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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

A systematic literature review on the function of art education in China 2001-2021

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DOI: 10.25236/aeiit.2022.001


Ruini Huang, Kris Rutten, Martin Valcke, Chang Zhu

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Ruini Huang


With the government emphasising cultural creativity and art education, Chinese national educational policies and proposed reforms have privileged art education and reconsidered its role and functions. This paper provides a systematic review of 48 pieces of educational research and dissertations relating to the function of art education under Chinese context. Special focus will be put on school art education in the 21st century. Based on the inductive grounded theory synthesis, this review found that aesthetic cultivating and moral educating are core-dual functions which are consistently emphasised within all Chinese school levels. The individual-orientation and societal-orientation standards picture school art education intertwined in the functioning process. Furthermore, this review also examined the different focus functions at different school levels, and it illustrates four main thoughts commonly used to support the advocated function. They include traditional Chinese aesthetics, classic Western aesthetics, modern Chinese aesthetics in the 20th century, and Marxist thought on developing a well-rounded person. This review also distinguishes the problems that hinder the functioning of art education, e.g., utilitarianism, scientism, internal shortages of the art curriculum and the social view on art influent art education from well-functioning.


Systematic review, the function of art education, China's aesthetic education