Educators and parents are frequently not aware of the rich array of exciting opportunities that are available for young people that develop specialised abilities in Visual Arts. As a result, few students discover their interest and talent for Visual Arts in their life – if at all. There are also many benefits beyond specialised career prospects that are often not valued enough in education; conveying complex ideas in a visual way for everyone to understand, self-confidence, and creative thinking for example.
In the last decade, the value and importance of Visual Arts has been often sidelined in education with reductions to funding and resources. To further compound this problem, COVID-19 threatens schools and education systems to regress into old thinking – that the purpose of education is to prepare young people for the workforce by a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy, delivered with a content driven and standardised approach to testing and learning. To help address these issues, HundrED and Supercell partnered together on this Spotlight project with the goal of identifying and highlighting leading innovations that focus on Visual Art education.
This report has five chapters, first starting with background literature related to Visual Arts education. In Chapter 2, a collection of voices from current students, teachers, and education leaders from many countries is presented in order to showcase a diverse range of perspectives on what is needed as well as ideas to address these needs for fostering Visual Arts education in their context. Chapter 3 presents an overview on the methodology for selecting and reviewing the spotlighted innovations. Each selected innovation with a sample of their review data is presented in Chapter 4. Finally for Chapter 5, patterns that emerged across each section are brought together with 7 recommendations for policy makers, education leaders, and teachers.
At HundrED, we believe that every child should always have access to quality education, no matter what happens. This belief is especially important today when we are in danger of reversing many decades of progress on the 4th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. It is our hope that this project will: (a) spark and amplify international cooperation to take concrete action on fostering creativity with these leading innovations and learnings yielded between governments, leaders, and teachers; and (b) as a result of these actions from our global community of stakeholders in education, help the selected innovations increase their impact and reach. However, we cannot hope to achieve these ambitions alone. It is up to all of us to take inspiration from this report to our local community. Let’s cooperate and collaborate together on turning the ideas presented here into action so that we can help every child develop the Visual Arts skills they need to flourish in life.