UNESCO's Influence in International Arts Education: Assessing Arts Education in China
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UNESCO, in conjunction with the global community, is placing more emphasis on arts education practices and methods, recognizing studies that show students with arts education consistently score higher on academic exams, develop critical thinking skills and creativity that are important for understanding and life. China is one such country, with a new integrated arts education program initiated by the government five years ago. The program introduces a variety of artistic styles and creative processes to children, while fostering creativity, independent thought, and leadership skills. The benefits to the children are enormous in scope, as they have experienced an increase in self-confidence, enjoyment of class time, and artistic knowledge. However, the benefits to the government and China's economic growth also continue to mount, as graduates with leadership abilities, critical thinking skills and creative thought processes are more prepared and adept at entering the extremely lucrative and increasingly popular "creative industries." While UNESCO is not an integral component of the operations behind this program, they do continue to monitor it's success, in addition to the multitudes of other programs throughout the world, in order to create a global discourse on arts in education practices.