What’s Going on Internationally in Arts Education?
As we celebrated International Arts Education Week 2015 last week, I have a renewed interest in exploring what is happening around the world in the fields of arts and education; specifically where they come together.
The first International Arts education Week was held in 2012 at the UNESCO headquarters with representatives from all sectors involved including artists, educators, NGO’s and the like. To coordinate global efforts in celebration of the power and impact of arts education, the delegates at the UNESCO general conference approved a resolution designating a week to join together as a global community to celebrate on the 4th week of May annually. This guide book is a great starting place for your celebration.
In the United States, we often look internally for solutions to complex problems in our regions, states, or local communities. In celebration of International Arts in Education Week, I would suggest that we broaden our horizons and look externally for ideas, effective practices, unique models and solutions to some of our challenges.
In 2013, I worked on the first national Arts in Education Charter in the Republic of Ireland. I had the privilege of working on a national policy, which was greatly influenced by best practice throughout Europe and the world. We held a conference, which brought together thought leaders from the UK, Australia, the US and examples from a multitude of countries to fully explore the role of this policy in the implementation of arts in education in classrooms throughout the country of approximately four million citizens.
When conducting the initial research in preparation for this conference, I uncovered many essential tools and resources for those who are interested in international models for arts education (and have continued collecting them!):
- Explore International Arts Education Policies: Check out Anne Bamford’s book The Wow Factor: Global Research Compendium on the Impact of the Arts in Education. This book catalogues and explores trends in the national arts education policies in virtually all countries throughout the world.
- Learn about the International Plan. In 2006 UNESCO hosted a conference is Lisbon, Portugal and produced a Roadmap for Arts Education. (Note of interest: the closing keynote speaker was this year’s Americans for the Arts annual Leadership Award winner for Arts Education: Eric Booth)
- Read up on Current Arts Education Topics. Get reading in the International Journal of Education & The Arts.
- Connect with your International Association. Learn more about what’s happening internationally in your specific discipline. There are international organizations for the study of visual arts, theatre and so on.
- Align your work with international models. Like in this report from the College Board on international and American arts education standards, draw connections from what is happening around the world to what is happening in your community or state.
- Plan for your curriculum. There are many resources that can aid in the development of lessons and curricula through some international models. One to check out is Creatubbles.
I hope that you join the international celebrations for arts education in years to come! Be sure to keep an eye on ARTSblog for several other examples of what is happening internationally as well.
Happy (belated!) International Arts Education Week!