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Objectives and Outcomes

Seeking to supplement the traditional “arts for the arts sake” approach, the Asia meeting, "Measuring the Impact of Arts in Education", promoted the Arts-in-Education (AiE) approach – which gives the arts a much expanded role in education.

This symposium focused on the promotion of the instrumental role of the arts in education by exploring the potential of the arts to (1) contribute to children’s development and learning achievement; (2) improve the quality of education by tapping into locally-available (cultural) resources to introduce local issues and realities into the educational system; and (3) increase creativity and innovation, and contribute to the safeguarding of cultural diversity.
The "Measuring the Impact of Arts in Education" symposium also presented and discussed various research methodologies for measuring the positive impact of the arts in education and the issues involved with regard to education reform and Arts Education policy.

The three-day meeting was attended by 35 experts from Asia and around the world. These experts, recognizing that advocacy and reform processes require evidence about the benefits of incorporating the arts in education, discussed existing research in the fields of music, performance and visual arts education and examined best practice case studies.

It was agreed by participants, however, that in the Asia-Pacific region evidence of the impact of Arts Education is scarce, anecdotal and difficult to access and there are too few best-practice case studies. The participants noted that even in cases of successful design and implementation, arts education programmes often fail to convey their theoretical assumptions or fail to document their outcomes.

This lack of a readily accessible body of information was deemed by participants as a major setback for improving practice, influencing policy making, and integrating the arts into Asia’s educational systems.
The meeting participants therefore discussed how to promote further research in this area. 

Based on the discussions, the symposium participants agreed that in order to implement the findings of this Asia-region symposium, a region-wide network of Observatories (clearinghouses) should be established at selected universities and other institutions throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Observatories would collect, analyze, synthesize, repackage and disseminate information about instrumental uses of arts in education from a regional network of input-providing institutions. This would facilitate knowledge-sharing and information-utilization by the network of institutions and by UNESCO, its Member States and cooperation partners.

Following the symposium the Office of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific produced a document titled "Asia-Pacific Action Plan" (PDF, 332KB) which presents a strategy for setting up Observatories in the region.

The "Measuring the Impact of Arts in Education" symposium was followed up by a symposium in New Delhi in 2005.

The results and recommendations of the Hong Kong and New Delhi symposia are captured in the report of the two symposia, "Educating for Creativity" (PDF, 1.4MB). This report was presented at the World Conference on Arts Education, which was convened in March 2006.

For further information about the meeting, please refer to the symposium Agenda and Report.