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The Secondary Arts Curricula in Australia, Canada and Malaysia: Issues of Policy and Culture

  • Sharon Lierse
Chapter
Part of the Intercultural Studies in Education book series (ISE)

Abstract

The Arts are an integral part of society. They play an important role in our existence and are a way of expressing our thoughts and feelings. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy The Arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits” (General Assembly of the United Nations, Universal declaration of human rights. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/, 1948). How The Arts are taught and represented in the school curriculum is a reflection of their aesthetic values and cultural significance. It is through the subjects of visual art, media art, drama, music and dance that students can express nationalistic and indigenous themes. They can also appreciate an understanding of the world in a unique and creative way. Moreover, The Arts and creativity in schools have become areas of interest in order to best prepare students for a quickly changing and uncertain future (Robinson and Aronica, The element: How finding your passion changes everything. Penguin, London, 2009). The three countries have been selected both for their similarities and differences. Australia is a Commonwealth country, has a population of approximately 24 million and is multi-cultural with English as the dominant language. Likewise, Malaysia is also a Commonwealth country, has a population of 30 million and has three main cultures with Bahasa Melayu as the dominant language. Malaysia’s main religion is Islam and it is a developing country. Canada has a constitutional monarchy with a population of 35 million and is bilingual with English and French provinces. Each country has its own government, unique culture and recognised indigenous populations. The chapter aims to compare and contrast arts policy documents from Australia, Canada and Malaysia and to determine whether they are descriptive or prescriptive. Issues of how their local culture is represented including indigenous nations, as well as global perspective are discussed. Additionally curricula and policy were analysed using Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in which he compared six dimensions to 76 countries (https://www.geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html). The research will reveal how there are distinct theoretical and policy differences which have shaped and will continue to impact the future practice of The Arts in schools and societies around the world.

References

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon Lierse
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles Darwin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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