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Cultural education: the promotion of cultural knowledge, creativity and intercultural understanding through education

Report | Doc. 11989 | 09 July 2009

(Former) Committee on Culture, Science and Education
Rapporteur :
Ms Christine MUTTONEN, Austria, SOC
Reference to committee: Doc. 11327 rev, Reference No. 3379 of 5 October 2007. 2009 - Fourth part-session


Cultural education, which is learning and practising the arts, as well as through the arts using transversal pedagogical means, should also be understood as using the arts for the promotion of cultural and social objectives, in particular mutual respect, understanding and tolerance, appreciation of diversity, team work and other social skills as well as creativity, personal development and the ability to innovate.

The qualifications and competences of our citizens are becoming our central “raw material”. Cultural and artistic means of education should become an essential part of formal education, in particular at school level. States should facilitate access of young people from disadvantaged, minority and migrant backgrounds as well as from culturally disadvantaged regions to cultural education, thus counteracting tendencies to isolate or create parallel societies. They should ensure that every person can meet his or her educational needs by ensuring the availability of adequately trained teachers as well as access to culture and the arts.

A Draft recommendation

1. The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms the fundamental importance of education for every individual and society as a whole and recalls that, under Article 26, paragraph 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and ethnic or religious groups. All forms of artistic expression are recognised as tools in intercultural education by the Council of Europe’s White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue of 7 May 2008.
2. The right to education is a fundamental human right guaranteed under Article 2 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. Education should be used as the driving force for new social and economic structures in today’s world of rapid change, increasing globalisation and complex economic, societal and cultural relations.
3. Cultural education, which is learning and practising the arts, as well as through the arts using transversal pedagogical means, should also be understood as using the arts for the promotion of cultural and social objectives, in particular mutual respect, understanding and tolerance vis-à-vis others, appreciation of diversity, team work and other social skills as well as creativity, personal development and the ability to innovate. Cultural education can help to create synergies beyond cultural diversity through positive and constructive dialogue. The promotion of creativity and the ability to innovate is indispensable for the development of a person’s character as well as for meeting daily challenges. Self-expression through, and experience of, the arts develop basic coordination and core skills that assist the child’s ability to learn from the earliest years.
4. The Assembly recalls the UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education adopted by the World Conference on Arts Education: Building Creative Capacities for the 21st Century (Lisbon, 6-9 March 2006) and welcomes the European Union initiative “European year of creativity and innovation” in 2009. It regrets the absence of a Europe-wide programme to assess adequately cultural education and social competencies acquired at school.
5. The Assembly has widely supported education policies related to culture, such as through its Recommendation 1833 (2008) on promoting the teaching of European literature, Recommendation 1717 (2005) on education for leisure activities, Recommendation 1621 (2003) on the promotion of art history in Europe, Recommendation 1437 (2000) on non-formal education, Recommendation 1104 (1989) on dance, and Recommendation 929 (1981) on music education for all.
6. Education typically takes place in schools and institutions of higher education, as well as in an informal way through media, cultural institutions and art. Art can usefully reinforce formal education. Cultural and artistic means of education should become an essential part of formal education, in particular at school level. New information and communication technologies have strongly increased the possibilities for, and the impact of, cultural education, both in formal and informal education.
7. Successful education implies logical and abstract thinking, imagination and sensibility, creativity as well as cultural memory, with communication skills being the necessary starting point. Communication requires cognitive and social competences as well as literacy in a broad sense, comprising not only speaking, reading and writing literacy, but also numerical, cultural and artistic literacy.
8. Artistic communication could assist persons experiencing difficulties in speaking, reading or writing, irrespective of whether these are a result of physical, mental or educational problems. In order to fully exercise their right to education, persons with special needs should have access to more intensive and holistic education including in particular cultural education.
9. Literacy is a fundamental issue to participate in, and actively contribute to, democratic society. Although illiteracy in reading and writing in Europe is below the estimated 10-20% worldwide, a proportion of Europeans with a migratory background is functionally illiterate in the language of their country or region of residence. This cultural illiteracy hinders participation in social life and the mutual understanding between different social groups.
10. The Assembly reaffirms that member states must guarantee the freedom and diversity of artistic and cultural expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Educational and cultural institutions, representing the wide range of artistic and cultural practice, should set up joint projects in order to ensure an active and vivid approach to diverse cultural expressions.
11. Educational institutions should set up international co-operation projects in cultural education, in particular in regions with political tensions. Member states should support educational institutions in such co-operation by raising awareness, providing funding, facilitating travel visas where necessary, ensuring mutual recognition of cultural courses, and granting the administrative powers to educational institutions for concluding transfrontier co-operation agreements. They should ensure that every person can meet his or her educational needs by ensuring the availability of adequately trained teachers as well as access to culture and the arts.
12. The Assembly welcomes the organisation of a meeting with the international boards of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) in order to explore the pedagogical and ideological grounds of their work and examine the possibility of expanding the scope of their assessment to include civic awareness, creative skills and cultural education.
13. The Assembly asks the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to assist member states, educational institutions, cultural institutions and teachers in developing and maintaining cultural education projects and share information on best practices, for instance through the North-South Centre in Lisbon, the European Wergeland Centre in Oslo and the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz.
14. The Assembly invites the ministers for education in Council of Europe member and observer states to:
14.1 support research with a view to establishing national strategies for cultural education at school and as part of informal education and lifelong learning;
14.2 make cultural education through qualified arts teachers and artists mandatory at school and provide related training for all teachers;
14.3 facilitate access of young people from disadvantaged, minority and migrant backgrounds as well as from culturally disadvantaged regions to cultural education, thus counteracting tendencies to isolate or create parallel societies;
14.4 provide platforms of dialogue and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds, also for people distant from the arts, in order to promote integration and cohesion through cultural education;
14.5 promote diversity in culture as well as respect and tolerance vis-à-vis other cultures, for instance by distinguishing national identity from a particular culture but recognising the common cultural roots and historic cultural interrelations in Europe and beyond;
14.6 recognise culture and the arts as an open and living phenomenon of mankind when teaching cultural heritage;
14.7 develop at national level an adequate assessment of cultural education and social competencies when evaluating educational success, thus complementing the OECD’s Programme for international student assessment (PISA) and other programmes monitoring the results of education;
14.8 set up, in co-operation with the Council of Europe, projects for the implementation of the UNESCO Road Map for Arts Education and present them at the next World Conference on Arts Education planned to be held in Seoul in 2010.
15. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
15.1 transmit this Recommendation to competent national authorities and to the 23rd Session of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education to be held in Slovenia in June 2010;
15.2 develop a policy framework for assessing educational success with regard to social competencies of students, in particular in areas such as cultural knowledge, creativity, teamwork and intercultural understanding;
15.3 analyse gender differences in educational success and develop strategies for gender-specific support in education at national level, in particular through targeted cultural education at the level of primary education;
15.4 recognise the right to cultural education, set up assistance programmes for member states on ensuring proper implementation of the right to education under Article 2 of the first Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights and monitor such implementation, in particular as regards people from disadvantaged, minority or migration backgrounds in order to combat cultural illiteracy and a growing educational and cultural divide in society.

B Explanatory memorandum by Mrs Muttonen, rapporteur

1 Introduction

1. Having initiated the motion on this subject and been appointed rapporteur of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Barbara Putz-Plecko from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, who has prepared the background reportNoteNote hereto and participated in an exchange of views with the committee. I am also grateful for the lively discussions held at several committee meetings and the useful contributions by committee members.
2. As stated by Simon Rattle, "In matters of education, it is becoming very clear that society is changing: We no longer need the model that assumes there are a thousand obedient worker bees for each queen bee. Everyone in the industrial sector tells me we are educating our young people for the demands of today. We don’t need people who think in straight lines. We need people who can see the wider picture; we need people who can make connections, unexpected connections. This is the area in which the arts are supreme, in which art and education can give more, in every respect, than any other discipline.”
3. Education must take into account social challenges. Our world is characterised by rapid change, increasing globalisation and increasingly complex economic, societal and cultural relations.Information, education and knowledge are progressively becoming the driving forces behind our new social and economic structures. The qualifications and competences of our citizens are thus becoming our central “raw material” and, as such, crucial factors of international competition. They are the key to every country’s future.
4. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Art recognised that “If we are to meet these tremendous challenges with foresight and a sense of proportion, we need a suitable educational foundation that will set the necessary orientation benchmarks in this rapidly changing world and enable us to deal with it in a constructive and critical way”.
5. In order to adequately prepare children and young people for vocational and social life, educational institutions must not only understand changes in needs but anticipate them. In this sense, art and culture are indispensable elements of a comprehensive education, the objective of which is to achieve the maximum benefit for, and best possible development of, each and every individual and thus enable every individual to participate actively in society as a constructive member of the community.
6. The ability to capably handle the challenges encountered by each individual and by society, the capacity to deal responsibly with resources and the environment, well-developed interpersonal and communication skills and a well developed faculty of reflection, as well as the ability to learn, to make decisions and to act competently – all these are educational goals which, when achieved, contribute substantially to a satisfying life.

2 The arts and cultural education

7. In this context, experience with the arts facilitates learning processes that are of pivotal importance: for example, recognising and relating to what is different, or the capacity to develop transitions and interrelations within a heterogeneous group.
8. Like science, art can contribute to an overall process of development in society as a result of its view of the world and its approach to creativity. Moreover, cultural education creates a constructive basis for encounter and discussion, for coexistence and co-operation.It is a foundation of general education, not a luxury that may be added when all other educational goals have been achieved.
9. The function of schools in society is not only to give our children knowledge and skills, but to open up spheres of experience and development in which young people can get to know themselves and become familiar with the world, and which will comprehensively foster the development of their personalities.
10. “Education in the arts” and education “through the arts” open up access to a more widely defined cultural education and are an essential part of it at the same time. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the aim of education must be to promote the full development of the personality, talents, and mental and physical capabilities of each individual child.
11. Cultural education, that is, education in the arts and education through the arts (which means the use of art-based forms of teaching as a pedagogic tool in all kinds of school subjects), as examined by Anne Bamford in her systematised and comparative global review written for UNESCO, entitled The WOW Factor, makes an important contribution to the achievement of this aim. It is, in effect, a motor of individual development.
12. Increasingly, parents are coming to recognise this. In Austria, at least, the most recent cultural monitoring study carried out by the Institute for Empirical Social Research (Ifes, Institut für Empirische Sozialforschung) showed that parents would like to see more art and culture in schools because they believe that cultural education plays an extremely important role in the comprehensive development of their children’s personalities. Just recently, the Nordic Council also identified cultural education as an area that needs to be more intensively focussed on by schools in the coming years and correspondingly expanded and developed.
13. Artistic processes relate to the world “differently”. Learning is a creative process. What we learn depends, for the most part, on how we learn: on the learning place and learning atmosphere, the time, the rhythm and the clearness of presentation. Learning by means of art-based methods opens up specific spheres of experience and development – an easily recognisable fact that has been examined and described in numerous studies. This form of learning is distinguished by the particular vividness and clarity with which knowledge and ideas can be communicated. And it promotes a positive understanding of diversity, of different approaches and of multi-perspective ways of viewing things – for example, by directly conveying the insight that there is more than one reasonable answer and more than one solution to a problem.
14. Not only demographic changes – which schools are now having to deal with constructively – have made it clear that a homogeneous culture for all simply does not exist, and that, more than ever before, we are being called upon to take this into account. An approach based on rational, visual and emotional skills lets children discover new worlds and come to grips with them in playful ways.
15. The essential elements are: perception and creativity, the enjoyment and adventure of seeing and hearing, of trying things out, of simulating, playfully transforming, and achieving new effects under controlled guidance – and, of course, time and again, invention. It is a matter of providing an indispensable and different access to the outer and inner worlds (apart from the cognitive approach through technologies and media). It is a proven fact that we need experiences of all the senses in order to develop: neuro-scientific research demonstrates how thinking is stimulated by the senses and that creativity requires neuro-plasticity.
16. Literacy — as an educational goal and key area of competence — must be more than language as a verbal means of expression and communication. Creative design takes place in many “languages”. Schools must provide the time and space for this development of linguistic and non-linguistic forms of expression. Experimental situations must be permitted or created that will allow young people to make discoveries and develop new things or new modes of performance – in their own language, in their own individual ways, in their own personal forms of expression.
17. Artistic processes are always search processes that involve a seeking of individual paths, and at the same time they are processes of creative thinking. They bring new understanding of oneself in combination with greater understanding of and new connections with the world. And they produce insight and knowledge in a special way.
18. Aesthetic education, education in the arts, is distinguished by a specific interaction of cognition and emotion. We know that people who do not learn to deal with emotional intelligence run the risk of developing large deficits in perception, in decision-making ability and in the capacity to cope with everyday life and social situations.

3 Cultural education implemented

19. Surprisingly, very little is being done to put these insights into practise. A great number of good intentions are being expressed, but very few political measures are being taken that could facilitate and promote a paradigm shift. Increased effort has to be made to establish synergies between knowledge, skills and creativity. With few exceptions educational politics gets no further than paying lip service to these ideas.
20. Time cuts and the setting of other educational focuses are reducing the scope of these areas of education in many European countries to such an extent that the potential of children and young people often remains disregarded. The result is that, on the one hand, young people’s chances for development are lost at an early age and, on the other hand, their potential remains untapped for society as a whole – even though society’s need for precisely the competences and qualities that are developed through artistic and cultural education is greater than ever.
21. These important competences and qualities are:
  • the faculty of discriminative observation and perception,
  • imagination, inventiveness and vision,
  • creativity as their practical application,
  • emotional intelligence,
  • individual capabilities of expression and language competence,
  • the ability to communicate,
  • the ability to efficiently select and evaluate information,
  • the understanding of relations and correlations,
  • a capacity for critical reflection,
  • the ability to relate thinking and action in creative as well as organisational processes and to use knowledge in accordance with specific requirements,
  • the capacity to make decisions independently,
  • the ability to implement ideas innovatively and
  • the capacity to create new interconnections.
22. Creativity and the ability to innovate are decisive for sustainable economic and social development. At present we are at the end of the industrial age. The abilities and skills that were needed to safeguard the social order of industrial society are losing relevance. The modern working world is no longer primarily defined by demand, but rather by perpetual renewal and innovation. One of the most essential competences needed in the future will be the ability to decide, for the most part independently and unrelated to predefined work processes, which possible solution to a new problem is the right one.
23. Knowledge and creativity are the new economic factors. It is not raw materials and machines, capital and land, analysts say that will be the driving forces of our economy in the future. The deciding factor in the success of countries and regions will be the competition for creative and innovative minds.
24. “Creative education,” summarises Monika Kircher-Kohl, CEO and CFO of Infineon Technologies Austria, “is a precondition for innovative industry. Cultural education is the basis for people’s ability to work together productively with understanding and respect in teams and global organisations. Artistic education ensures that young people will find the courage to cross boundaries and thereby develop their personalities – not only their intellectual talents – to the full: Education in the sense of a democratic society is inextricably linked with these attributes!”
25. In this respect, adequate attention must be focussed on the multifaceted potential of young people, and conditions must be provided that allow this potential its full development. Unfortunately, up to now the promised paradigm shift has been reflected in the education system to only a very limited extent, or has been responded to merely with tightly structured “creative training” sessions.
26. The European Union has recognised the importance of creativity for economic and social success through its “European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009”. While there is no specific budget earmarked for this initiative, existing programmes shall be used to support events under this motto.
27. Creativity – the ability to create something new – needs to be allowed to grow and develop in its own way and in its own time; it needs patience and faith. Creativity cannot be measured or produced according to scale. It cannot be categorised. It lives on freedom, not commands. However, the systems we have now are enormous categorisation and compartmentalisation machines, which oppose behaviour that diverges from the norm. Creativity requires self-organised people and tolerant, open communities. This is what cultural education aims for.
28. Inadequate and bad teaching is a hindrance. However, the clear hierarchy of school subjects, exacerbated by the OECD instrument of the PISA Study (at present, primary importance is given to the subjects that PISA tests) and coinciding, perhaps, with a prevailing mood of short-sighted utilitarianism in society, is not conducive to achieving this aim. This societal tendency to see and value only direct usefulness does not recognise larger interrelationships and does not look far enough ahead. Yet we know that the problems we face in the future can only be solved if, in addition to using rational approaches, we cultivate forms of communication that are capable of making complicated and complex situations perceptible and comprehensible. Only then can action be guided by knowledge.
29. Artistic languages make an important contribution to the development of these kinds of communication. But because of their mainly peripheral position in most education systems, or due to qualitatively inadequate teaching, not only are specific forms of intelligence and understanding not fostered, the very opposite is the case; they are actually obstructed.
30. Teachers play a decisive role in awakening and encouraging creative potential. They provide examples in the way they teach and through their personality. This is why teacher training is so important. Teachers must be capable of capturing their pupils’ interest and fostering their abilities in the sense described above and thus of presenting lessons clearly and competently enough to achieve these goals. At the same time, they must be interested in an interdisciplinary approach and have the corresponding capacity to work co-operatively.
31. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of teachers are in favour of artistic and cultural activities and a number of them engage in such activities with commitment, which results in lasting positive effects for everyone involved. At the same time, there is an obvious disproportion between the personal commitment required on the part of the teachers and the small amount of institutional support they receive in a system where openness for such activities is lacking. Too often, teachers have to battle all kinds of structural resistance before they can carry out their activities. Teachers and teacher unions should become active and be supported in this process.
32. Art and educational institutions have an educational mandate. A new learning culture has to be promoted by enabling new learning communities and supporting networks. Cultural institutions, too, need to rethink their roles in connection with cultural education; generally, the production, presentation and preservation of the cultural heritage are placed in the foreground while education takes a back seat.
33. In this respect, great differences are observable among the various countries of Europe. As far as mandates and measures relating to cultural and educational policy are concerned, a number of cultural institutions offer cultural education programmes which are also school-oriented. These vary from country to country. The fact is that for some time now, these institutions have been no longer measured by their artistic production alone, but also by their ability to attract an interested and informed public and to fulfil their educational function. Increasingly, this is leading to intensified contact between these “educational partners” and, at least in some European countries, to helpful accompanying structural measures.
34. Moreover, some cultural institutions explicitly assume the cultural and political mission of reaching socially disadvantaged and educationally underprivileged target groups, as well as of generally facilitating cultural participation of young people.
35. Aesthetic education thus leads, as it were, to the heart of cultural education. The important thing is to provide a cognitive approach and a playful exposure to art and culture. Other essential elements are thought, communication and integrative processes. An unfocussed use of terminology can lead to misunderstandings and false expectations.
36. While artistic education starts with the subject, cultural education is a dialogue which focuses on the way people deal with their fellow human beings and with the environment. It contributes to people’s socialisation and strengthens their ability to participate actively in the life of society – at various levels and in a variety of ways.

4 Cultural education as a holistic notion

37. Cultural education has been on the European agenda for a number of years. It is not the particular concern of a few idealists interested in art and culture. It is a professional sphere of action in which teachers, cultural educators and artists work.
38. Their goal is to develop cultural competence – which is considered by the European Union to be one of the key competences of the 21st century. Cultural competence develops and expands in the course of long-term learning processes if these are allowed to proceed at individual speeds. It evolves to the best advantage in a lifelong and life-accompanying educational process.
39. It is in this respect that obstacles and questions arise: in a globalised society characterised by competition and pressure to perform, where do we find space and time for imagination, individuality and creativity, unoccupied zones for open, curious encounters, for constructively dealing with contradictions, for solidarity?
40. If we think about cultural competence and try to determine what it really is, we also have to reflect on what precisely is meant by culture. There are a number of definitions, some of them similar to one another and others contradictory, and they all can influence the approach taken with respect to necessary cultural policy measures.
41. Let us single out those which exemplify the various positions and enable us to recognise the conflicting perspectives: Raymond Williams defines culture “as a whole way of life”, thus offering the leitmotif of Anglo-American cultural studies, which dissolves the boundary between everyday culture and high culture and thereby significantly influences the European debate.
42. Another broad definition is the definition of culture used by UNESCO. It describes culture as “the whole complex of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterise a society or social group” (including modes of life, value systems, religious and other beliefs and traditions).
43. The British “All Our Futures” report, which introduces the Creative Partnerships programme, describes culture as shared values and patterns of behaviour that characterise various social groupings and communities. Behind this is a multicultural and multi-ethnic society in which cultural diversity is understood as a central idea of social and cultural policy.
44. In Western Europe, particularly in the German-speaking countries, culture has up to now been seen as a tradition within the context of the history of ideas, a tradition which follows the ideal of the “cultivated person” held by educated middle-class intellectuals since the 18th century. In this context, high culture is considered an educational treasure, to which everyday culture and popular culture are seen, at times, in alarming contrast.
45. Traditional, outdated cultural concepts have for some time been dissipating in the wake of a plurality of lifestyles that no longer submits to any binding canon of high art as a matter of course. To this extent, an up-to-date concept of cultural education is based on the assumption that there are areas of interaction at the interfaces of everyday culture and so-called high culture.

5 Intercultural education as part of cultural education

46. The ability to enter into intercultural dialogue and trans-cultural understanding will decide our future. When we speak of culture and education today, we have to take into account global migrations, worldwide communication networks, international business groups and the problem of poverty, which concerns all societies.
47. Europe, both as a cultural area and as an economic area, needs qualified citizens with intercultural competence, interest in linguistic diversity, the willingness to partake in innovative lateral thinking, a vigorous sense of social awareness and the capacity to act with solidarity.
48. The Council of Europe White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue adopted by its Committee of Ministers on 7 May 2008 emphasises the value of intercultural dialogue for preventing ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural divides and recognises that music, art and dance can be powerful tools for intercultural education. It also states that the arts naturally cross borders and connect and speak directly to people’s emotions. Creative citizens, engaged in cultural activity, produce new spaces and potential for dialogue. This approach was the reason for the “artists for dialogue” initiative proposed by the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Culture in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 2-3 December 2008.
49. It is evident that diversity and a multicultural environment tend to stimulate creativity. The dialogue between the cultures and the discussion of similarities and differences – in other words, of Europe’s diversity – is the basis for harmonious and peaceful co-existence. It creates quality of life and opportunities for development for everyone and strengthens our sense of responsibility for a united Europe and for the world as a whole.
50. Educational policy that has as its goal tolerance and mutual understanding has the potential to transform the increasing multiculturalism of European societies into an asset for creativity, innovation and growth.

6 Cultural teaching and learning

51. Cultural education thus implies opening up our society by means of art and culture. Open forms of learning and shared creative processes create space for encounters and for dealing constructively with differences. This space has physical, intellectual, emotional and social dimensions.
52. Cultural education cannot simply be prescribed. It requires a new culture of teaching and learning, which:
  • is open and co-operative both internally and externally;
  • focuses on the needs of the pupils;
  • is open to innovative, interdisciplinary work;
  • is project-oriented.
53. In this sense, the Austrian Minister of Education Dr. Claudia Schmied describes cultural education as a central motif of the current development of the school system.It is a common concern and a dynamic process involving parents, pupils, teachers, school administrations, artists, cultural and art educators and the societal environment as well as the industrial, political and administrative sectors.
54. Quality in cultural education is achieved by means of exchange and partnerships; a major factor in achieving such quality is thus the ability to co-operate. It is necessary to initiate and extend networks and partnerships between culture and working life that also includes civil society and other stakeholders. Such partnerships require the proper supporting framework conditions and supervision. And they succeed best in cases where such activities become a part of the overall strategic orientation of an institution.
55. Essential preconditions for good co-operation are:
  • shared spaces for these types of learning;
  • common visions;
  • clear strategies;
  • mutual trust and shared responsibility;
  • good co-operation;
  • excellent communication between the partners;
  • the boundaries between schools and communities must be permeable;
  • excessive formalisation in the planning and implementation of activities must be avoided;
  • a more open discourse on quality must be achieved;
  • commitment needs to be appropriately valued.
56. In order to be able to learn from one another and pass on experience and knowledge, it is important to document processes and results and to set up data bases, systematise them and make them accessible.
57. Learning communities and educational policy measures need to be based on good practices, differentiated exchange and appropriate dissemination. Overstepping institutional boundaries, attempting to break out of clearly delimited systems, does not, as a rule, proceed without conflicts. And it always demands above-average commitment. Stretching boundaries always begins with taking an interest in others. It requires openness for new things and the courage to become involved in something that could develop in unforeseen ways.
58. The European goals – equality of opportunity for all, cosmopolitanism and justice – have to lead the way. If we are aware of the challenges that life today presents for individuals and the community – namely, not merely to tolerate cultural differences but to analyse them and come to understand the reasons behind their ever new manifestations, not to confuse integration with assimilation, and to see participation as a constructive and active “taking part” rather than only as something passive – then we have arrived at the core of cultural education.
59. Whether it is language, media culture, music, art, dance, drama, design, architecture, material culture, fashion, everyday culture, rites, forms of thinking and acting, or aspects of everyday culture that form the basis of cultural dialogue: we are drawing here on a treasure trove of languages and ways of articulating, of knowledge and experience, of history and the present day.
60. In 2003 Simon Rattle, principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, began a dance project in co-operation with Royston Maldoom and 250 children from very different social backgrounds living in Berlin. Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” was rehearsed together and performed in the Treptow Arena in the Treptower Park with great success. Embedded in a series of projects this co-operative effort was aimed at addressing young people from socially dysfunctional areas by using the production level to turn it into a joint space for experience and negotiation about the differing views of music, movement; of life and aims. Royston Maldoom, dancer and choreographer, says: “Through dance we can connect both our inner selves and others, transcending barriers of language, race, gender, with the potential to overcome negative attitudes to our differing economic, social, religious and cultural background, and at the same time maintaining our own particular identity.”
61. Cultural education grows out of learning processes that take the inner differentiations and complexities of culture into account. It lets us experience the learning process with the senses and allows us to internally comprehend how people, under different conditions, have understood the world, interpreted it, acted in it and changed it in different ways and continue to do so.Our openness for learning processes of this kind is continually being challenged.
62. It is when resources become scanty and insecurity grows, when a lack of opportunities allows no visions of the future, that borders are closed up tight and there is a tendency to retreat behind hardened constructions of what is one’s own and what is alien. Idealisations and demonisations are frequent side effects of this process. Deviations from what is familiar engender rejection and aggression, or are penalised with marginalisation. Discussions about identity and culture then often serve the purpose of justifying separation and exclusion.
63. Cultural education programmes cannot work miracles, but they can introduce new perspectives, make restrictive views and actions perceptible, and challenge people to make a move – however small. In this sense they open up negotiation spaces, promote active debate and thus help to develop a conflict management culture. This can be compared to the work strategies of the Japanese Foundation in the field of peacemaking.
64. Parallel to the school, learning is increasingly taking place in informal contexts and during free time. Instruments of learning based on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are on offer and extremely helpful. In addition, living outside the centres should not result in any disadvantages for the individual.
65. The use of new technologies can develop these projects considerably further and open up entirely new dimensions for communication and negotiation. In this respect, the Parliamentary Assembly’s Recommendation 1836 (2008) on realising the full potential of e-learning for education and training can also be of general guidance.
66. For example, Border Games is a project in Spain to empower young migrants through the process of designing and programming a videogame fully made by them. Border Games comprises a series of workshops, a videogame engine and an editor which allows young migrants not only to design a video game in which their experiences are the main element, but also to learn the importance of becoming familiar with new technologies and using them to self-organise and recover control over their own lives and environments. (www.bordergames.org)

7 Conclusion

67. Every society is permeated with cultural differences. They arise between generations as well as between different communities and sexes, between social groupings and between varieties of self-chosen affiliations. They develop as a result of people’s different backgrounds and reflect different life situations. We carry them inside us. They construct identity. How we deal with these outer and inner differences plays a role in determining our future.In this sense, too, the growing importance of cultural education is confirmed in many ways.
68. Good and exemplary practices work towards countering marginalisation, isolation and exclusion. A broad spectrum of projects and programmes can cater to the needs of a wide variety of target groups. Numerous best practice examples have been documented.
69. Europe has a challenge relating to educational and cultural policy. But above and beyond the colourful practice of projects developed and implemented by dedicated educators, and apart from philosophic discourse, cultural education requires:
  • a suitable infrastructure;
  • financial and human resources;
  • debate among experts about content and objectives;
  • the appropriate political framework.
70. In this context, measures are needed in the area of cultural and educational policy, for example:
  • the coordination of individual measures;
  • advocacy and lobbying;
  • an intensification of European co-operation;
  • structural safeguarding of cultural education programmes in schools and outside them;
  • research funding.

Reporting committee: Committee on Culture, Science and Education

Reference to committee: Doc. 11327 rev, Reference No. 3379 of 5 October 2007

Draft recommendation adopted unanimously by the committee on 25 June 2009

Members of the committee: Mrs Anne Brasseur, (Chairperson), Mr Detlef Dzembritzki (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Mehmet Tekelioğlu (2nd Vice-Chairperson), Mrs Miroslava Němcová, (3rd Vice-Chairperson) Mr Vicenç Alay Ferrer, Mr Florin Serghei Anghel (Alternate: Mrs Maria Stavrositu), Mrs Aneliya Atanasova, Mr Lokman Ayva, Mr Walter Bartoš, Mrs Deborah Bergamini, Mrs Oksana Bilozir, Mrs Guðfinna S. Bjarnadóttir, Mrs Rossana Boldi, Mr Ivan Brajović, Mr Petru Călian, Mr Joan Cartes Ivern, Lord David Chidgey, Mr Miklós Csapody, Mr Vlad Cubreacov, Mrs Lena Dąbkowska-Cichocka, Mr Joseph Debono Grech (Alternate: Mr Joseph Falzon), Mr Daniel Ducarme, Ms Åse Gunhild Woie Duesund, Mrs Anke Eymer, Mr Gianni Farina, Mr Relu Fenechiu, Mrs Blanca Fernández-Capel Baños, Mr Axel Fischer, Mr Gvozden Srećko Flego, Mr Dario Franceschini Mr José Freire Antunes (Alternate: Mr José Luis Arnaut), Mrs Gisèle Gautier (Alternate: Mr Philippe Nachbar), Mr Ioannis Giannellis-Theodosiadis (Alternate: Mr Georgios Voulgarakis), Mr Martin Graf, Mr Oliver Heald (Alternate: Baroness Knight of Collingtree), Mr Rafael Huseynov, Mr Fazail İbrahimli, Mr Mogens Jensen (Alternate: Mrs Sophie Løhde), Mr Morgan Johansson, Mrs Francine John-Calame, Ms Flora Kadriu, Mrs Liana Kanelli, Mr Jan Kaźmierczak, Ms Cecilia Keaveney, Mrs Svetlana Khorkina, Mr Serhii Kivalov, Mr Anatoliy Korobeynikov, Ms Elvira Kovács, Mr József Kozma, Mr Jean-Pierre Kucheida, Mr Ertuğrul Kumcuoğlu, Ms Dalia Kuodytė, Mr Markku Laukkanen, Mr René van der Linden, Mrs Milica Marković, Mrs Muriel Marland-Militello, Mr Andrew McIntosh, Mrs Maria Manuela de Melo, Mrs Assunta Meloni, Mr Paskal Milo, Ms Christine Muttonen, (Alternate: Mr Albrecht Konecny), Mr Tomislav Nikolić, Mr Edward O'Hara, Mr Kent Olsson, Mr Andrey Pantev, Mrs Antigoni Papadopoulos (Alternate: Mr Fidias Sarikas), Mrs Zatuhi Postanjyan, Mrs Adoración Quesada Bravo, Mr Frédéric Reiss, Mrs Mailis Reps, Mrs Andreja Rihter (Alternate: Mr Ljubo Germic), Mr Nicolae Robu, Mrs Tatiana Rosova, Mr Paul Rowen, Mrs Anta Rugāte, Mrs Ana Sánchez Hernández, Mr Leander Schädler, Mr Yury Solonin (Alternate: Mr Oleg Panteleev), Mr Christophe Steiner, Mrs Doris Stump, Mr Valeriy Sudarenkov, Mr Petro Symonenko, Mr Guiorgui Targamadzé, Mr Hugo Vandenberghe, Mr Klaas De Vries, Mr Piotr Wach (Alternate: Mr Michał Stuligrosz), Mr Wolfgang Wodarg.

N.B.: The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in bold

Secretariat of the committee:Mr Ary, Mr Dossow