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VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK ASSIGNMENT

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VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK ASSIGNMENT
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 2
Abstract
This project is focused on comparing the differences in the teaching styles in visual arts education in Beijing and New York at an undergraduate level. It is illustrated that the number of
Chinese art students who prefer to study in the United States is persistently increasing. Therefore, one of the objectives of this study is to determine a potential reason for such an increased interest among Chinese students to continue their visual art education in the United
States, respectively better designed, flexible culture-based curriculum. In the literature review
section of the project, there is substantial information about the teaching and learning implications pertaining to visual arts education in China versus the United States. An important
argument illustrated in this section is that the Chinese educational system is centralized,
while the US educational system is characterized with greater freedom, flexibility and opportunities for the manifestation of students’ creativity. The research methodology selected in
this study is qualitative research, implying a relevant focus on exploring the lived experiences
of individuals with regards to the research problem. The participants in this study are represented by eight Chinese visual art students and four faculties from Beijing and New York.
One of the themes discussed in the study refers to the various possibilities to enhance students’ learning through providing them with a wide range of challenging tasks. Furthermore,
the study is focused on students’ implications about the learning process, as well as their perceptions of diverse teaching styles present at the educational institutions in Beijing and New
York. Other topics introduced in the study relate to the implications of teacher support and
faculty insights on the teaching process, curriculum design, the presence of diverse learning
methods, characteristics of visual arts students, and differences between Chinese and US visual arts education.
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 3
Table of Contents
Abstract 2 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Chapter I: Introduction 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
Background of the Problem 5 ………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Introduction to Visual Arts Programs in China and the United States 5 …………………………………………
Problem Statement 7 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Research Question 7 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Significance of the Research 8 …………………………………………………………………………………………………
Chapter II: Review of the Literature 10 ………………………………………………………………………..
Chinese Students Shift to the United States 10 …………………………………………………………………………..
The Focus of Visual Arts Education in China 12 ………………………………………………………………………..
Teaching Styles in the Visual Arts in China 13 …………………………………………………………………………..
Disciplines and Majors in Visual Arts Studies 14 ……………………………………………………………………….
Visual Arts Teaching Styles in Colleges and Universities 14 ……………………………………………………….
Contemporary Approaches to Visual Arts Pedagogy 17 ………………………………………………………………
Effect of Teaching Style on Students’ Learning Processes 19 ………………………………………………………
Conclusion 20 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Chapter III: Research Methodology 22 …………………………………………………………………………
Participants 22 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Data Collection 24 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Data Analysis 25 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Limitations of the Study 25 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Positionality 26 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Ethical Considerations 27 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Chapter IV: Findings 28 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….
The Process of Challenging Students to Enhance Their Learning 28 …………………………………………….
Student Perceptions of the Learning Process 30 …………………………………………………………………………
Student Perceptions of Teachers and Teaching Styles 32 …………………………………………………………….
Teacher Support and Faculty Perspectives on Teaching 35 …………………………………………………………
Design of the Curriculum 39 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………
Different Learning Methods 40 ………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Important Qualities of Visual Arts Students 42 ………………………………………………………………………….
Perceived Differences between Chinese and US Visual Art Education 43 ……………………………………..
Summary 45 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Chapter V: Discussion 47 ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Possibilities to Enhance Students’ Learning through Providing Them with Challenging Tasks 47 ……
Students’ Implications about the Learning Process 49 …………………………………………………………………
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 4
Students’ Views of Teaching Styles 51 ……………………………………………………………………………………..
The Implications of Teacher Support and Faculty Insights on the Teaching Process 53 …………………..
Curriculum Design 55 …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
The Presence of Diverse Learning Methods 57 …………………………………………………………………………
Characteristics of Visual Art Students 58 …………………………………………………………………………………..
Differences between Chinese and US Visual Art Education 60 ……………………………………………………
Summary 61 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Chapter VI: Implications and Conclusion 63 …………………………………………………………………
Implications 63 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Conclusion 66 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
References 68 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Appendices 72 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 5
Chapter I: Introduction
Background of the Problem
There has been an increasing number of Chinese art students leaving China during the
past 20 years to pursue their university and college studies in other countries. Studying
abroad is becoming a trend of Chinese students because generally believed, graduates with
international education background bring more creativity and demonstrate better global
awareness in their future careers. Universities and colleges in the United States offering
programs in visual arts have also witnessed more Chinese in the last ten years. In fact, even
though the overall increased rate of the number of Chinese students in the United States has
slowed down from 20% in 2010/2011 to 11% in 2014/2015, the number of Chinese students
enrolled in fine arts programs had more than tripled during the period of five years.
Therefore, this research is meant to uncover the reasons for the shift in the number of
visual arts students from China to the United States for future references in education. Factors
including the economy, globalization, and culture can be reasonable dimensions in explaining
this phenomenon. However, the differences in teaching styles of two countries are mainly
investigated in this research because the teaching style is a straight-forward and fundamental
feature to evaluate what and how an educational institute brings to its students, making an
impact of forming their thinking structure, methodology, and even personal values. The
research is carried out by depicting the differences in teaching styles that exist between visual
arts schools in Beijing and those that exist in New York.
Introduction to Visual Arts Programs in China and the United States
Both the Chinese and the American people acknowledge visual arts education as an
imperative aspect of education. Visual arts are forms of art that include drawing, painting,
ceramics, photography, video production, sculptures, drawing, and paint making. In this cen-
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 6
tury, millions of employment opportunities are available globally and are worth billions of
dollars in both the American and the Chinese society (Burton & Hafeli, 2012). In the American context, visual arts include fine art, decorative arts and crafts, while the Chinese acknowledge visual art as mostly connected to fine arts. Burton (2004) opines that visual arts
education in China has its roots from the period between 1982 and 1985, and a number of
visitors from western nations are often amazed by the levels of artistic performances in the
Chinese nations. This is because China is one of the countries with the oldest history in the
line of art. Various teaching styles are used in the modern pedagogy of visual arts in higher
education system today. These are; visual and graphic organizers, class discussions, cooperative learning, free exploration and carrying out experiments (Burton, 2004). In the American
education space, visual and graphic organizers mainly teach visual arts while the Chinese are
mainly accustomed to cooperative learning (Burton, 2004). In the view of Burton (2007), a
number of differences are being noted in arts education in Beijing and New York, which
forms the basis of carrying out this research.
First, it is important to note that the structure of visual arts education in the Chinese
system is entirely centralized since the materials and policies in the Chinese circumference
emanate from Beijing (Burton, 2007). In addition, the Chinese visual arts education has a
strong agenda that is based on spiritual, political and moral goals for the Chinese arts
education while visual arts in the United States is culture-based. It is perceived as an everevolving aspect that is embraced by many young people whose art careers are benefited with
the healthy and effective combination of art and market. That leads to tailoring art courses in
the United States to suit the marketing trends and industry requirements where China is
different.
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 7
Problem Statement
An increased number of people around the globe are seeking to pursue visual arts in
various institutions of arts. It is due to the shift of perception that existed in the 18th and 19th
centuries regarding arts in general. In the current century, the visual art is considered as not
only a way of life, but also a means by which one can make some livelihood. In addition,
those seeking to pursue visual arts are traveling across nations in search of institutions that
can aid them in pursuing the careers of their dream. For the purposes of this research, I aim to
investigate the different teaching styles between visual art studies in China and in the United
States. Beijing and New York represent as the cultural and artistic center of two nations
respectively, so four institutions in Beijing and New York are chosen in order to come up
with the required findings.
Various research works have been carried out in topics related to the issue to be
investigated in this paper. However, there still exists research gaps that could aid in revealing
the key differences between the teaching styles of visual art education programs between
Beijing and New York at undergraduate levels. No single researcher has carried out an
investigation in visual arts teaching styles embraced in Beijing and New York. Therefore, I
deploy various literature works related to this study in a bid to come up with a frame for the
research questions in this investigation. Then, an effective methodology is adopted in order to
develop an effective research design.
Research Question
Given the differences in visual art teaching styles in Beijing and New York undergraduate art schools, what can be learned about their effects on Chinese art students’ learning
experiences, professional ability, and choice of the United States as the preferred destination to study visual art?
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 8
The main objective of this research work is to carry out an investigation into the
differences between teaching styles of visual art education programs in Beijing and New York
in top art schools at the undergraduate level. The study mainly focuses on the Central
Academy of Fine Art Beijing and Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University
Beijing in China, and Parsons the New School for Design and School of Visual Arts in New
York City. The purpose of identifying the differences that exist in the teaching styles is to
enable those seeking to join schools of art in Beijing or New York to make suitable choices of
schools that fit their talents, aspirations, and career dreams. These differences are also
identified so as to make sure that information on the teaching styles of visual arts schools
between the two cities is availed for those who will aspire to carry out further research in the
future. The research will aid readers and future researchers in estimating the reasons why
many Chinese visual arts students are shifting to study in New York, while several art schools
in Beijing offer the same visual arts programs. With the aid of an effective sample consisting
of students and faculties, the study will facilitate understanding of the reasons why many
foreigners are opting for visual arts schools in New York rather than those in Beijing.
Significance of the Research
This research work is worth pursuing since it is able to shed light on the influx in the
number of Chinese visual arts students into universities and colleges in the United States
offering courses in this field for future educational reference, for example, optimizing
curriculum. This research is also worth pursuing because there is an increasing number of
talented young adults who are seeking to admit themselves in visual art schools in Beijing
and New York and do not have the platform to obtain more information about the teaching
styles of schools in these regions. The most imperative aspect of this investigation is its
findings.
VISUAL ARTS IN BEIJING AND NEW YORK 9
These findings are of importance to a number of individuals in one way or the other.
First is the importance of the findings to the parents and students of young adults willing to
get admission into visual art schools. The results from this investigation help Chinese parents
and art students in pursuing this field and are yet to make choices either to pursue this
education field in Beijing or New York. The students can gain insight into the teaching styles
embraced in these schools so that they can make choices on where to attend art studies.
Second, the results of this investigation will aid future researchers who are willing to carry
out research works related to this field of research. This is in line with the aforementioned
statement stating that there are substantial gaps in this field of study and more research needs
to be carried out concerning the teaching styles practiced in Beijing and New York.
Therefore, this research is most likely to benefit future researchers seeking to carry
out more investigations in this field and young adults seeking to acquire more knowledge on
the best visual arts schools in Beijing and New York and the differences in teaching styles
that exist in these schools. In the world of practice, this research and its findings will bring
implications to visual arts students by availing them with information on teaching styles used
in these schools. It will also implicate future researchers who are willing to carry out investigations in this field by availing relevant data in their field of study.

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