Integrating Gender Issues into the Teaching of Art Appreciation at University Level
The aim of the present study is to integrate gender equality education into the university art appreciation curriculum. Through a process of pedagogical research, the study explores how the incorporation of gender issues into the curriculum can help to enhance both students’ gender awareness and their art appreciation capabilities. During the process of implementing the research, use was made of analysis of students’ learning sheets and feedback forms, along with class observation, interviews and reflective journal writing, to examine the effects of integrating gender issues into university-level art appreciation teaching and the impact on students.
The research results - both in terms of the quantitative questionnaires and qualitative data and reports - showed that there had been an improvement in both students' awareness of gender issues and their art appreciation capabilities. With regard to awareness of gender issues, students were able to: understand how traditional gender roles affect individuals' learning and development; appreciate that housework responsibilities should be shared; realize that, when faced with gender discrimination in the workplace, one can choose to use one's actions and attitude to demonstrate one's capabilities; recognize the need to work through the family, the media, the legal system, the education system etc. to change people's preconceptions; realize that compensation should be based on ability, not gender; demonstrate respect for transgender people. The students felt that it was important for the curriculum to give them the opportunity to reflect, to change, to progress, and to not be constrained by gender, in order for everyone to be able to develop their full potential. In regard to art appreciation, students were able to use description, analysis, interpretation and judgment to appreciate art works, films etc. of different types. Finally, the students were also able to utilize the methods of art appreciation to analyze short films that embody or challenge gender stereotypes, and to identify examples of gender stereotyping. The students reported having had their awareness of gender stereotypes raised, and were able to compile reports that demonstrated an enhanced awareness of gender issues.
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