Enhancing Creativity in Adult and Continuing Education: Innovative Approaches, Methods, and Ideas

By Paul Jay Edelson; Patricia L. Malone | Go to book overview

The philosophy behind the creativity centers in The Netherlands has
been shifting between a focus on the intrinsic values of art itself and
the instrumental use of art for developmental and social purposes
.


The Dutch Experiment in
Developing Adult Creativity

Folkert H. Haanstra

In The Netherlands, there are two main institutions outside the schools for education in the arts: music schools and creativity centers. The first music schools were founded in the nineteenth century as loosely formed organizations of private music teachers. Institutions that today offer courses in drawing and crafts with utilitarian industrial goals also originated in the nineteenth century (Asselbergs-Neessen and Van der Kamp, 1992). In contrast, the first so-called creativity center was founded in Amsterdam in 1947 by a group of progressive artists and teachers who did not approve of the art education in schools at the time. The number of creativity centers rose in the following decades to about one hundred. In addition to the visual arts (painting, graphics, sculpture, ceramics, textile art), these centers offer courses in drama, dance, and photography. Although the first centers were intended as both an innovation and a complement to art education for schoolchildren, adults have gradually come to make up the majority of students. At present, there are 262 art education centers: 150 music schools, 66 creativity centers, and 46 combined centers for the arts. Yearly, about 390,000 students (almost 3 percent of the Dutch population) take courses at these centers.

This chapter describes how the centers have developed and diverged along two major models, and it addresses the question of the extent to which the different goals of art education have been demonstrated.


Creativity Centers: The First Decades

The notion of art education for creative development and [free expression] dominated the philosophy of the creativity centers during the 1960s and 1970s. The Association of Creativity Centers formulated the main goal of the

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