Modernism , the idealistic search for truth, gave way in the latter half of the 20th century to a realization of its unattainability. Theodor W. Adorno said in 1970, "It is now taken for granted that nothing which concerns art can be taken for granted any more: neither art itself, nor art in relationship to the whole, nor even the right of art to exist."  Relativism was accepted as an unavoidable truth, which led to the period of contemporary art and postmodern criticism , where cultures of the world and of history are seen as changing forms, which can be appreciated and drawn from only with skepticism and irony. Furthermore, the separation of cultures is increasingly blurred and some argue it is now more appropriate to think in terms of a global culture, rather than of regional ones.
I hope this clarifies things a bit. Whether you experiment and change to a more creative approach will depend on your goals and how confident you feel about your own situation. Thank you for writing, and feel free to add your ideas and questions. Fortunately, many art teachers still have considerable autonomy because many of our supervisors do not feel as qualified to assess our results. We are often exempt from the achievement testing other teachers are being subjected to. We are privileged to encourage imagination and creative thinking.
Life of course often doesn’t permit autonomy. If we want to achieve certain things, we have to take certain action and often lose sight of the goals that force us to take it, focusing only on the action we feel compelled to take (., if we want to be in a relationship we often have to choose our partner’s desires over our own). When we remind ourselves, however, of the reasons we’re doing something we don’t want to do—reasons that represent our autonomous desires—it becomes clear that we’ve voluntarily surrendered our autonomy in the name of our autonomous desires . We always, in fact, have the power to say no. We simply need to be prepared to live with the consequences of that choice. And when I remind myself of that, the choice to say yes feels more like my own.