International Journal of Art & Design Education

Integrating Art Education Models: Contemporary Controversies in Spain

Volume 24.1   2005

Belver, Manuel; Ullán, Ana & Acaso, María


In this article, a basic controversy for art education in Spain is analysed, and its antecedents in thought and social and artistic practices are reviewed. The controversy refers to the question whether school art education should be oriented towards the fine arts or towards the manual arts. Consequently, which should be the cultural model of reference in contemporary art education? These two controversies are considered as two dimensions whose poles have, to a certain extent, the capacity to articulate various educational trends. The values associated with each pole of each dimension are discussed: for the first dimension, creativity, originality, self-efficacy and the value of accomplished work; for the second, increase of cultural capital and intercultural solidarity. Finally, the possibility is considered of elaborating educational models that would integrate the various mentioned educative values. The question is raised of the compatibility of these educational values, and it is pointed out that art education has the capacity to generate educational spaces of interchange and dialogue in which to combine languages and perspectives that can contribute to human development and to the mutual coexistence of social groups.