Scientific Programme

The Major Theme of the congress is

TRACES: Sustainable Art Education

The theme of the congress challenges art educators and researchers to present, compare, and develop functions that support the goals of sustainable development through art. Sustainable development is understood as continuous and controlled societal change taking place at global, regional, local levels. Its aim is to secure good living possibilities for present and future generations. 

Traditionally, sustainable development has been connected with the environment and economy, but it also entails a strong social and cultural dimension. Art and education are changing at the national, regional, and global levels, which poses a challenge for art educators to check and update their views and practices and to develop art education that supports social wellbeing, equality, prevention of alienation, cultural interaction, and diversity.  

The congress sets a challenge to examine how the education of art, in pursuance of sustainable development, creates teaching and learning situations in which the sociocultural reality of local communities encounters wider cultural consciousness and deeper social observation. Thus, the congress breaks down the superimposition of the local, the glocal, and the global. It also explains how artistic activity becomes part of concrete and responsible interaction, reflexion, dialogue, critical thinking, and change orientation.

Sustainable development also requires an interdisciplinary, interartistic, and holistic approach. The congress encourages the participants to treat the theme from many perspectives and welcomes the representatives of various fields of science and art to examine and shed light on the relation of art education to the subsections of sustainable development, which are the following:

  • Ecological and environmental sustainable development
  • Social sustainable development
  • Cultural  sustainable development
  • Economic sustainable development

We believe that art educators, artists, and researchers play an important part in the creation of culturally, socially, and ecologically more sustainable culture.

Subthemes Shortly

The following subthemes indicate the special foci under the main theme of the congress, which is Traces: Sustainable Art Education. Each subtheme is open to presentations from all types of professionals, i.e. researches, teachers, preschool teachers, artists, students, journalists, consultants, as well as professionals in museum pedagogy, media pedagogy, and social pedagogy. Also people working in cultural administration, cultural financing, and other sectors of art, culture, and art education are welcomed to submit their presentations.

Environmental sustainability: Place making and participation
Humans’ relation to nature and the environment is in a state of change because of urbanism and new livelihoods in rural areas and because of a new awareness of ecological and environmental issues. How can art education create new possibilities for participation in the development of nature environments, villages, suburban areas, and cities? What is the role of place-specific art, place-based strategies, and environmental design in art education? How big are the ecological footprints of the arts and art education? How can environmental awareness and responsibility be learnt in art education?

Social sustainability: Communities and partnerships
Building partnerships in education involves links between universities, schools, working life, and communities; between teachers and parents; between researchers and practitioners; and between the different levels and sectors of education. How can we change professional cultures towards collaboration, collegiality, and commitment? Which strategies and practices may promote caring, participation, empowerment, democratic values, inclusion, and equality? What is the role of public knowledge, public art, and the Internet in art education?

Cultural Sustainability: Identities and cultural diversity
Enhancing and sustaining the sense of cultural and personal identity becomes emphasized in a world of globalization, mobility, and multiculturalism. How do we build constructive dialogue between different cultural, professional, and social groups?  How is gender reflected in and constructed by education? What is the role of traditional knowledge and indigenous people in art education? How can new technologies be used in developing cultural sustainability? What kinds of contexts, relationships, and practices enable students, teachers, and researchers to develop their personal and collective identities and to strengthen their self-esteem? How are professional identities shaped by dialogue and tensions between personal, professional, and contextual knowledge?

Economic Sustainability: Creative capital
Art educators know that art education is valuable, but how is the value measured and described in society? Does art and art education have economic value and how can it be measured? What are the structures of ownership in art practices? What are the methods of measuring the implementation and reporting of the results of sustainability in art and art education? How is art education connected to local livelihoods? What is the relation between art, art education, and cultural tourism? How does education promote cultural, social, and environmental capital? How can creativity be understood as a resource for sustainable development and new innovations?