The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has organized a workshop for its art education teachers at Manarat Al-Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi under the theme “Including Artistic Elements of World Heritage Sites in.”
A number of experts and specialists in the field of art and heritage from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture (ADTC) Authority participated in the workshop.
Dr. Najwa Al-Hosani, Advisor to ADEC’s Director General and Acting Curriculum Division Manager, indicated that ADEC is keen to promote national identity and reinforce the UAE’s history and heritage through including them in curriculum and linking them to various subjects and knowledge learnt by students, in addition to encouraging students to become creative and innovative in scientific and artistic activities. Therefore, ADEC’s Art Education Section works on using artistic elements of national heritage to promote artistic awareness among students.
Dr. Al-Hosani added that the art workshop aims to introduce teachers to the artistic features of archeological sites that reflects Al-Ain’s history & civilisation, developing art teachers’ experiences through connecting the artistic elements of national heritage with ADEC’s art curriculum, in addition to highlighting relics and artistic features in the World Heritages sites in Al-Ain that go back to the Bronze age, i.e. 3000 years ago, and using them in art curriculum.
Dr. Musa Salem, Head of Content Development section –Education and Professional Development Division at the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA) pointed out that this workshop crowned the efforts of mutual cooperation between ADEC and TCA to integrate art characteristics in the Art curriculum, since the Al-Ain heritage site is registered as the first Emirati site on World Heritage List at UNESCO since 2011. He emphasized that this also comes in the context of promoting world heritage sites in Al-Ain, while enhancing the knowledge of teachers and students on this great humanitarian legacy which dates back to more than 3000 years.
Dr. Musa added that the workshop encourages students to visit archaeological sites in Al-Ain and recognize the work accomplished by ancestors in the past to maintain national identity of those who lived on this land since the ancient days. He indicated that it is of paramount importance to instill the value of art, creativity and innovation among students through designing & implementing artwork that simulates art characteristics in these archaeological sites, while using them in an artistic context that is inspired by teachers and students, whose artistic ideas can help boost the components of national identity.
The workshop included theoretical as well as hands-on sessions. ADTCA experts and specialists gave a presentation on the World Heritage Sites in Al-Ain that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2011. The presentation also highlighted the archeological sites and relics found at Al-Ain’s historical sites, stressing the chronological eras of art history and civilization in the UAE, especially the traditional architecture of historical buildings in the oases. This was followed by another discussion session between teachers and ADTCA experts to set a general framework of innovative artistic concepts that can be included in the art curriculum taught across ADEC schools. Following that, attendees went on a tour of Manarat Al-Saadiyat to visit Emirati Expressions and Al-Saadiyat Future Exhibition.
A hands-on art workshop, in which ADTCA designing art workshop specialists participated together with ADEC art teachers, was also conducted with the aim of enhancing teachers’ abilities in developing innovative thinking in the field of creating and designing art activities and workshops on national heritage for their students, while making use of such activities to help students develop a positive attitude towards art in order to raise a generation that appreciates the concepts of art, history and heritage.