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CULTURAL HERITAGE EDUCATION: A WAY TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE.  

2010-12-22 10:13:52|  分类: 弟子档案 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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CULTURAL HERITAGE EDUCATION: A WAY TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE

 

Yang Lixia

Tourism Department

Southeast University

 

and

 

Yu Xuecai

Tourism Department

Southeast University

 

ABSTRACT

 

Today, cultural heritage is a very charming and serious topic in our China and there is much heated discussion and debate about the relationship between preserving cultural heritage and developing tourism. Cultural heritage education plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of cultural heritage. Based on the situation of our China, this paper explores the concept, guiding principle, content, education system, guarantee system and the promising future of cultural heritage education.

 

Key Words: cultural heritage; protection; tourism; education; sustainable development

 

INTRODUCTION

 

     Cultural heritage created by our ancestors is a complex of tangible and intangible heritage which has outstanding and universal value. Being the witness of history, the carrier of culture and the image symbol of a nation, it has great scientific, historic and artistic value from which direct or indirect economic value is derived. For the reason that cultural heritage can perform an important function in the economic development, it is widely used and explored to meet the public demand and promote the economic development. During the process, there are two aspects that should be paid attention to: on the one hand, because of their particular and profound meaning many heritage sites become very popular tourist destinations and this can satisfy the increasing public demand for culture and tourism, upgrade the public awareness and understanding of the heritage in a much wider scope and at the same time can lighten the shortage difficulty of protection fund as well as promote the local economic development. But on the other hand, the cultural heritage is very delicate and some will disappear forever once damaged, and there are series of problems about understanding, management system, legislation in our China, so the cultural heritage will be affected, damaged, destroyed and even die out. We can find many reports about the heritage damaged in the public media. Some hold that cultural heritage is owned by the whole nation and has some special characteristics and can’t be used to gain economic profit and tourism exploration is the main cause of cultural heritage damage or destruction. Others argue that developing tourism is helpful to the realization of cultural heritage’s value and that tourism development and cultural heritage protection can promote one another and develop together. Such debate has once risen one after another among the government, industrial and academic circles and is becoming more and more heated at the present time.

    

     Considering such a complex background, on the one hand we should preserve the cultural heritage and pass it down to the future generations so as to be responsible for the ancestors and descendants and fell no regrets for our behavior, and on the other hand we must make full use of the cultural heritage to satisfy the increasing demand for cultural heritage and to promote the local economic development. Based on the analysis of our China’s present condition it is impossible to enclose and isolate the cultural heritage from the outside completely. So how to gain effective protection and rational utilization is a problem confronting us. This study holds that the most fundamental way is cultural heritage educating and only by this way can cultural heritage develop in a much wider space and be passed down to the future generations. Through cultural heritage education, the heritage knowledge will be publicized and catch the public attention so that the public will know well about the great value and importance of the cultural heritage and take the responsibility of protection.  Then a promising social tendency that everyone loves and cherishes the cultural heritage will develop and ultimately obtain the sustainability.

 

The cultural heritage education has received increasing more attention from scholars. The world heritage sites are most appropriate places to educate the young people about the truth, the good and the beauty and can be established as educational base for the young with the close cooperation of the sectors of education and heritage (Song Jin, 2003). The university plays an important role in studying the national culture heritage and the young students are the main force in the heritage protection and utilization, and furthermore, the academic research shouldn’t be separated from the intangible heritage; we must combine the intangible heritage with college education and national cultural resources (Qiao Xiaoguang, 2003). The first seminar about the intangible heritage education in colleges of China is held by Central Fine Arts University in 2002 and the attendees submitted some corresponding research papers around the central theme of college education and intangible cultural heritage and come to an agreement that universities should play their role in the cultural heritage development (Zhang Peng, 2003). From the overview of the related literature a conclusion can be drawn that there is still a long way to go to get further research into this problem. The aim of this study is trying to develop a system of cultural heritage education, so as to educate the public about the knowledge, the nature, the value and the importance of the cultural heritage, and then to encourage them to cherish it and behave in appropriate ways, and ultimately win the sustainable development of cultural heritage and tourism.

 

This study is based upon the method of systematic analysis so as to have an integral view and understanding of cultural heritage education and to establish a system of cultural heritage education. The methodology of this research also includes acquiring related information from literature, internet and education sectors and through interviewing educators, heritage managers and the public for the purpose of identifying the existing issues, and exploring the necessity of cultural heritage education.

 

CONCEPT AND GUIDING IDEOLOGY

 

Cultural heritage education is such a kind of education that educates the public, especially the adolescent, tourists, local residents and heritage workers, about the scientific knowledge, value and function, legislation and regulation, behavior and idea, ethics and morality, etc so as to strengthen the public awareness  of cultural heritage, obtain proper utilization and effective protection, ensure it being passed down to the future generations and realize the sustainable development ultimately.

 

     Widely and closely related to many special fields such as history, culture, archeology, architecture and so on, cultural heritage education has very substantial contents and a variety of complicated levels so that some certain basic but important guiding ideology should be observed. Here we just explain the idea of the sustainable development and cultural ecology in brief.

 

1)        The idea of sustainable development

 

It was in 1980 that the concept of sustainability caught the international attention for the first time in the World Conservation Strategy published by International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) (IUCN, 1980). The call of sustainable development was advanced in the annual report Our Common Future of World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) in 1987. In this report sustainable development was given a brief but clear explanation: preserving the environment while allowing for cultural, economic, social and political development and the present needs must be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (WCED, 1987). From the beginning that the theory of sustainable development was put forward it has shown great vitality all along and developed continuously in content and meaning, and also is increasingly widely advocated in the fields of economy, environment, society, culture and so on, and furthermore, it will run through the cultural heritage education all the while. Around the centre objective of upgrading the public quality, enhancing national heritage consciousness and realizing the sustainable development of cultural heritage, it is very necessary and important that the public should not only understand and know about the sustainable development but also have the knowledge and ability to carry it out in the protection and utilization of cultural heritage in proper ways. During the process of using cultural heritage to meet our demand we should be aware of the responsibility and obligation to preserve and pass it down to the future generation and pay attention to the justice between different generations as well as within the same generation and the coordinated development of environment, economic and social culture.

 

2)        The ideology of cultural ecology

 

Using the corresponding concept of ecology for reference, this paper defines the cultural ecology as an interacting and interdependent state or relationship between the human culture and its environment in some certain space–time. Created by human being and developing continuously under some certain conditions cultural heritage, tangible or intangible, has very close relation to the environment in which it comes into being, exists and develops. In the cultural heritage education the inherent relationship should be thought much of. We should use the systematic ideology of cultural ecology to instruct the research and practice in cultural heritage. For tangible heritage such as sites, remains and monuments we should not only set eyes on their material existence but also pay attention to the history witnessed and the culture contained. The cultural heritage can’t be separated from the related natural, social and historic background as well as the historic and cultural information attached to it. For intangible heritage, it is even more important for us to realize this because it exists and develops depending on some certain persons and will die out if isolated from the specific background and given life style and production mode. What’s more, education is the most crucial way to guarantee it being passed down, especially so for the language, drama, traditional workmanship and so forth.

 

THE CONTENT OF CULTURAL HERITAGE EDUCATION

 

The content of cultural heritage education is very rich and varied so as to help the educatee get a comprehensive and overall understanding of cultural heritage, be conscious of the shouldered responsibility and ultimately to cultivate a kind of favorable social atmosphere national-widely to enjoy, care about and love the cultural heritage. Briefly speaking, there are three aspects, that is, knowledge, behavior and ethics.

 

1)        Knowledge

 

Heritage knowledge education is mainly about the propaganda and popularization of the general knowledge and the education of the professional knowledge that illustrated below. What is cultural heritage? What kind of character, value and function it has? Why should it be protected and preserved? How to make use of it rationally and effectively? What kind of regulation, discipline and technique is needed in the study and practice? And many other questions the like. Through the education about such knowledge, the public can get further knowledge, understanding and appreciation of cultural heritage, the professionals are able to master the specific technique and keep abreast of the latest research developments in the heritage protection and utilization, the managers and leaders realize the protection duty and crisis, the local residents obtain an improvement in the protection consciousness and the ability to use and preserve it properly, the youth are able to know much more about the broad and profound meaning of cultural heritage and clearly understand their responsibility and obligation so as to behave in proper ways, and the like.

 

2)        Behavior

 

     Cultural heritage education about behavior mainly solve the problem of what can or can’t be done, what should be done and how to be done, etc. The education is to make it clear what kind of behavior is beneficial whereas others is harmful to cultural heritage, what and how we should do in order to achieve the harmony of protection and utilization. As a result, the public will regulate their own behavior and influence that of the others and then a good and new social behavioral tendency of protecting heritage will develop step by step.

 

3)        Ethics or morality

 

The moral level of cultural heritage education is primarily about the value concept and ethics concerning cultural heritage. Those citizens who don’t protect cultural on their own initiative in daily life and work aren’t qualified ones. The public can recognize the important meaning of protecting, utilizing, developing and passing down the cultural heritage via the spread and popularization of cultural heritage education. The whole nation’s cultural heritage consciousness is strengthened and the heritage concept strikes root in the heart of the people, then a sound and positive ethical mode of cultural heritage will be formed national widely. This also does much good to the improvement of the overall national quality and the advancement of our China.

 

EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

 

The protection and utilization of cultural heritage is a continuous and challengeable task, and cultural heritage education is even so. As a long-term systematic project, cultural heritage education is three-dimensional, many-sided and connected closely with tourism and sustainable development. But at the present time the cultural heritage education in our China is not in so good and optimistic condition and its importance, especially its great influence to the sustainable development of human society, hasn’t been paid much attention to. In this instance it is very necessary and urgent for more and more government officers, heritage staff, educationists, school students and personnel of various circles to realize the importance of this project and devote into it. Cultural heritage education should not only be brought into but also run through the system of national education. On the one hand, it can be general, professional, vocational or technical education from the view of education type and also can be school education, family education and society education considering its different forms, so it can cover the whole nation. On the other hand, it should begins from the childhood and runs through the entire education process, that is to say, along preschool education, primary education, secondary school education, higher education and adult education, so it can go along the different life periods. As a result, the nationwide and lifelong study will become more and more popular and prevalent and the sustainable development of cultural heritage will be achieved finally in the future.

 

1)        School education

 

     As a special institution of education, school plays a basic but crucial role in the development of the young people, and at the same time the youngsters are the main force to study, make use of and protect the cultural heritage in the future. Schools of different levels and various kinds should bring cultural heritage education into curriculum and work out a long-term and comprehensive teaching plan with exact leading value and definite goals. Some special cultural heritage courses should be offered with the assistance of appropriate teaching materials and methods in kindergartens, primary schools, high schools and universities. As a scientific and ideological foundation of heritage protection and sustainable development, the systematic school education will be beneficial for the idea of sustainable development of cultural heritage to go deeply into the thoughts of every educatee and provide for the society with a large number of general and professional persons who care about and cherish cultural heritage. The teaching methods need not stick to some certain ones and can be flexible and varied. It can be performed in or outside class with a close link between theory and practice. Through the education, especially on-the-spot experience education, the students are educated to understand, enjoy, love, cherish and pay close attention to cultural heritage and to be clear about their duty and responsibility.

 

2)        Society education

 

With abroad objects of education, rich contents and various forms, the society education runs through all the different life stages of a person as well as covers various social fields and levels. It requires the whole nation’s attendance and support to make and carry out the education plan. Compared with other education forms, the society education itself has many strengths which can be used to create a promising social environment that is beneficial to cultural heritage education. By means of TV and broadcast, books and newspapers, internet, speech, public advertisement and the like we can make full use of the social strength from all aspects. We also can use the successful experience of other countries for reference such as setting up heritage club as well as holding activities on heritage day or in heritage week. The school also can be opened to the society so that its resources can be used for professional education and technique train. It also can be the interior education to the staff of government sections, enterprises, NGOs and so on. The knowledge, policy, legislation, representative modus operandi, successful experience and the otherwise concerning cultural heritage will be publicized via different methods and lively manners. As a result, the cultural heritage consciousness will become more and more general and popular and there will be a common phenomenon that every person of the nation loves, protects and cherishes cultural heritage on his or her own initiative for not only the present and our country but also the future generations and the world.

 

3)        Tourism education

 

Cultural heritage has an integrated value of science, history, arts, etc and can meet the people’s cultural and spiritual demand in many ways. Cultural heritage itself is true and vivid teaching materials, such as different kinds of museums, relics, remains, sites, groups of architectures, landscapes and so on. In the tourism people get knowledge and recreation by contacting with and experiencing the cultural heritage, but what can’t be neglected is that some damaging phenomena exists in the heritage tourism. So the close and effective cooperation between the sections of heritage, tourism and some others is necessary so as to explore and interpret the meaning of cultural heritage rationally and build up the professional ethics of the heritage staff and also guide, regulate and affect the tourist behavior. All this is to create a healthy tourism pattern of cultural heritage. In view of the current condition of our China, the local government officers always play an important role in the development of cultural heritage. Those who are in charge of the heritage should be trained and educated to protect and utilize the cultural heritage in appropriate ways. The training should include the content of economic and tourism development and sometimes the evaluation is necessary. For the managing and technical personnel of cultural heritage and the local residents, propaganda and training is a good and efficient way to help them understand and perform the sustainable tourism development of cultural heritage and harmonize tourism development with heritage preservation. The shortsighted behavior like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs or draining the pond to get all the fish should be avoided and put an end to with a firm hand.

 

4)        Vocational education

 

     The conservation and utilization of cultural heritage links closely with the knowledge, quality and capability of the working personnel in heritage sites. The professional education and technical training should be practiced and strengthened so as to improve their ability to operate, restore, preserve and make use of cultural heritage properly. The vocational education ensures that the personnel can be competent at the special work about cultural heritage and that the harmonious development of efficient conservation and proper utilization of cultural heritage will be achieved.

 

SUPPORTING AND GUARANTEEING SYSTEM

 

     Involving comparatively comprehensive knowledge and many related aspects, cultural heritage education calls for the guarantee of policy, science and technique, fund and qualified personnel as well as the whole nation’s support and attendance.

 

1)        Policy and regulations

 

Cultural heritage education should bring the government’s macro-control into full play. Based on the situation of our country and using the successful experience of other countries for reference, the strategic education plan should be made as a whole. A cultural heritage education system should be constituted accorded with the strategy of sustainable development. Law and policy about cultural heritage education is important to guarantee the education enter the school curriculum and textbook and ensures that Chinese citizens can receive cultural heritage education from childhood and through the life.

 

2)        Fund, science and technique

 

Cultural heritage education requires investing much capital in, but considering the situation of our China it is unpractical for the government to appropriate a large sum of money as the education fund. So we should mobilize the whole nation to expand the financing channels, for example, the financial assistance of the state and the local, part of the tourism profit or social endowment. A special cultural heritage fund can be established to raise and manage the money. As cultural heritage education involves many aspects of professional knowledge and covers many fields it requires the support of theory and technique, especially the new theory and high-tech.

 

3)        Qualified personnel

 

The implementation of cultural heritage education depends on the qualified teachers which count for the success or failure of the education. It requires the educationists possess abundant cultural heritage knowledge and love cultural heritage and their own work, so that they can be competent of the important education task and help much attain the goal of education. Considering that of the above, the cultural heritage staffs need to be trained professionally and then their quality and capability is improved. The universities play a crucial role in cultivating and educating qualified person for the society. The colleges should bring cultural heritage education into their educational systems, establish the cultural heritage major or offer the concerning course for the undergraduate, master or doctor. Through the cultivation of professionals with higher quality and greater ability, the cultural heritage education will be supplied with sustainable education human resources.

 

4)        Public participation

 

The cultural heritage education involves the participation of many aspects including the government, youngsters, heritage departments, educational sectors, tourism sections, local residents, the mass media, scientific research institutions, tourists and even the whole nation. Without the understanding, support and attendance of the public the cultural heritage education is impossible to succeed.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The conservation and utilization of cultural heritage is a quite hot and popular topic in our China at the present time or we can say that it is very serious and heavy as well as charming. There is comparatively much more discussion and debate about the protection and utilization especially about the tourism development. How to deal with the relationship between the protection and utilization and realize the sustainable development of cultural heritage? This is an urgent and important problem that we must confront and solve. The foundation of the cultural heritage’s sustainable development lies in education and only by means of education can the qualified person who cherish and protect the cultural heritage be cultivated, and then ultimately solve the issue existing in the cultural heritage project in our China. A phenomenon that deserves to be mentioned is that the cultural heritage education has increasing caught the attention of the government and the public. This is an encouraging development. For example, in the document some opinions about strengthening and improving the ideological and moral building of the underage promulgated by the State Council of our China in February, 2004 and notice about opening public cultural institutions to the underage and some others free of charge subscribed by the Ministry of Culture and the National Bureau of Relics in March, 2004 the cultural heritage education has been put forward and paid attention to. The first world heritage forum for the young people was held in Peking in May, 2004(Wang Sihai, 2004a), the national committee of UNESCO in China and the Ministry of Education have made a plan to bring the cultural heritage education into the curriculum of middle school and will choose two or three school in Peking as an early try, and then popularize it in the whole country step by step (Wang Sihai, 2004b). In our China educating the young people about the cultural heritage is becoming an important aspect in some middle school. The mass media is also more and more concerned about the cultural heritage. Hua Xia Times puts forward a series of public advertisement for protecting national cultural heritage in which invites the famous specialists and scholars such as Ren Jiyu and Hou Renzhi as representative propagandist (Hu Jiujiu, 2004).

 

It is a very hard and long-term task to carry out the cultural heritage education plan and it requires active participation and close cooperation of the government, education departments, heritage sectors, tourism sections, the young people, scientific research personnel, local residents, tourists and even the whole nation. The cultural heritage education is a long-term and challenging project and there is still a lot of work to do so as to develop and perfect it step by step. All of this would take much time, but considering its great importance and splendid future it is worth striving and waiting for. The aim of sustainable development of cultural heritage and the harmony relationship between heritage conservation and tourism development can only be achieved through the cultural heritage education.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Hu Jiujiu. It’s Urgent to Protect Cultural Heritage and the Academic Authorities Act as Advertisement Stars [Online]. Retrieved July 1, 2004, from http://www.cnwh.org/news/news.asp?news=127.

 

IUCN. (1980). World Conservation Strategy. IUCN, Morges.

 

Qiao Xiaoguang. (2003). Combining the Intangible Heritage with College Education and National Cultural Resources. The Fine Arts Research, 109(1), 62-68.

 

Song Jing. (2003). The World Heritage Sites in China and Quality Education the Young People. Social Sciences in Hubei, (8), 124-125.

 

Wang Sihai. a. The Youngsters’ World Heritage Education Plan will be Put into Practice in Our Country [Online]. Retrieved July 1, 2004, from http://www.law.cn/news/ztbd/wcnrxsddjs/2004622152651.htm.

 

Wang Sihai. b. The world Heritage Education Will be Brought into high school curriculum in Our Country [Online]. Retrieved May 25, 2004, from http://www.cnwh.org/news/news.asp?news=413.

 

WCED. (1987). Our Common Future. London: Oxford University Press.

 

Zhang Peng. (2003). Promoting the Sustainable Development of Original National Culture. The Fine Arts research, 109(1), 69-72.

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