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Road Map for Arts Education

June 27, 200727 June 2007

Arts Education

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This UNESCO report provides strategies for effective arts education and recommendations for improving arts education. In addition, the report summarizes the aims of arts education as well as important arts education concepts and research needs. The Road Map report is intended as a template and set of guidelines that can be adapted to meet local needs in countries around the world.

For education to be of high quality, the report argues that arts education is necessary to promote “the insights and perspectives, the creativity and initiative, and the critical reflection and occupational capacities which are so necessary for life in the new century”. The report indicates that arts education can enhance four key factors required for high-quality education:

  • active learning;
  • “a locally-relevant curriculum that captures the interest and enthusiasm of learners”;
  • “respect for, and engagement with, local communities and cultures”; and
  • well-trained and motivated teachers.

The report’s two main strategies for achieving effective arts education are: 1) “relevant and effective education of teachers and artists”; and 2) “the development of partnerships between education and cultural systems and actors”.

The report’s recommendations are numerous and wide-ranging. For educators, parents, artists and educational institutions, the report makes recommendations regarding: advocacy, support and education; partnerships and cooperation; and implementation, evaluation and knowledge-sharing. A key advocacy recommendation is to “raise public awareness and promote the value and social impact of Arts Education, creating a demand for Arts Education and skilled arts educators”. Regarding partnerships, the report recommends that active and sustainable partnerships should be developed between the educational system and the broader community. The report also recommends that those interested in arts education “implement and evaluate collaborative school-community projects that are based on the principles of inclusive cooperation, integration and relevance”.

For government ministries and policy makers, the report makes recommendations regarding: the recognition of arts education; policy development; education, implementation and support; partnerships and cooperation; and research and knowledge-sharing. More specifically, the report recommends that government agencies “recognize the value of successful locally-developed, cuturally-relevant Arts Education practices and policies”. Regarding policy development, governments are encouraged to “translate the growing understanding of the importance of Arts Education into the commitment of resources sufficient to translate principles into action”. The report recommends action to “make professional education for artists and teachers available to enhance the quality of Arts Education delivery”. Another recommendation for governments is to “encourage the active involvement in education of arts and cultural institutions, foundations, media, industry, and members of the private sector”.

For non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations (including UNESCO itself), the report makes recommendations regarding: advocacy and support; partnerships and cooperation; research, evaluation and knowledge-sharing; and training and support for teachers, schools and artists. Organizations are encouraged to “reflect the important contributions that Arts Education can offer to all areas of society and identify Arts Education as a major cross-sectoral strategy”. Research can assist in promoting the “ongoing evaluation of the emotional, social, cultural, cognitive and creative impacts of Arts Education”. Regarding educational activities, non-profit organizations are encouraged to enable the “participation in primary and secondary education of artists, tradition-bearers and cultural promoters in order to enrich pupils’ creative use of the different forms of artistic expression”.

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