Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)

The Innovative Teaching Reform of Costume History Courses in the Context of Applied Talents Training
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“Chinese and Western Costume History” is a compulsory course for first-year undergraduates majoring in clothing and costume design. The course systematically teaches the knowledge of costume culture in various historical periods of China and foreign countries, is closely integrated with disciplines such as art, history, geography and social psychology, and carries the important tasks of extending professional knowledge of clothing and expanding design thinking, cultivating students' comprehensive innovation ability and cultural and artistic accomplishment, etc. The innovation and reform of this course meets the needs of new liberal arts construction and puts students at the center, with the concept of cultivating morality and educating people running through the whole teaching process, taking “theoretical practice + online and offline + on-campus and off-campus” blended teaching as an innovative means, undertaking the school's goal of applied talents, and cultivating applied compound talents with an international vision.


2.1. Sublimating Teaching Content to Adapt to the Development of the Times

The course “Chinese and Western Costume History” covers clothing styles, fabrics, production techniques and accessories in various historical periods in China and Western countries, and its main points of knowledge are numerous, complicated and difficult for students to learn [1]. At the same time, clothing and costume design is an applied major, which requires students to have strong practical ability and innovative design ability. The teaching content needs to be further optimized to improve the comprehensive competitiveness of students within the limited class hours [2].

2.2. Stimulating Students' Learning Drive in Historical Theory Course

Before the course reform, the syllabus was 100% theoretical knowledge teaching, and the teacher output knowledge unidirectionally, and there was no hands-on practice class for students. The content of the course was relatively abstract and monotonous, coupled with the lack of students' understanding of the importance of this course, resulting in low enthusiasm for learning [3].

2.3. Improving Students' Independent Critical Thinking and Innovation Ability and Research Design Ability

In the past, the costume history course adopted a single assessment model of “signing in at the class and closed-book written test at the end of the term”, resulting in the situation that students “slept in class, stayed up late at the end of the term and recited the questions, and forgot what they had learned after the exam” [4]. Students simply learned historical theory knowledge in books by rote for credits, and the course goal of improving students' innovative application ability couldn't be achieved [5].

From the perspective of students, in the current era of the popularity of We-Media and the explosion of information, college students are deeply influenced by the Internet culture and easily lose their critical thinking and innovation consciousness. Students lacked the necessary reflection and criticism of popular culture and foreign culture, and it was difficult for them to break through and innovate in the study and application of Chinese traditional culture [6]. Therefore, if teaching only focuses on imparting knowledge and ignores the cultivation of judgment, thinking and research ability of students, students will easily deviate from the correct values and there will be a gap between knowledge and ability. It will be difficult for the traditional theoretical lecture-style teaching to realize the transformation of students' abilities and cope with future challenges [7].

2.4. Cultivating Compound Talents With Patriotism and Global Vision

High-quality compound talents should not only have certain professional design ability, but also have high ideological and moral quality [8]. The cultivation of students should not only stop at the teaching of professional knowledge, but also take into account the cultivation of outlook on life, moral outlook, ideological quality and traditional cultural habits [9]. The reform of the costume history course needs to dig deep into the elements of ideological and political education. Through innovative education and teaching methods, like salt dissolving in water, ideological and political teaching can be subtly dissolved in teaching [10].


3.1. Reorganization of Teaching Content and Resources

3.1.1. Diversified Information-Based Teaching Content On-Campus Resources

In order to expand students' knowledge, the course includes historical and cultural background, economic development, regional and ethnic characteristics, religious and philosophical thoughts that are closely related to the causes of costume. Teachers expound the key points of knowledge through celebrity allusions or story analysis methods that students like. Off-Campus Resources

The school strengthens the construction of the second classroom of the course practice base, breaks through the barriers to the exchange of community culture and university resources, and allows students to participate in social practice activities, in order to closely integrate classroom teaching with social needs and realize the achievements of course ideological and political teaching to serve society.

China National Silk Museum is the largest professional museum of textile and garment in China and it is also a diversified and in-depth cooperation practice base for this course. In the middle of the course, the school will arrange for students to conduct a one-week “cognitive practice” to observe the cultural relics in the museum and immerse themselves in culture and history. The thematic creation is used as the internship assessment content, in order to improve students' practical and creative ability. Online Resources

The school builds the SPOC online course platform. With the help of rich online course ideological and political resources, the online and offline blended teaching model can be achieved. Online learning is not limited by time and place. Students can learn teaching-related video materials and find relevant literature through the SPOC online platform of this course at any time, which not only lays the groundwork for offline teaching, but also expands classroom teaching. Hierarchical Distribution of Educational Resources

Considering the differences in students' knowledge and ability, the SPOC online platform of this course will set up supplementary content for extracurricular learning by chapter, including text and video categories, research papers, MOOC videos and other audio-visual materials related to this course, reflecting the difference in difficulty and depth. Taking into account the differences in students' learning goals, the selected content for study has specially set up the column of the past exam papers for the costume history entrance examination of various colleges and universities in previous years.

3.2. Innovation of Teaching Methods and Activities

3.2.1. Skillfully Integrating the Bearing Points of Ideological and Political Elements Into Teaching Through Multimedia and Other Means to Achieve the Purpose of Ideological and Political Education in the Course

For example, to connect the course content with historical facts and allusions and use the case analysis method of students' favorite stories, teachers can play the clip of “Restoring the People in Ancient Costume Paintings” of the classic CCTV program “National Treasures”. Students will marvel at the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty in the interpretation of cultural relics stories.

Today's students love pop songs. When teachers give a lecture on the costumes of the Qin Dynasty, everyone can sing the terracotta warriors rap songs and watch the video together to arouse emotional resonance. Students are shocked by the superb wisdom and spirit of excellence of their ancestors thousands of years ago, and the sense of national pride will arise spontaneously.

3.2.2. The Course Innovates and Uses Various Teaching Methods to Improve the Comprehensive Ability of Students

In teaching, teachers use a variety of effective teaching methods such as heuristics and discussion methods to improve the learning challenges of the course and train students' ability to think independently and analyze inductively.

Teachers teach according to the process of “knowledge points → costume physical design → restoration and production → design innovation”, and students use their brains to complete the physical production and realize the transformation of historical knowledge into visual works.

In-class exercises require students to draw a picture of the restoration of costumes in a certain historical period in China and then transform it into a modern fashion redesign. Students knit and dye garment materials, make hand-painted and embroidered patterns, make clothing shapes by hand, and try them on according to historical etiquette. The school purchases a small dress form and allows students to restore the miniature version of ancient costumes on it, instructing students to cut the design into real clothing and cultivating students' practical ability.

3.2.3. To Solve the Problem That the Content of the Historical Theory Course Is Boring and the Students' Enthusiasm for Learning Is Not High, the Multi-Directional Interactive Teaching Method of This Course Helps to Mobilize Students' Enthusiasm for Learning and Improves the Learning Effect

When teachers teach the costume style of the “invisible form” of ancient Greece in the history of Western costumes, the students use 1:1 fabrics to make ancient Greek costumes on the spot in the classroom and play role-play games to increase the interest of the course and deepen the memory of the knowledge points.

By watching clips of students' favorite film and television works, teachers and students analyze the age of the story through the costumes of the characters in the play and learn the design method of transforming historical costumes into film and television costumes, in order to reflect the teaching goal of making the past serve the present and applying what has been learned.

Teachers consult a flood of literature and picture information before class and discuss with students what ancient costume cultural elements are used in the works of internationally renowned fashion designers in the class.

Teaching Arrangement Implementation Method
1 Online preview before class Before the class, students should watch the online preview video and PPT of this chapter on the SPOC learning platform to master the main knowledge points of this chapter and expand their historical knowledge.
2 Classroom teaching implementation Teachers arrange the knowledge points theoretically according to the students' preview situation and the syllabus. Teachers and students interactively conduct classroom discussions, on-site project exercises, hands-on practice, and flipped classroom.
3 Regular online assessment After class, students can complete their usual homework such as objective, subjective and practical discussions on the SPOC learning platform. The system generates data to check the learning effect at any time.
4 Internship and practice activities In addition to classroom practice exercises, the midterm of the course is interspersed with an internship link. Teachers lead students to participate in relevant social welfare activities and industry competitions, apply historical and theoretical knowledge to practice, exercise students' innovative ability, and reflect the social value of the course.
Table 1

Planning table of innovative teaching model.

3.3. Innovation of Teaching Models

It adopts the diversified interactive teaching model innovation of “online and offline / first and second classrooms / on and off campus / explicit and implicit integration”, in order to extend the original single classroom teaching in time and space and quickly activate various teaching resources to achieve multiple learning (Table 1).

Step 1: Online preview before class

Before the class, students are required to go to the SPOC learning platform of this course to watch the course video, PPT teaching materials and knowledge expansion materials. Teachers assign questions for students in advance and make students go to the offline classroom to listen to the class with questions.

Step 2: Offline classroom theoretical lectures and interactive teaching

  • Introduction to the course: Teachers ask questions to interact with students, and familiar things can arouse students' interest in learning.

  • Introduction of cultural knowledge and ideological and political education: teachers explain the influence of history, geography, culture, philosophy and art on costumes.

  • Making charts to intuitively explain the difficult points of knowledge, designing classroom games to interact with students, and deepening the understanding of key points of knowledge.

Step 3: Online homework and quiz after class

Teachers change the previous centralized paper-based exams at the end of the term to online assessments for each chapter, in order to keep track of students' learning levels. Teachers change the traditional historical theory test questions to subjective drawing questions, which is more suitable for the characteristics of students majoring in art and design. Teachers collect past exam papers from various fashion colleges in China over the years to help students who plan to continue their studies after graduation.

Step 4: Internship and practice activities

The school has diversified and in-depth cooperation with the teaching practice cooperation base, giving full play to the advantages of the second classroom, testing the learning results in social practice, and effectively applying knowledge from this course to social practice and public service.

3.4. Construction of a Teaching Assessment System

This course changes the single written examination method of traditional historical theory courses and innovates the flexible examination model of “online test + project paper + design practice” (Table 2).

The “online test assessment” in the usual performance focuses on the mastery of students' usual basic knowledge.

Total score: 100 points Usual performance: (50%) Attendance, class performance: (20%)
Online assessment result: (30%)
Final grade: (50%) Write research papers on self-defined topics and make a speech in class: (20%)
Original costumes or accessories design examination: (30%)
Table 2

Score distribution table of the assessment system.

In the final grade, the “project paper assessment”, which accounts for 20% of the total, is to assess the students' patriotism, cultural literacy, moral accomplishment, as well as the depth of historical research. The specific method of “project paper assessment” is to deconstruct the theoretical system of costume history into several themes, allowing students to choose a certain topic to consult and collect information related to the theme, and complete the short essay of research results within the specified time after class, which will be explained to the whole class in the form of PPT, and then the teacher will make comments and supplements. This measure not only mobilizes students' active learning initiative, but also trains students' comprehensive ability of thinking and expression.

The “original costume design” in the final grade is an evaluation of students' application ability. The purpose is to let students no longer memorize book knowledge by rote, but to truly transform knowledge into ability.


4.1. Teaching Reform Has Achieved Initial Results in Course Construction and Student Training

This course has been approved for three projects: “2021 School-level Course Ideological and Political Construction Project”, “2021 School-level Education and Teaching Reform Research Project” and “2022 School-level First-class Undergraduate Course Project”. At the same time, students also develop in an all-round way in morals, intelligence, physical fitness, work and aesthetics. In 2021, one of the students in the project group of this course received a municipal full scholarship and two students were awarded TOP1 in the 2020-2021 academic year.

4.2. Students Have Won the National College Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Project and Social Benefits Have Achieved Remarkable Results

In the 2021 national college student innovation and entrepreneurship project “Xiushang Studio — Exploration of the “Community + Internet” New Model of Traditional Chinese Costume Culture Inheritance”, invited by the public welfare stage play project of Songjiang District Yishu Cultural Development Center, the teachers of the course led students to design and produce creative stage outfits based on the knowledge of Western costume history and clothing, so that students understood the importance of learning this course and truly achieved the results of joint social service between college classroom and communities.

The phased achievements of another national college student innovation and entrepreneurship project, the “Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritance and Innovation of Shanghai Baoshan Luojing Cross-stitch · Maker Movement”, have been praised by the inheritors of intangible cultural heritage serving as off-campus tutors, making certain contributions to the revitalization of the rural economy.

4.3. Students Have Won Many Chinese and Foreign Awards

In the 19th Busan International Environment Art Festival Fashion Design Competition in 2021, students of this course won 1 international gold award, 4 international silver awards, and 5 international bronze awards.

In the “Think Youth” Shanghai International Digital Creation, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Competition in the past five years, the students of this course won a total of 6 first prizes, 10 second prizes, and 20 third prizes.

In the “2019 T-shirt Printing, Dyeing and Production Skills Competition”, the students won the third prize at ministerial and provincial level.

In the “2019 First Yangtze River Delta Creative Design Joint Exhibition”, 12 students' works were selected for exhibition.


First, after the innovation and reform of this course, it can cultivate high-quality applied talents with certain cultural deposits and design ability, high ideological and moral quality, and strong market employment competitiveness. These students graduate with the ability to work in a variety of fashion-related industries.

Second, this course cultivates students' multi-dimensional cognition of costume professional knowledge, strengthens their humanistic and historical accomplishment, expands their observation horizon, and enhances their design taste and professional vision. It also guides students to absorb the essence of traditional Chinese costume culture and can integrate Western costume culture and art into comprehensive design and innovation practice in the future.

Third, this course leads students to continuously explore Chinese traditional culture, broadens the scope of their costume design ideas, allows them to grasp the nutrients from traditional costume culture and the essence of historical costumes, and enhances their ability to deeply dig the elements of Chinese traditional culture, in order to help them improve their knowledge comprehension and design thinking skills. In other subsequent design courses and even in their future work after graduation, students can take the design of costumes and peripheral products as a new form of expression to inherit Chinese culture and show international fashion, and be able to design fashion products that both reflect traditional Chinese culture and are internationally recognized.


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Cite This Article

AU  - Miao Yu
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/11/21
TI  - The Innovative Teaching Reform of Costume History Courses in the Context of Applied Talents Training
BT  - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)
PB  - Athena Publishing
SP  - 355
EP  - 360
SN  - 2949-8937
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Yu2022
ER  -