I love art.
I enjoy the world of making, creating, and producing artifacts, even I am not very good at it. But I do like the feeling when I immerse myself into the process of creating. I feel happy and satisfied.
I had art classes in elementary, junior high, and senior high schools. Art in Taiwan is a required subject which every student has to take for aesthetic development. In art classes, students learn how to draw, scratch, paint, carve, and etc. Teachers give guidelines and topics for students to create. Actually, I do not quite aware what I learned in art classes, but I think I learned how to mix colors, functions of different tools, and space arrangement. I just enjoyed the experience of expressing myself into the creation. However, for many parents or teachers, this kind of experience does not count as learning and does not bring benefits on academic performance. Learning art is seen as having fun, not learning. Many private schools sacrifice art classes for course subjects which will be tested. Art wastes time. In addition, what kinds of benefits will art bring for students’ career? Art in Taiwan is seen as a luxury activity with high but also low values. Within big Culture, art such as paintings in museums, dancing and performance in theaters are valued as higher culture. But on the contrary, art students in vocational schools sometimes are labeled with low academic performance. What art education can bring to students?
Regarding the content of art classes, art usually is taught separately and independently. What I learned from art classes sometimes might not relate to my life, just an assignment I had to submit. Could art be integrated into content of other courses? Especially within the age of Web 2.0, how can students learn art though computer games, media art, and interactive media? How can teachers create a space for students to use creativity to brainstorm new forms of art and to learn from the process? What art education actually is? And for what purpose? What do educators expect students to learn from the process? I am not quite familiar with art education, but I think educators and researchers should pay attention on learning and curriculum design in art classes.