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Within the framework of a series of regional pedagogical conferences organized by UNESCO to emphasize the importance of Arts in Education in different regions of the world, the Asia-region UNESCO Expert Symposium aimed to:

  • Analyze the status of arts in education in Asia; and
  • Identify methods to measure the contribution of arts education for children’s development and academic achievement and consequences for policy making.

Keynote presentations on new conceptions of intelligence, UNESCO’s Education For All Programme, and Asian perspectives in arts education formed Session One, which reviewed the current status of arts education in Asia through best practice case studies on music, dance, drama and visual arts.

The second day of the meeting (Session Two) aimed at creating consensus on a practical method for assessing arts education programmes and their impact on children’s learning. After reviewing the latest quantitative research in the field and based on the case studies from Session One, the participants broke out into working groups to discuss how the impact of the the different artistic disciplines could be best evaluated and measured.

On the final day (Session Three), the meeting focused on what the implications of the findings of day two would be for education policy-making in the Asia Pacific region. After reviewing various aspects of policy making by referring to Asian examples, the session discussed how the outcomes of the meeting may contribute to the 2005 UNESCO World Congress on Arts in Education and Creativity, aimed at promoting arts in education globally in both formal and non-formal sectors. The discussion also focused on the establishment of a region-wide network to promote further practice and research in the region.