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From 28 to 30 May 2015, the international symposium “Perspectives on Art Education” was held at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Approximately 80 participants had come together from various European countries as well as from the USA, Turkey and Israel, to be able to participate in 28 short presentations, 4 workshops and an art exhibition. The presentation “Visual Literacy: A universal concept” was developed by Rolf Laven (http://www.upl.or.at/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Booklet_KorFuerWeb.pdf). The European network ENViL aims at developing a concept to describe “visual literacy” as a central key competence. The project is supported by a fund of the Life Long Learning Programme of the European Union. The group develops a proposal of a European framework of reference for visual education CEFR_VL that can improve the work of national curricula. After the presentation in plenary the issue was discussed in small groups. As with similarly oriented meetings (BuKo15: Salzburg; Perspectives of Research in Arts Education: Opatija / Croatia; Creative Connections: Viana do Castelo / Portugal) the participants have expressed keen interest in these concepts. There was consensus on the need of such an instrument. The discussion then also pointed out potential risks (Picture / art discourse, a normative character of the reference frame. etc.).

Teaching and learning of art has undergone significant changes in recent times, due to cultural, technological, social and economic developments. The symposium “The Perspectives on Art Education” took up these challenges, looking for meaningful concepts, and posing the questions how they can be made relevant to teaching and learning. The meeting critically discussed and examined the different perspectives of the artist in today’s society, the need for new strategies of teaching and learning and the diversity of art education in different countries and universities.

Artists, designers, architects, artists-teachers and parents and scientists contributed to the discussion with short presentations and workshops. Student teachers were addressed as an integral part of the symposium group, so as to obtain a deeper understanding of their expectations, prospects and even transfers. An art exhibition of the participating lecturers artists created an expansion in direct relation to the symposium theme. Here Rolf Laven presented his steel sculpture “Per aspera ad astra”. Gabriela Pataky and Gerrit Höfferer (both ENViL members) took also part in the symposium.