The Ministry of Education Session 2 of the Five-Year Aesthetic Education Program (2019-2023)
I. Brief Discourse on Aesthetic Education
Aesthetic education is a method to cultivate aesthetic competence. Aesthetic competence refers to an attitude or capacity which can be developed by reflecting on life aesthetics and broadening aesthetic experience to appreciate, craft, and share the beauty of all things. Therefore, aesthetic education needs to guide learners to become aware of, explore, feel, understand and create beauty, and to provide learning methods, opportunities, and the requisite environment to sharpen different perceptions at both physical and psychological levels.
Aesthetic education is a diverse field of humanistic education that develops from imperceptible influences in our lives. Through the process of discovery, exploration, and experience, students can develop the competencies of “discovering beauty”, “exploring beauty”, “experiencing beauty”, and “fulfilling beauty” from the interactions between other people and ourselves, between people and communities, between people and society, between people and social communities, and between people and natural environments, and thus they can build confidence to apply aesthetics in everyday life. “Aesthetic sense” should be developed from an early age, and be student-centered, with school course teaching as the core, in order to inspire students’ connotation of beauty and humanities. “Life aesthetics”, includes aesthetic experience and creation of spaces in campuses, so as to increase students’ understanding of their living surroundings, and their judgment of beauty. Aesthetic courses are designed under professional guidance and based on the aesthetic principles of accumulation, deepening, expansion, and sustainability to develop an all-in-one system to open up opportunities for design, innovation and cross-field cooperation. This system is expected to create a better living environment which enhances citizens’ aesthetic competence via comprehensive planning, inter-departmental cooperation between private sectors and public authorities, and international connections.
As stated above, Session 2 of the Five-Year Aesthetic Education Program (2019 - 2023) was therefore established according to the concepts of Art of Living: Early-Age Cultivation, Cross-Field Innovation, and International Connection.
I. Enhance students’ creative aesthetic literacy
II. Construct aesthetic learning environments
III. Increase people’s foresighted competencies in aesthetics
IV. Implementation Strategies and Specific Action Plans
(A) Support System
1. Establish the resource integration platform of aesthetic education
In order to fulfill the teaching and learning needs of aesthetic education, a support system will be built as a single portal based on visitor segmentation principles to integrate relevant resources of aesthetic education such as online platforms, talent pools, art and cultures, and lesson plans. This system is expected to be sustainably maintained.
2. Implement an aesthetic education promotion and communication project
A think tank of aesthetic education promotion and communication will be formed by a professional team to propose a communication plan for the second session pursuant to the administrative plan, so as to keep pace with the times and comprehensively develop the highlights of the ‘aesthetic education themes’ in each year. Through a wide variety of media to promote and communicate aesthetic education, as well as regular participation in discussions for policy planning and implementation at the central and local levels to coordinate efforts across: research, administration and implementation teams, and integration of relevant resources to reach a consensus for aesthetic education promotion, introducing the art of living to the public, and motivating the public to take corresponding actions.
3. Facilitate research and practice of aesthetic education
The primary focus of research and practice is national curriculum guidelines, in which discourses and practical approaches of national aesthetic competence are continually explored. Specific actions include: analyzing development, planning and cultivating of aesthetic competence in each subject curriculum during all levels of the twelve-year compulsory education to identify current situations and problems, surveying primary and junior high school students to understand their art appreciation and aesthetic competence, and holding international academic conferences for foreign interactions. The effects of aesthetic education on elementary and junior high schools will be evaluated to determine a direction for planning and implementing aesthetic education within future curriculum structures.
4. Encourage foresighted research on aesthetics
Institutions of higher education are encouraged to conduct foresighted research on aesthetics in terms of teaching innovation and feature development.
(B) Talented teacher and student cultivation
1. Promote the Aesthetic Literacy Enhancement Project for Pre-service teachers
An aesthetic development module will be developed for pre-service teachers and launched on a trial basis during the study of a teacher education program. More opportunities for the design and implementation of aesthetic education activities will also be opened up. Other plans include: launching online courses for self-learning, forming a group of pre-service teachers learning aesthetics during the trial period for the aesthetic development module, and introducing the approaches used by professors in different fields of teacher education programs to combine their teaching contents with aesthetic education.
2. Promote the Aesthetic Literacy Enhancement Project for In-service Teachers in Primary and Junior High Schools
An aesthetic literacy enhancement module (including online and face-to-face courses) that is suitable for primary and junior high school teachers will be developed. County and city governments will hold seminars or workshops on aesthetic enhancement according to their respective module plans. Other plans include arranging a county or city-level aesthetic education group for teachers to offer more learning and sharing opportunities. Teachers are selected to participate in aesthetic education implementation for the Ministry of Education (MOE) and to take official leave to attend foreign teaching demonstration events or workshops, visit outstanding institutions of aesthetic education, hold sharing events or give teaching demonstrations which are open to the public after returning from abroad, and upload reflective reports to relevant websites.
3. Promote the Aesthetic Literacy Enhancement Project for Education Administration Staff
School administrative staff and executives are encouraged to promote innovative aesthetic work, and to facilitate the development of the aesthetic literacy group for school administrative staff and executives (including reserve principals and directors), which combines with aesthetic activities and training courses.
4. Promote the Foresighted Talented Teacher and Student Cultivation Program
Institutions of higher education are encouraged to cultivate aesthetic professionals in terms of teaching innovation and feature development.
5. Promote the Overseas Training Program for Art and Design Elites
Outstanding and high-potential students will be selected annually to be sent to renowned universities, institutions or companies abroad for a one-year study, internship or training. A demonstration event will be held accordingly to share their design achievements and experience. A long-term training system in collaboration with foreign organizations will also be established to encourage students to participate in international art or design competitions.
(C) Courses and Activities
1. Implement the Art and Aesthetic Sprout Project for Local Governments
The MOE plans to create a development system which enables cooperation between a municipal, county and city government (and a guidance group or education resource center) and an institution of higher education that implements the aesthetic education plan. Through regularly providing guidance and support to seed schools at all educational levels for course development and teaching, and systematically developing teaching materials and examples, a foundation for local schools at all levels to take part in implementing aesthetic education will be established. Each municipal, county or city government is requested to set up a self-review and sustainable development system. Specific plans include: schools’ artistic sense enhancement plan, aesthetic education plan, and aesthetic curriculum plan for primary and junior high schools.
2. Promote the Aesthetic Course Teaching and Learning Experience Project
The aesthetic course teaching and learning experience project at each educational levels will be conducted to support course development and create modules and student learning profiles in order to provide professional resources and guidance to all municipal, county and city governments (or guidance groups/education resource centers) and public schools for implementing aesthetic education.
3. Promote an innovative courses project for life aesthetics and design
Following on from the first-session aesthetic education course project, general education and design courses aimed at aesthetic competence development will be established based on a design from an everyday-life perspective. The goal is to incorporate art and living into design applied to aesthetic spaces at schools and everyday practice. A professional and academic support system will be established to conduct the innovative aesthetic design education project.
4. Promote diverse aesthetic experience activities on campuses
Art and aesthetics will be systematically introduced at schools following the Musical Instrument Bank, Collegiate Youth Remote Area Art Education Work Team and touring in remote areas of the first-session aesthetic education project. Learning activities in different forms will be provided to broaden students’ aesthetic experience.
5. Promote aesthetic education projects in combination with inter-departmental resources and those from private sectors
Public and private sectors will establish a partnership to hold a series of experiential workshops for aesthetic teaching and learning to guide students to experience aesthetics through practice. Resources, such as a wide range of exhibitions and performances, will also be provided to schools in remote areas, offshore islands and other areas in Taiwan to supplement their learning environments. Schools are encouraged to develop their own features, adopt approaches and strategies for interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and cultivate students’ competence of diverse learning and innovative thinking. Schools and private organizations will be supported to establish partnerships for developing implementation patterns and strategies of aesthetic education together. This type of partnership is expected to set an example for future reference and broaden aesthetic education.
Relevant resources will be integrated with the cooperation of different public organizations, such as the Ministry of Culture and the National Palace Museum. Other actions for implementing aesthetic education include: helping schools and artistic and cultural venues to develop a cooperative system, holding courses and teaching enhancement workshops, launching experiential courses, and setting up a database of relevant teaching and learning experience for future promotion.
(D) Learning Environment
1. Design the Project of Aesthetic Fulfillment in Campus Lives
After conducting the first-session aesthetic education project, strategic alliances will be formed to combine school features and create a theme-centered group of “aesthetic campus”. Various learning resources for life aesthetics are connected with design and innovation. Schools are encouraged to cooperate with professional designers to take innovative actions to flip aesthetic education with design thinking, and to utilize design to transform campus spaces.
2. Construct the Project of Learning Situations of Aesthetic Life Maps
According to the classroom learning conditions and the community in which the school is located, the introduction of private sector resources, boundary-spanning thinking and cross-border practice will enable teachers to combine teaching with art and aesthetics in order to develop an inspirational environment for learning aesthetics with students and create ‘Aesthetic Life Maps’.