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As part of the British Council’s UK/ Korea Year of Culture, the RSA is leading a research exchange, to investigate the contribution that cultural education makes to student learning in both countries. The aim is to build a stronger relationship and explore the synergies between the UK and Korea while raising awareness of the arts and cultures of both countries.

In 2005, South Korea’s education and culture ministries jointly created a statutory agency for arts and cultural education, which now employs over 5000 teaching artists in 10,000 schools. In the UK, where subject specialist teachers are more prevalent in schools, cultural education has been subject to varying levels of government interest and involvement, but the training, employment and quality assurance of artists has largely been left to cultural organisations.

The exchange has been designed to help us understand what led governments in both countries to take the approaches they have and what each can learn from the other to support improvements to practice.  

Already emerging from the talks is a strong sense that the RSA’s mission of enabling individuals to drive change in society is a crucial component of effective government policy in arts and cultural education.  If governments want to ensure that children can learn from the artist’s approach to creativity, they need to find a model which allows for artistic integrity, encourages diversity and distinctiveness, and which relinquishes control while ensuring quality and equality of access.

From 22-26 May, the UK delegation visited Korea for a series of round-table discussions, visits to schools and cultural organisations to share ideas and explore artistic and creative apporaches. Anna Cutler - Director of Learning, Tate; Lizzie Crump - Director, Cultural Learning Alliance; Joan Parr - Head of Creative Learning, Creative Scotland; Dave Strudwick - Head Teacher, Plymouth School of Creative Arts were among delegates who participated in this exciting event.

A Korean delegation will visit the UK in November 2017 and we will be publishing a report on the findings of the exchange towards the end of the year. 

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