Concepts of art education curriculum, tendencies and challenges
Discussing the different concepts of teaching Art, one should start from the competences we want to transfer to students. Through different ideas about competences, we can see the wishes of individual countries about what is expected of visual arts education. In this review, we have focused on the thinking of the European countries.
All European countries have some variants of learning art in curricula and outcomes that determine what is meant to be achieved by these subjects. Depending on whether these curricula are structured as an integrated whole or as a set of specific subjects, objectives/outcomes are defined more concretely for visual arts, music, theater, dance, media arts or crafts. Learning objectives differ from country to country: in some cases, they are more globally expressed, and in others, it is more specific. The goals to be achieved or the skills to be mastered are defined for each year of learning or schooling periods.
There are increasing pressures on the art education to fulfill a number of goals, in addition to learning about art. Educational systems increasingly recognize the importance of developing children’s creativity and contributing to cultural education. Almost all European countries have similar goals for the curriculum of teaching Art, among them: the development of artistic skills, knowledge, and understanding, engagement with various art forms; increasing cultural understanding; exchange of experiences. But in addition to these artistic results, the curriculum includes personal and social/cultural outcomes (such as self-confidence and self-esteem, the individuality of expression, teamwork, intercultural understanding and cultural participation). The focus on creativity (often in relation to its importance in innovation) and cultural education (in relation to individual identity and the promotion of intercultural understanding) is present in these goals.
Various studies have recognized the pressure to include in the art curriculum of the 21st century the study of new media (including film, photography and digital arts) and to enable students to use ICT as a part of the creative process. In many, it is also requested for art contents to be connected to other non-artistic subjects and thus deal with creative and cultural themes.
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