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Cultural dialogues in European art education: Strategies for enhancing children’s culture and constructing diversity

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The aim of our article is to discuss the potential of art education to enhance children’s culture. In so doing, we are contributing to a debate that began at the InSEA congress in Rovaniemi (2010) during the symposium on cultural diversity. The article is based on recent research and art pedagogy projects conducted by the writers in five European countries: Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. When comparing and evaluating these projects, we focus on the space given to children’s culture and on the power art has in constructing childhood as a social and cultural phenomenon. It was evident from the projects that enhancing children’s culture can be achieved in multiple ways, as cultural dialogues that can produce new understanding and places for further cultural encounters. The projects also made visible how childhood can be constructed and reconstructed through art both by and for children. The projects emphasized the responsibility art educators have for organizing art education that enables the social and cultural participation of children.
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Keywords: art education; children’s culture; contemporary art; cultural education; identity; intercultural education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Helsinki 2: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona 3: Polytechnical University of València 4: Liceo Artistico E. Simone 5: University of Gothenburg

Publication date: 11 October 2011

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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