UNESCO Chair in Arts & Learning
On 6 July, 2007, a UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning was established at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. This was the first UNESCO Chair in the field of arts education in the world, and remains one of only two to be approved by UNESCO to date. The Chair has been active in capacity building in arts education. It collaborates with other UNESCO Chairs and Observatories in Canada and around the world.
Chairholder Larry O' Farrell is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Canada. Formerly President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA), he is currently Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Network for Arts and Learning (CNAL) and a member of the Steering Committee of the International Network for Research in Arts Education (INRAE). He is a recipient of the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE).
Development Objective (long term)
The long-term objective of the Chair is to build capacity in teacher education and quality of education through collaboration on projects, events and electronic sharing of knowledge in arts and learning with a view to promoting north-south and north-south-south dialogue, mutual understanding and a culture of peace.
Specific Objectives (short term)
- Advance the principal of quality education for all by promoting arts as a means of engaging learners and achieving personal and academic learning goals.
- Build capacity for teachers in arts education through democratic collaboration on research that will generate a mutual understanding of creativity in arts education that is informed by an international (north-south) perspective.
- Promote and monitor implementation of The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the development of arts education.
- Extend participation in projects and events for teachers and artists through its website and electronic bulletins.
There is mounting evidence of the value of the arts in education, both as an intrinsic component of human culture that deserves formal recognition and as an instrument for achieving a range of essential learning goals. A young person who is exposed to the arts at school, through a professional arts organization or in a community cultural program has an enhanced potential to become a more creative, imaginative, empathetic, expressive, confidant, self-reliant and critically thinking human being.
UNESCO has recognized the potential of Arts Education and Creativity to enhance social cohesion and to promote a culture of peace. In 1999, the Director General of UNESCO stated:
“At a time when family and social structures are changing, with often adverse effects on children and adolescents, the school of the 21st Century must be able to anticipate the new needs by according a special place to the teaching of artistic values and subjects in order to encourage creativity, which is a distinctive attribute of the human species. Creativity is our hope.”
Since then, UNESCO has promoted this compelling vision through the Roadmap for Arts Education (2006) and the Seoul Agenda: Goals for the development of arts education (2010).
The chair initiates and collaborates on activities at the national, regional and international levels. Examples of research projects, events, communications and publications are listed below.
Research Projects of the Chair
- Creativity in Drama/Theatre and Arts Education
- Fostering intercultural understanding through singing
- Monitoring implementation of The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the development of arts education.
Events of the Chair
- Symposia and Conferences
- Webcast events
- Guest speakers and workshop leaders
- Artistic presentations and displays
Communications and Publications
- Electronic bulletins and website announcements
- Archiving of webcast presentations
- Editing journals and books
- Contributing articles to off-site publications
Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning
Larry O' Farrell is Professor Emeritus and holder of the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, Faculty of Education, Queen's University. He is Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and Chair, Steering Committee, International Network for Research in Arts Education. Larry served two terms as President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association (IDEA). As a member of the international advisory committee and General Rapporteur for the 2nd UNESCO World Conference on Arts Education (Seoul, Korea, 2010) he was instrumental in preparing The Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education. His research includes participation in international studies on creativity in drama/theatre and arts education, singing, and monitoring the Seoul Agenda. Larry is Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He is a recipient of the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.
- Case studies of drama/theatre and education
- Drama education for peace culture
- Teaching playwriting
- Ritual in drama education
- Arts curriculum policy
- Instrumental outcomes of arts education
- International issues in arts education
- E-learning in continuing teacher education
Larry's latest book is Issues in Arts Education in Latin America (co-editor with Dr. Rachel Mason).
The Canadian Network for Arts and Learning (CNAL) will hold a Founders’ Conference, October 23 – 25, 2013, at Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario, hosted by the Faculty of Education and the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning.
Founding members of CNAL will have an opportunity to share their research and best practices, to debate key issues in arts and learning, to honour a distinguished leader in the field, and to contribute to the future development of the Network.
Further information: http://eduarts.ca
UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning
Faculty of Education
511 Union Street
Kingston, ON K7M 5R7