Art Education in China

Art education constitutes an important component of teaching in primary and secondary schools. All previous teaching programs for schools have included the courses of music and fine art with singing, musical knowledge and appreciation, painting, arts and crafts, appreciation of fine arts as their contents. As fixed in the teaching programs, all six grades in primary schools should have two class hours per week for music and fine arts respectively, and junior secondary schools one hour respectively. In 1994, the Ministry issued a notification, requesting one class hour for the course of arts appreciation in the first two grades of regular senior secondary schools starting from autumn of 1994. Hence, it placed an end to the history of no art course in senior secondary schools in the country. In addition, the latest teaching programs has included extra-curriculum activities into regular courses named Activity course. As a major component, extra-curriculum art activities have consequently occupied an important position in art education in schools. Further development in formulation of syllabi for art courses in schools has facilitated rapid progress in development of teaching materials. At present, in addition to the national textbooks provided by the Ministry, local teaching materials for music and fine arts in schools have been compiled with refined style, substantial contents, comprehensive system and their respective features, in accordance with the spirit of “diversified textbooks for one syllabus”, and with the teaching practice, and cultural and art traditions in their respective localities. Based on statistics, there are more than 70 sets of teaching materials of this category in the whole country. As Extra-curriculum activities, the majority of schools has established all kinds of interest groups of art, students’ art societies, and organizes regular school art festivals. Most provinces, cities, prefectures and counties also organize accordingly students’ troupe of art and students’ art festivals.

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