Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Finland's Visual Arts Curriculum

Came across Finland's Visual Arts Curriculum on Ian Chia's Learning to Nurture Ideas blog. The post expressed how Finland privileges the arts in schools.

"Finland has a long term approach to arts in education. Rather than valuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) over the arts like many Western countries, Finland considers the arts to be vital and weaves it through their entire education system."

The Finnish education system has received praise in large part because of student scores on the PISA exams. Contrasts have been made between the American system and the one supported by Finland. As we struggle in this country to rethink education and strive to reach consensus on what needs to be valued in our classrooms, I would recommend examining the Finnish Arts curriculum. It was a reminder of experiences I think we all hope to foster in our schools.

I shared some excerpts from the Arts curriculum below. What do you think about Finland's emphasis on the Arts? Unfortunately, in times of financial despair, it seems as if the arts if compromised. For someone who grew up in an arts rich household and attended schools that valued a renaissance approach to learning, it would be impossible to think of an educational experience that is devoid of the arts. As always your thoughts are appreciated.

Teaching according to the in-depth syllabus should give pupils an opportunity to work in the long run according to their talents and interests and create the conditions for a lifelong interest in visual representation and for further studies

Teaching should be based on an idea of a human being, where the individual has ethical and moral ability to choose and actively shape their lives and recognize the importance of beauty in it. Education shall support students’ spiritual growth and personal integrity and help him to develop into a thinking person with discernment.

The goal of education is that student by expressing themselves with art, learn to evaluate and assess himself and his environment and to build and develop their worldview based on both personal experience and heritage. Teaching should help students to become aware on what for him is important in life and to express this by visual means.
Education must develop students’ capacity for creative problem solving. Pupils should learn to express themselves and to master materials and technology. He will receive guidance in assessing and appreciating the quality of the visual environment.

The need for artistic expression is to be based on the student’s own motivation and the student must have an active role in studying and learning
Important approaches are creative problem solving, student’s own artistic expression and construction