Art education and development is necessary for a knowledge society.
“In times of change, you must be close to artists because they know without knowing that they know”, says Lucia Santaella. This affirmation, in which the author paraphrases Lacan, is also evidence of a dictum by Goethe in which he states that there is an empiricism of sensibility that identifies itself very closely with the object of creation and thus becomes, properly speaking, theory.
The above ratifies the need, enunciated in the proposals of the “Mission of Wise Men and Women”, to promote knowledge that includes science, the humanities, the arts, and ancestral knowledge, as a basis “for the development of new and creative alternatives to this crisis”. Education, on the other hand, will be the means that will allow the creation, sharing and dissemination of this knowledge based on humanistic, ethical, and democratic purposes, the proposal continues.
Interrelating science and art trainings
From what is written in the document “Colombia towards a Knowledge Society”, in relation to the Arts and Education, the following stands out:
- The emphasis placed on observing the arts as the axis of harmonious coexistence with living beings, human and non-human.
- The construction of STEAM scenarios, adding design in dialogue with the arts.
- Early childhood as the basis for the beginning of artistic education.
- Art, digital literacy and the second language as fundamental complements.
A model for the country of creative innovation/innovative creativity, can be promoted by interrelating the common areas and objectives between the National System of Science, Technology and Innovation (SNCTI) and the National System of Education and Artistic and Cultural Education and Training (SINEFAC) in an articulated work of the Ministries of National Education (MEN), of Culture (Mincultura) and of Science, Technology and Innovation (Minciencias).
Research developments in pedagogy
This interrelation should seek an articulation of goals and objectives of the SNCTI components in training/education/dissemination, and of the SINEFAC components in research/interdisciplinarity. Initially, this interrelation can take place, with the support of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTIC), in the development of the STEAM competencies that imply the review of the implications and synergies of education, art and culture in the complementary activities (TRL): Scientific Dissemination, Training and Social Appropriation of Knowledge; in addition to the ONDAS Program, contemplated in the SNCTI.
At the same time, establishing the relations of science, technology, and innovation policy with research developments in artistic and cultural pedagogy and the identification and transmission of artistic and cultural knowledge, as contemplated by SINEFAC. Some strategies for achieving this articulation may be, among others:
- Promoting the implementation of the Curricular Guidelines for Artistic and Cultural Education for Basic and Secondary Education (EAC Guidelines) developed by the MEN, as the basis for generating the processes that are the object of intervention for the achievement of the common objectives of SNCTI/SINEFAC.
- Establishing a strategy for the coordination of inter-institutional actions aimed at the inclusion of the STEAM competencies in the national school curriculum within the framework of the EAC Guidelines.
- Establishing and financing regular inter-institutional funding calls for interdisciplinary educational projects: artistic-cultural/scientific-technological.
- Establishing and funding a permanent inter-institutional teacher training program for the development of STEAM competencies within the framework of the EAC Guidelines.
- Implementing an inter-institutional strategy for the articulation of SNCTI/SINEFAC with the Orange Economy Strategies (Seven I’s)
- A systematization and continuous evaluation of the SNCTI/SINEFAC inter-institutional policy.
Radically change the school curriculum
On pages 146 to 152 of Volume 8 of the Mission of Wise Men and Women, there are some historical recommendations that, if applied, will radically change the school curriculum with respect to art in education. Indeed, it pointed out there that “Artistic practice at different levels of education must be central and fundamental, not complementary or accessory. Likewise, aesthetic education should not be a separate compartment from other subjects”.
In addition, other recommendations are made, such as the following: such artistic practice should be a fundamental area of the curriculum and mandatory from early childhood and through all levels and modalities of basic and secondary education; it is important to include content from the different regions of the country, especially one’s own; it is required to constitute a National System of Artistic and Cultural Education and Training, and a National Policy of Artistic and Cultural Education; at least one educational institution specialized in the arts should operate in each of the department capitals.
Education and training of teachers
The aforementioned policy must include a specific program for the education and training of teachers responsible for content related to art, culture and creative and cultural industries; it is up to the Ministry of Education to produce the new curricular guidelines, especially to achieve the development of perception, sensitivity and receptivity; and it is essential to configure networks that allow for the exchange of knowledge, methodology and pedagogical strategies among teachers from different regions of the country.
Implementing proposals such as the above requires changes at different levels, but a central one refers to the need for substantial modification in schoolwork. Here it is proposed to focus artistic activity on the Art Workshops. They would take place in areas such as music and dance, visual arts, literature and poetry, theater, and film. In due course, the content, its degree of demand and its applicability to a certain level of education should be indicated for each case. The most fundamental form would be Music, with work on rhythm, melody, grammar, initiation to the way of playing with percussion and recorder forms. In this respect, let us remember what Herbert Read says: “To give coherence and direction to the game is to turn it into art”.
The importance of early music education
In relation to Music Education, implementing it from an early age affects self-knowledge, as well as the significance of the world we inhabit (Eisner). It is proposed as a process that helps in the formation of sensitive, intelligent beings, capable of living in society.
Therefore, its action must be intentional, planned, and structured, to develop in an assertive way the sensibility and appreciation of the world, communication, self-evaluation, creativity and appreciation of the other, the environment and their culture. It constitutes a cognitive, cultural, affective, spiritual and existential imprint in the life of those who experience it and integrate it to their being.
Lines of action
In this sense, recognizing in music the wide capacity to give meaning, personal, social and cultural growth, requires quality experiences so that children develop and learn from good models, and starting from the fundamental principle that music is everyone’s right. In this sense, it is important to highlight six lines of action to consider for their implementation:
- Early childhood. Musical preparation in body and movement, rhymed words, musical game, pregraphy, conscious listening and children’s song.
- Primary school. Musical initiation and instrumental initiation.
- Secondary education. MEN Project of deepening in arts.
- Teacher training. Strengthening of the teacher education in the country.
- Strengthening the circuit of festivals throughout the country.
- Strengthening and/or creation of editorial lines for musical education and didactic materials.
Promotion of creation laboratories
In the same line, the Visual Arts and Education relationship enables the integration of critical thinking, the development of creativity and the stimulation of cognitive and emotional skills, in such a way that all allow an accurate aesthetic appreciation and possibilities of new expression. For this purpose, it may be important to consolidate creation laboratories in different places of the country, which give space to the Art Workshops, provide these laboratories with appropriate technologies adapted to each context, program digital literacy workshops for children, youth and adults, give value of the own knowledge in the field of visual arts (ancestral, rural), promote Design studies, linked to Visual Arts and linked to the construction of worlds that integrate human and non-human environments.
Finally, it is also important to talk about other arts in education, linked to the symbolism integrated by painting, dance, music, story told through carnivals and festivals and other types of artistic expressions that encompass a wealth that escapes the concrete. An education in Colombia that, regardless of the region, favors the passage between the symbolic – and perhaps abstract – and the literal and punctual is what will allow the appreciation of the true value of integrity, of the transversal and of the sensitive experience, fundamental for the survival of culture.
Proposals for disclosure through academia colombiana de ciencias exactas, físicas y naturales
Expeditions in the territory:
- Conferences with scientists from the Academy in the Creation Laboratories of different cities of the country (in universities, museums, makerspaces and medialabs)
- Regional lecture session and Workshops in Art and Science
This series of posts is about the “Mission of wise men and women” follow up that has been made by working groups convened by the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. More information can be found (in Spanish) on the Academy website.