New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Challenges of Developing Heritage Conservation Studies in Science and Art Faculties

Reza Vahidzadeh, Islamic Azad University - Central Tehran Branch (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


Higher education of heritage conservation is still prevalently accomplished in art institutes, while it has not so much similarity to other fields art programs. In some countries it is divided into two branch of “science for heritage conservation” and “restoration profession”. However, there is generally a need for studying various international experiences and planning new strategies for a more proper system of education that best suit the nature of conservation science. Moreover, the division of work between an artist (the restorer) and a scientist would not be practical in many cultures and regions. Iran has long entitled conservation experts as engineers, although conservation is still being taught mostly in art universities. However, it gradually approaches towards science and engineering educations along with programs in the field of architecture and urbanization. Masters in Conservation is taught at three public universities and a non-governmental university playing a major role, not only in Iran, but also throughout the West Asia region, with graduation of almost 110 conservators per year. On the other hand, in Sweden, the University of Gothenburg has also systematically addressed the academic training of conservators through the framework of science education. This paper, while reviewing the innovations in teaching conservation as science education, compared its advantages and disadvantages with the education at the faculties of art and humanities. For this purpose, a review of the policy documents and the syllabus of conservation programs from 1980 to 2017 has been done based on the experience of the author as the candidate of professorship in these universities and later the faculty member and head of conservation department at IAU-CTB with regard to the international ethical documents of heritage profession. This comparison indicates a remarkable difference between the concept of caring with minimum intervention as the main objective of conservation with the concept of creativity as the focal point in art education. This shows the necessity for a revision at a wider level through interdisciplinary cooperation at the regional and global levels that seems to be more properly accomplished in the framework of a faculty of built heritage engineering and environmental sciences.

Keywords: Syllabus, Conservation, Iran, Sweden, Curricula Session;


[1] Galdieri, E. and Afsar, K. “CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF PERSIAN MONUMENTS”. Encyclopedia Iranica.  Vol. VI, Fasc. 2, pp. 134-138, 2011
[2] Hodjat, M. “Cultural heritage in Iran: policies for an Islamic country”, PhD thesis, University of York, 1995.
[3] Iran Ministry of Culture and Higher Education (1990). M.A. Program for Object Conservation. 
[4] Iran Ministry of Culture and Higher Education (1985). B.A. Program for Object Conservation.
[5] Iran Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (2007). M.A. Program for Object Conservation.
[6] Iran Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (2013). M.A. Program for Object Conservation. 
[7] UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG Faculty of Science (2012). Programme syllabus for Conservation, Master Programme, 120 higher education credits.


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