The 6th International Conference of the College of Education “Art Education and Contemporary Challenges” concluded on 9 October 2019 by presenting a series of recommendations. The conference began on 7 October at Sultan Qaboos University’s conference hall under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Rasheed bin Al Safi Al Huraibi, Chairman of the Tender Board. The ceremony was held in the presence of H.E Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, Vice Chancellor of SQU, Dean of the Colleges of Education in the Arab world, Secretary General of the Scientific Society for the Federation of Colleges of Education and its Institutes, and experts in art education.
At the opening ceremony, Dr. Fakhriyah bint Khalfan Al Yahyai, Associate Professor at the Department of Art Education, College of Education, General rapporteur of the conference and chairperson of the Scientific Committee, delivered the welcome speech in which she said that those who work in the field of art education are aware of the challenges that this field is facing. “Art is considered as unnecessary subject in the education system not only in the Arab countries, but in most parts of the world. They think that it does not carry any knowledge, value, and waste the time and schedule of the student”, she observed. She said that the conference focuses on art education and its challenges, and reviews many issues and discusses the areas of development in their curricula and teaching methods, and their relationship with the age requirements, in order to develop the material of the course. “Moreover, the conference seeks to examine the possibilities of enhancing the use of contemporary technology in developing the teaching and technical process of art education applications, and activating the role of arts education in community service and sustainable development”.
The conference lasted for three days and included seven themes: Art Education and Contemporary Issues, Art Education Curricula and Methods of Teaching, Art Education and Contemporary Technology, Research and Art Education, Sustainable Development and Community Service, Arts and Science interaction, and Education and Learning in Art Education.
Prof. Dr. Bashir Makhoul, Vice Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts in the UK, in his keynote address, presented a paper entitled “Being creative means to be human”. He stated that any attempt to determine the way in which adequate creative education is achieved, we must take into account the process of thinking and creativity and the production of ideas. We need to find ways by working with these external factors through research, experimentation, procedures and processes that support the achievement of the main objectives of learning creativity. Prof. Dr. Bashir pointed out that the digital revolution, globalization and accelerated technological development all transform the world around us and creativity is at the heart of this tremendous change and leads to innovation and open opportunities and offer new horizons in education and research.
The conference featured 171 participants from 16 Arab and foreign countries including Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, UK, Thailand, Iran and Malaysia. In addition, the conference Included panel discussions for professional artists. The conference was accompanied by four art exhibitions: for students of the Department of Art Education, for the professors participating in the conference, for people with disabilities, and finally, the research poster exhibition.