The comparison of education system management models of art and design course in UK and China
1.0 Introduction 2
2.0 The Education System 3
3.0 Education Environment and Atmosphere 8
4.0 Education Methods 10
5.0 Competitive Platform 11
6.0 Suggestions and Recommendations about How to Improve the Chinese Art and Design Education 12
6.1. Improve the Education Concept 12
6.2. Improve the Education System Structure 13
7.0 Conclusion 14
This study project aims to critically analyse the differences of education system management models of art and design course in UK and China. This study critically compares the education system management models of art and design course in UK and China by discussing the education system, education environment and atmosphere, education methods, competitive platform and provides a number of useful suggestions and recommendations about how to improve the Chinese art and design education system. This study demonstrates that China should improve the art and design education concept and the education system structure to increase the quality of art and design education.
The art and design course and its education system and manage model in UK is in the leading place of the world, it has leading application and scholar environment in the world, and a very long history for the development of its art and design education system, which has the features of systematic, perfect and rigorous. While China only has several decades history of art and design in university education, although the creative industry is developing at present. In fact these two countries’ education system and management model of art and design course are actually not in the same level. However, from this comparison, we can have a draft understanding of these two countries, and the two systems and models can learn from each other also. Especially for China, UK will be a good reference. Because China and UK has different national conditions and education system, there are many differences in the teaching content, teaching method, creative sense, international view and early educations etc in art and design course.In this assignment, the education system of art and design course, the education environment and atmosphere, education methods, competitive platform etc.. From this comparison, the superiority of UK’s art and design course will be clearly shown, such as why it no only focus on the education of knowledge, but also pay more attention to cultivate students’ ability of independent thinking, solving problems and creativeness, and the reason why there is still a long road for China’s art and design course to take can be understand also. The point where China’s present education system have more space to improved can be obvious through this comparison, and the strong point of the developing space is also clear. The aim of this study project is to critically analyse the differences of education system management models of art and design course in UK and China. More specifically, this study will be organized as follows; firstly, the author will introduce the different education system and art education history of China and UK, compare the advantage and disadvantage of each country and identify the differences of the art and design test system of UK and China. Secondly, this study will identify the education environment and atmosphere of UK and China. Thirdly, a comparison of education method will be presented. Fourthly, the author will discuss the differences of competitive platforms of each country. Fifthly, this study critically provides a number of useful suggestions and recommendations about how to improve the Chinese art and design education. Finally, a brief but strong conclusion will be presented to summarize the key points of the whole study.
2.0 The Education System
Due to different national situation and history, UK has several hundred histories in art and design course education, while China only has several decades’ history. Hence, the education system in UK is mature, while there is still a big improving space for China’s. For example, the Royal College of Art, which is located in the west of London is not only one of the most famous art college in the world but also one of the oldest art school that existed.
The Royal College of Art was founded in 1837 as a Government School of Design. Richard Burchett, the famous British painter and educator became the head of the school in 1852. In 1853 the Royal College of Art was expanded to become the National Art Training School and moved to Marlborough House, 4years later, in the year of 1857, the campus move to South Kensington. It was primarily a teacher training school; these big names included Christopher Dresser, who is known as one of the first and most important, independent, designers and was a pivotal figure in the Aesthetic Movement; George Clausen, who is famous for his painting of landscape; Kate Greenaway, the English children's book illustrator and writer; Gertrude Jekyll, the influential British horticulturist, garden designer, artist[ and writer, who has created over 400 gardens all over the world; and Luke Fildes, who has created the Portrait of King George V in 1911; these talents who live hundreds years ago were just pupils in the school during this period.
In 1896 the school officially received the name of Royal College of Art, and the emphasis of teaching there shifted to the practice of art and design. The subjects included industrial design, graphic design, and product design began in the mid-twentieth century. The school expanded larger in the 1960s. In 1967 it received a Royal Charter which gave it the status of an independent university with the power to grant its own degrees.
The Royal College of Art played a major role in the birth of the modern school of British sculpture in the 1920s and the development of Pop Art in the 1960s. Except The Royal College of Art, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art，many other UK art colleges also have a long history. The Glasgow School of Art was found in 1854; the Architectureand Design of London Metropolitan University has a history over 3 hundreds years; the found of Edinburg College of Art date back to the 1760s. Compare with the school has such a long and glory history, the art colleges in China which have only several decades years history seem like the newborn baby in the world of art education. The China Academy of Art is the most influential academy of fine arts in China. The school was founded by the renowned educator Mr. Cai Yuanpei in 1928 to promote fine arts education to replace religion in the then war-torn China. Thus, fine arts have been put to the height of religion in this institution for almost eight decades. The school has the most complete range of degree offerings and programs of study. The school has a distinctive structure integrating theory and practice, focuses on social needs and human care, and combines modern technical and cultural disciplines with traditional artistic ones. The academy features the study of theories of fine arts, film, architecture and new media, which constitute the humanities and reflect the Chinese national spirit and creative theories of the era.
Hence, there is no doubt that the art test system in UK is much more mature and complete, while in China there is still a big improving space for the art education. For example, In China the young people who want to go to the art college like The China Academy of Art still need to take the the college entrance examinations or provide their transcript. That means people who want to go to Art College have to graduate from a high school or have received the education of the same level with a score better than pass. To be honest, that is quite unfair to those who has a talent of art but not does well in the high school. The irrational is a waste of talent. With the increasingly competitive of the entrance of Art College, more and more young people loss their chance to cultivate their talent. While in UK, the art colleges focus more on the professional ability of the student than the other elements. People can become an official student of the college by maybe only one single work just if you have enough talent. Besides the difference of the way of the entrance of an art college in China and UK, the test system in campus is also quite different between these two countries. As is has mentioned before, due to the historical reasons, over 98% colleges which have the national recognition of qualifications are public colleges in China. That means students of these schools has to learn some public subjects such as Deng Xiaoping Theory，Marxist philosophy，Three-Represent's theory and so on no matter their majors. For an undergraduate students those public subjects will always takes more than half a year and the become tests content, once again no matter their majors. So that means if a students who has a talent on painting but unfortunately doesn’t have the talent of Three-Represent's theory, he is very likely to loss his chance to study in the art college. However, China’s art and design education has gained great success in these several decades based on the traditional art education, especially since the end of 90s of the twentieth Century, with the rapid expansion of the scale of national education, art and design education has made a spurt of progress of development. But behind the rapid development and scale expanding there are many undeniable problems. These problems are mainly manifested in: serious shortage of professional teachers in art and design education, the lag of art and design education system, discipline, curriculum system, training mode and training target; the evaluation system and monitoring system of art design education do not consider the rules and characteristics of the art and design itself; there is an urgent need of professional exam or similar recognition to establish a set of reasonable, scientific examination method etc.. The rapid development of art and design education is because China is entering into the "design era", people’s general awareness of design has raised, the status of design in life is gradually strengthened . But the existence of art design education development issues must be scientific and calm thought, the macro and strategy issues and methods, concepts etc.. in art design education need to be solved to make the design education in fast, healthy development (Armstrong S., 2005).
While UK’s education has a long history, its education has sustained several hundreds revolution, it is very completed,rigorous and complicated. After finish the compulsory education, UK students go to preparatory school or Continuing Education school for a 2 years learning of high level middle school grade or the similar level classes. This phase is the transition period of middle school to university, there are two types of routs in this phase, professional rout and academic rout. Students who pick up the academic rout will study the A-Level(Advanced Level) courses, which is the basic course of university, it equals to the first two years courses in China university’s four-year undergraduate courses. Students in this phase can choose three subjects related to art and design to study. Students who choose the professional rout will study the GNVQ(General National Vocational Qualification). Hence, the education for UK students’creativeness is started in this two year A-Level course and the process of GNVQ. It can be pointed that in the UK education, the education for student’s early period creativeness and the art and design major related education has started in this 2 years, plus the environment of creative and innovation in UK, students have formed special superiority including broader creative cognation vision, accumulated creative ability and thinking models of receiving new things in a multiplex ways (Bruce M, 2002).
In addition to students’ A-level results as an important reference index, in the UK’s university admission, Portfolio which embodies the students’ creative process will be referenced to get the insight of their original creating process and creative ability. Portfolio is the real record of students’ original creating process, it is an important reference for the real evaluation of students' creativity. These measures and methods have provided the soil for educating students to pursuit original ideas and focus on innovation, it also provides an effective reasonable convergence 也为学生在从基础进入高级阶段的专业学习进阶中提供了有效的过渡与合理的衔接。
for students to step from basic to advanced stage of professional learning (Dineen R, 2008)
In China, there is no such study stage as A-Level or GNVQ. The study for art and design normally start from the university after high school, while in some high schools there are art students who start to study art themselves or through private teachers, and there are some special art technology schools also. But in such schools, due to the teaching standards are various, there are not equal standards, and the teaching content is not mature, hence, what the students are taught are sometimes knowledge, or skills, the creativeness and the ability to independent study or research are not that normally cultivated in students as in UK. Hence, from the base of art and design course, generally speaking, students in China do not have that broader creative foundation and vision field. The lack of independent creation will slow or even their development in the university, although it is not be denied that there are some students in China who have get the open and proper creative education in art and design before they go to university due to their good private teacher or good school. The art and design course in China university generally will arrange professional basic courses in the front phase of study years, when the professional basic course is completed, then the learning for professional course will be started. The theory teaching and practice teaching must be combined to strengthen practice teaching. At present, practices teaching in China’s art and design course is specialty still very weak, they mostly stay in hand drawing and computer expression. Because of the essential characteristics of art and design education, the practice teaching of art and design is very important (Lusheng P., 2004).
3.0 Education Environment and Atmosphere
Like any other education, the environment and atmosphere is also very important. In this issue, UK has its superiority than China. UK has strong artistic atmosphere, it is a western country which has rich historical and cultural resources and deep humanistic tradition, and it is famous for its perfect combination of classical and modern art atmosphere and exquisite cultural life. UK has various visual and creative arts, such as painting, calligraphy, music, dance, drama, fashion, design. n the UK economy, creative industries such as advertising, publishing, film and software keep developing, public art project is at the forefront of British art, and it can keep for a long time. UK has the best university of art and design all over the world, the London University of Arts is a professional university which has the biggest art professions in Europe (Yanbin G., 2005). In the art and design course of UK, creative atmosphere and environment is created. For example, in the DeMontfort University, they suggest students to explore their potential. To create a social atmosphere of innovation is the overall present of a country’s advocating the spirit of innovation. Social innovation activities and resources are closely linked with the innovation education in Colleges and universities, and has become an important social class for the cultivation of innovative talents. UK has a rich cultural heritage and rich cultural atmosphere. Besides the world class all kinds of museums, galleries and libraries, international exhibitions also provides plenty information resources for innovation. In short, for students, they can be integrated in the innovation environment of society and through participation, perseveration to draw lessons from the traditional or contemporary creative achievements, and get the innovative inspirations. UK is the world's first country which formally put forward the concept of creative industry concept, through more than ten years of development, creative industry has become the main force of national new economic growth point and the model of the world. The development of creative industry is inseparable from the concept and the spirit of innovation, but is also inseparable from the guidance of the attention of government, the guidance of society and the active participation of institutions of creative industries. For students of art and design major, the British government and institutions together create a large public training, innovation competition and promotion display platform of creative works to promote the connection between universities and industry, students and society (Jubo O Y, 2006)
Comparing with UK, China’s atmosphere and environment for creative art and design education is not that strong. The teaching ways in China is normally teachers speak and students listen, while in UK there are also group talks and group works. There are also many teachers who encourage students to be creative and do some independent studies in China, but there are not so much standard ways for evaluation the result of student’s works. The way is China is kind of simple as teachers giving examinations or points for student’s works, while UK has standard and scientific evaluation system, and students are not evaluated by their examination or talks in group or their works, but also there are exhibitions or competitions which can be also viewed as part of the evaluation. Such teaching and study ways also giving the education in UK a very creative and free environment. In UK, the course tutors will organize group to discuss and give grades, and they will evaluate students in the course of learning process and performance according to appraisal standards, this way guarantee the fairness and justice of the assessment results. British universities are very strict and have detailed standards for assessment of students’ work, and students’ performance are given concern also according to the grade classification. Although different universities have different evaluation criteria, but the basis for all the work of assessment criterion is set up in evaluating the students’ knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, practical skills (Micklethwaite , 2005). But the national situation is one of the reason. Because in China, in the normal education system, there are not so much group talk or group work, while in UK or western countries, the group talk and group work is very common.
4.0 Education Methods
In general, for education, there are still many things China can learn from UK. China normally focus on teaching contents, while In UK, the assignments tasks and requirement contents are bigger than teaching content which give more space for students to search for the answer and to solve problems themselves. Teachers list the range of literature resources related to the topic of courses, then students will thinking and explore the divergent extension of knowledge after class through the study, judgment and practice of resource, hence they can gain knowledge which are larger than contents taught in class, and form their own special opinion in the training of assignment gradually. Especially at the end students should to express their comprehensive creative ability through their art and design works (Li-juan , 2005). Except the basic theory and skills teaching, the teaching contents of art and design course in UK also include the education for methods of analysis, study and solve problems, and also provide the space for individual to take creative thinking and innovation practice (Dineen R., 2006).
Art and design course, as a cross course, aesthetics is not its entire connotation, and its innovation is not only depends on the burst of inspiration or accomplished at one stroke. There are rules and methods for innovation and creation to follow, hence in the course there are training of the scientific method for students to solve problems, and cultivate their ability of independent thinking and analysis, this is also an important part of teaching (Da-li Y, 2007). For example, group discussion is the method to expand students' thinking through positive interaction, including brainstorm method which is a method to stimulate students' use of divergent thinking to get the full awareness and understanding of a problem from different perspectives, it also enables students to obtain the training of imagination, creativity and express personal opinions. The focus of art and design course in UK also pay attention to cultivate students’ consciousness of creating new knowledge rather than only knowledge learning(Ngor A L C Y. , 2001). Therefore, the content of education have more references of forward-looking design and new design trends, and relates to all kinds of advance problems in the design field. Issues such as sustainable design, customer centered design, experience design etc. Are used as the key point in education teaching and practice (Deem R, 2007).
5.0 Competitive Platform
There are less competitive platforms in China comparing to UK. UK is the first country who officially put forward the concept of creative industry, the development of creative industry cannot do without the concept of innovation and the spirit of innovation, and also cannot do without the government's attention, the social guide and creative organizations’ active participation. In UK students of art and design are encouraged to participate in creative activities and competitions to stimulate their original creative spirit and the ability to use knowledge comprehensively, in such way students’ creative ability and the universities’ competitiveness can be enhanced. In the teaching program of art and design, some subject even clearly list the participating in domestic and abroad main design competition as the main content of teaching, which shows the importance of competition’s function in the education of art and design major. 英国是世界上最早正式提出创意产业概念的国家，通过十几年的发展，创意产业已成为国家新型经济增长点的主要力量和世界的典范。创意产业的发展离不开创新的观念和创新精神，更离不开政府的重视、社会的引导和创意产业机构的积极参予。针对高校艺术与设计专业的学生，英国政府和机构合力打造了众多的公益性的培训、创新竞赛与创意作品的推广展示平台，促进学校与产业、学生与社会之间的对接，充分发挥了积极的纽带作用。
There are many platforms such as Graduate Fashion Week, new designers exhibition, the Design Advanced Research Training Project etc.. For students, participate in competitions is not only the best chance to show their creativeness to public, but also is the best jumping stage for good career, some students can get not only reward through competitions but also the opportunity of being employed by famous design companies (Prior S D, 2007).
Students of art and design in UK universities have good employment prospects. Students in the world who willing to show their artistic talent and improve their artistic attainments choose the art and design universities in UK, the reason is the high quality degree and professional qualification which can gain the world wide reorganization, and the creative education in UK has provide wide spaces and opportunities for individuals to develop their potentials (Weiquan X, 2007).
6.0. Suggestions and Recommendations about How to Improve the Chinese Art and Design Education
It is very obvious that there are a number of differences of the art and design education model between China and UK. It is because the economic, social, and culture concept of China is differentiate from UK. Although there are so many differences in the art and design industry, UK is a good example and reference for China to learn, analyse and improve its own art and design education system. In the past decades, the education system of art and design is inextricably related to the change in the larger society. A number of researchers point out that the substantial gain in education is due to the great amount of individuals, the large expansion of the art and design courses and schools nurturing of many world-class artists and researchers. However, others may demonstrate that the art and design education in China loss resulting from the main disruption in educating a generation of Chinese after the Cultural Revolution. Therefore, this chapter will critically discuss how to improve the art and design education of China and provide a number of useful suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of Chinese art and design education system.
6.1. Improve the Education Concept
According to Reed (1988), the most important characteristic of the art and design education system in China is the relationship between art school and government is different from other countries. More specifically, the Chinese government has power to control the mangement of art college and university. The key internal administrative power of art school is controled by the Chinese government. However, the administrative power of art school is independent from the manegment and control of the UK gorvernment. The management and the standard of academic totally belongs to the university or college. The Chinese governments should realize about the real purpose, right and power of the art and design education. According to a research made by Turner and Acker (2002), the primary aim of the art and design education is to assist art student to adapt to the whole society. Rather than participating in the management of art college and university, the government should pay more attention on the distribution of the education resource. For China, it is very important that the art school to alter the style of management. To date, the leader of all univeristies and collegues are maneged by the education department of Chinese government. To change this regulation of Chinese education system is very important, art and design schools should have their own rights to choose the leader, dean, lectures and tutors for their school and department. Moreover, the traditional relationship between univeristy and student in China should be changed too. In the traditional Chinese education system, the colleges are the “servant” of teachers and students. However, to provide more chances for students to practice and more resources and facilities for teachers to research are the two vital function of the art university (Li et al., 2003).
6.2. Improve the Education System Structure
After compared the difference of education system management models of art and design course in UK and China, the biggest problem in the development of Chinses art and design education are simple education mode, simple appraising criterion and academic education. In this part, the education system of UK is a good example for China. The art and design education of China should enhance and broad the view of education quality and appraise art students and teacher with multi-criterion and test. More specifically, the academic research of the professors and lecturers in the university should not be the only criteria to weight the teaching ability of art school teachers. On the other hands, to improve the total amount of art and design course student is also very important to improve the education quality. Meanwhil, professors and teachers should not restrict the students’ imageine and sense of innovation. They should encourage and help art students to create and have their special idea. The traditional Chinese teaching and learning way is to “ask and anwser questions”. It is not a wrong mode to teach student to learn a new kind of knowledge. However, art teachers shoule improve and help students to think more about the questions and find more “out of box” answers for one questions. Also, art teachers should help students to seek more chances to study art and design in daily life. It could help students to learn more practical ability and put academic theory into practice. Based on a research made by Neperud (1995), art teachers in the UK considers the Chinese art student are earnest and lack of creativity and Chinese art students have less discussions and questions with their teacher but they are the most curious group before the final exam. On the other hands, from the perspectives of the UK students, Chinese art student have an important difference comparing with other internationals students as the same age group that Chinese students seem to be more immature, naive and quiet. Compared with UK art students, Chinese art student focuses more on the coursework and exam but spend less time on sport, community and visiting museums. Therefore, China should change the traditional test and exam system to let art students have more time to communicate with teachers, classmates and spend more time on community and art museum.
In a conclusion, it is very difficult to judge which education system management models of art and design course is better. 在２１世纪，文化创意产业在新经济时代，作为提高国家竞争力和促进经济增长的重要作用已被世界所认同。In twenty-first Century, the important function of cultural and creative industry has been recognized as the one of the methods to enhance national competitiveness and promoting economic growth (Xiaomu Z, 2006). In recent years, China has listed creative economy and creative industry in the national development strategy, and set out the transformation object from a manufacturing country to a creation country. In order to achieve this goal, innovation is the key factor. Art and design is the major force in creative industry, and promote innovation is the only way to improve the level of design. Universities have the new responsibility under this new economy model that is to educate the creation spirit and innovation ability of art and design students. Through the model of UK’s art and design education system and management model, China’s art and design education can learn many references to enhance itself. However, due to the different national situation, education system and development history, such references from UK should combined with China’s own practical national situation and education character, hence the proper combination can be reached and the right road of China’s own education character in art and design education can be formed. No matter in the past, present or in the future, in the development of education, creation will be the forever subject and normal standard of success (YANG D, 2006).
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