korea


    ; Monthly webzine and weekly newsletter

    ; Arts Education case-study book

    ; Official White Paper

Vitalization of arts education in schools

    ; Cooperation between ministries of culture, education and local government

    ; Classroom lectures, extracurricular activities, special-skills training

    ; A pool of visiting arts instructors to 32% of primary to senior public schools

    ; Local governments provide matching fund for visiting teacher placements

Vitalization of arts education in social areas

    ; Training programmes at existing cultural facilities

    ; Arts programmes for prisoners and immigrant spouses

Training of arts-education professionals

    ; Mandatory and voluntary training programmes

    ; Self-study groups

    ; Professional training centre to be established 2006

Systems support for arts education

    ; Via the Korea Arts and Culture Education Service (the main Conference organizers) and

    their website

    As of 2006, Korea will begin the systematic implementation of arts education in the curriculum, with legislative support to follow.

     22Partnership: renegotiating parameters

    To make any programme successful, there is a need to employ the working methods of arts education within an Asian concept of integrative and collaborative working styles. An example of this can be seen in the arts-in-heritage education project, Children of the City, in which young

    people aged 10 to 16 explore their cultural and historical identities through the heritage of the inner city.

The major components, which constitute the framework of the Children of the City project,


Recruitment of Participants

    ; Project approval on annual basis (not project-to-project) from the Education Department.

    ; Contact school principals with letters and project brochures.

    ; Approach principals and students with “school briefings”.

    ; Creativity and persistence when recruiting from schools.

Local Networking

    ; Conducted with the belief that the arts are found in local culture and should not be taken

    out of context.

    ; Stakeholders from different fields of competence and other parts of the community are

    invited to participate.

    ; Reason for local networking has consciously arisen from an Asian context the belief that

    the community should share in the responsibility of delivering the arts.

    ; Each participant has a role that they are comfortable with and their involvement is tailored

    to the needs of the project.

     22 Janet Pillai, Coordinator of the Arts Education Programmeme for Young People, University Sains, Malaysia


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