B Explanatory memorandum
by Mr Mogens Jensen, rapporteur
1. 21st century societies require
creativity and awareness of cultural diversity and values, which
are closely connected with other social skills such as open-mindedness,
tolerance, adaptability and the ability to handle conflict. Education
systems must uphold the development of these essential competences
for personal development, job success and active participation in
Parliamentary Assembly Resolution
on culture and democracy urged “much stronger recognition
of the role that culture can play in upholding democratic principles
and values, and building inclusive societies”, underlining that
“[c]ulture is a source of intellectual renewal and human growth.
Active participation in cultural activities helps people to acquire
a critical mind, to develop a broader understanding of different
world views, to interact with others, to have a voice and to define
their role in society” (paragraphs 2 and 3).
3. The resolution also underscores that “[e]ducation policies
generally focus on providing professional skills and knowledge targeted
at economic needs, while personal development has been to a large
degree neglected in recent decades, even though it is a key element
for personal and societal well-being. The Assembly considers that
education policies should be reviewed and used as a driving force
in today’s world of rapid change and increasing complexity. Cultural
education should play an important part in this process, in particular to
promote dialogue and mutual understanding, and to strengthen solidarity
and respect for human rights” (paragraph 4).
The present report is a direct follow-up to the above resolution.
The aims are twofold:
- on the
one hand, it will consider how personal development should be stimulated
through State policies of quality arts and cultural education and
through new types of partnerships between different State establishments
and between State and non-State actors;
- on the other hand, it will explore how personal development
could be encouraged through the recognition of competences in the
field of arts and culture acquired in the institutions of the educational system
but also when young people are engaged in out-of-school activities.
In this respect, I propose to consider the expediency and
feasibility of a Europe-wide tool for recognising the competences
gained by learners whilst participating in arts, cultural and creative
activities: a “Cultural Competences Award”.Note
ideas regarding this Europe-wide tool have been drawn up together
with Ms Joan Parr, Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland
(Edinburgh) and Chairperson of ACEnet.Note
6. This tool would be intended to document and give value to
the skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired by the many thousands
of young people who currently take part in non-statutory arts and
culture-based learning activities across Europe, that currently
go unrecognised. It would serve individual young people in terms
of their personal development, well-being and employability, and
would witness our understanding of the relationship between culture
and European values.
7. This report focuses on young people, but the proposals could
also serve lifelong learners. It focuses mostly on non-statutory
activities, i.e. activities that are not part of the core school
curriculum; however, nothing impedes that the activities in question
take place in school time or be led by teachers, depending on local conditions.
8. The report will also propose an outline methodology for the
initial and further development of the award that will provide the
opportunity to build new, meaningful and stable partnerships across
a range of stakeholders who are committed to promoting the achievements
and attainment of young people in the competence of cultural awareness
and expression, as they are aware of its interconnectedness with
other EU Key Competences and of its importance for firmly adhering
to European values.
2 The role of arts education
Since the beginning of the
21st century, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) has focused on arts education. At the Second World Conference
on Arts Education that was held in 2010 in Seoul, government representatives
and experts from the 95 participating countries agreed on a “Seoul
It emphasised the important role
which arts education has to play “in the constructive transformation
of educational systems that are struggling to meet the needs of
learners in a rapidly changing world characterised by remarkable
advances in technology on the one hand and intractable social and
cultural injustices on the other”.
The Seoul Agenda called on UNESCO member States to “employ
the proposed strategies, and to implement the action items in a
- to realise
the full potential of high-quality arts education to positively
renew educational systems;
- to achieve crucial social and cultural objectives; and
- to benefit children, youth and life-long learners of all
11. The Seoul Agenda launched a discussion on quality arts education
as well as the distinction between education for the arts (e.g.
promotion of young talents who may form the next generation of artists),
education in the arts (e.g. teaching in fine arts, music, drama,
crafts) and education through the arts (e.g. the use of arts as
a pedagogical tool in other subjects, such as literacy, numeracy
12. When arts education is linked to areas outside the cultural
sector (education through the arts), three further main concepts
can be distinguished: an approach that accentuates the importance
of arts education for the development of cognitive skills and for
the renewal of education (transfer effects to other fields of competence
as well as interactions between arts and other areas that are important
for our societies, like innovation through education), a social
aspect (e.g. education for sustainable development or civic education) and
an economic dimension.
13. The year 2020 will mark the 10th anniversary of the UNESCO
Seoul Agenda and many international networks, including ACEnet,
the European Network of Observatories (ENO), the International Network
for Research in Arts Education (INRAE), the International Society
for Education through Art (InSEA) or the International Teaching
Artist Collaborative (ITAC) are working towards devising a methodology
to record different European nations’ progress in relation to the
goals of the Seoul Agenda. This report also goes in this same direction.
is at stake?
14. There are increasingly strong
economic, social and educational drivers for developing, supporting
and recognising arts, culture and creativity competences across
formal, informal and non-formal learning. Specialists observe that
young people who are involved in the arts and culture on a long-term
basis not only acquire artistic skills but also those skills that
are useful in all areas of life.
A recent publication by the United Kingdom-based Cultural
- participation in structured
arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%;
- learning through arts and culture can improve attainment
in maths and English;
- learning through arts and culture develops skills and
behaviour that lead children to do better in school;
- students from low-income families who take part in arts
activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree;
- employability of students who study arts subjects is higher
and they are more likely to stay in employment;
- students from low-income families who engage in the arts
at school are twice as likely to volunteer. Such students are 20%
more likely to vote as young adults;
- young offenders who take part in arts activities are 18%
less likely to re-offend;
- people who take part in the arts are 38% more likely to
report good health.
The Davos World Economic ForumNote
forecasts suggest that the arts
will be a major force in economic development with 65% of the children
starting school now who will work in jobs in the future that do
not yet exist. The so-called creative industries are emerging as
the largest single sector of economic activity in many countries.
This calls for a complete overhaul of the European education system.
The World Economic Forum recognises creativity as the third most
important skill set for employability.Note
creativity will have to have a much stronger focus in education.
17. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) is going in the same direction: it is currently looking at
how to include creative thinking in the Programme for International
Student Assessment (PISA), starting a test phase in 2021. This is
likely to significantly raise awareness and interest in further supporting
the development of creativity skills. The advisory group working
on the project is considering “creativity” in terms of five “habits
of mind”: inquisitive, persistent, collaborative, disciplined and
imaginative. The final decision on whether PISA will include a creativity
assessment (and whether to rank the results) will be taken later
in the process.
In this context, it is worth recalling that the Assembly,
in its Resolutions 2123
and 2270 (2019)
culture as including spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional
features which characterise a society. Not only does culture cover
cultural heritage, the arts and letters, but also lifestyles, ways
of thinking and acting, value systems, traditions and beliefs.
19. There is a strong movement among the European institutions
to adopt competency-based models of school curricula, and an understanding
that arts, cultural and creative activities are vital to healthy
individuals and societies.
Despite the increased attention to these competences and the
edge that in the future the “arts and creativity inclined” population
is likely to have, specialised researchNote
paints a somewhat depressing picture
of the general standard of classroom provisions in arts and creativity
education in most parts of Europe. It recognises that in around
a quarter of cases, poor quality arts and culture programmes may
in fact negatively impact children’s participation in the arts,
their creativity and their imagination.
21. Young people enhance their competences (knowledge, skills
and attitudes) through a wide range of extra-curricular activities;
therefore, there is a need to develop a method that should best
reflect and value the full range of their achievements, as opposed
to evaluating young people solely on the results of their school examinations.
arts education for all
The research indicatesNote
that not just any arts and culture
education is “good enough”. Children require high quality arts education
at all levels of education and within both formal and informal education.
Yet, despite the advocacy to include arts as part of education policy
having been largely successful, this has not led to wide- scale
implementation of quality arts programmes in schools.
23. Except for a few countries, the overall standard of arts and
culture education received by children is very low. In most countries,
teachers are not prepared to teach the arts or to use some of its
techniques in the learning process. The current situation sees global
monitoring and reporting on educational standards within literacy,
mathematics, science and information and communications technology
(ICT), but does not include the impact of arts and cultural experiences
within a child’s total education.
24. Nevertheless, there are examples of good practices around
the world. Quality arts education promotes cultural identity and
has a positive impact on the academic performance of children, especially
in areas of literacy and the learning of second languages. Concurrently,
quality arts-rich education leads to an improvement in students’
attitudes towards school, on parental and community perception of
schools, as well as on student interest for culture and the arts.
25. Good quality arts and culture education also enhances self-esteem,
builds a sense of identity, and encourages unity and diversity.
It improves an individual’s ability to handle change in a dynamic
society and encourages an appreciation and understanding of heritage
(both tangible and intangible). In fact, culturally rich education
enables individuals to be active in the creation of future heritage,
design and production. In this way, the arts could be viewed as
one of the most valuable investments for the future.
It is equally essential for arts and culture education to
teach the competences necessary for participating effectively in
the culture of democracy and living peacefully together with others
in culturally diverse democratic societies. In this context, I would
underline the importance of the values, attitudes, skills, knowledge
and critical understanding as defined in the Council of Europe Reference
Framework of Competences for Democratic CultureNote
alongside the European Union’s key
competence “Cultural Awareness and Expression”,Note
be incorporated as crucial elements
in the programmes of teaching arts and through the arts.
27. Quality programmes should be built around the notion of inclusivity
and arts-rich education for all. This means that all children, regardless
of artistic skills and abilities, initial motivation, behaviour
or economic status, should be entitled to receive high standard
arts services, both within the various art forms and using creative and
artistic approaches to teach other areas of the curriculum. This
is particularly important in relation to initiatives to provide
education for all and to look at a greater inclusion of a variety
of marginalised groups within general education.
28. There is a need to ensure that there are quality arts programmes
for all children. Providing classes only for talented or interested
students cannot be considered as providing a comprehensive education
for all. Having a school band, choir, dance group, annual play or
art club does not in itself constitute adequate arts education.
role of teachers and school leadership in providing quality arts
29. In many cases, the quality
of arts education depends on what is provided at school level, which
can be different from school to school. Yet teachers are largely
unsupported in the teaching of arts education. There is a perception
that the arts lack status within most educational curricula and
the art teachers are for the most part untrained – or at least inadequately
trained. Research shows that in countries that have taken their responsibility
for providing adequate arts and cultural education seriously, implementation
of policy has been supported by systematic and extensive professional
development of teachers.
30. There is a general need for quality training for teachers
and in-service professional training of both creative professionals
and teachers, which as research shows, is far more effective in
improving the quality of arts education than pre-service training.
Ongoing professional development has the potential to reinvigorate teachers
and creative professionals and to build up their confidence, creativity
and enjoyment. Studies indicate that the arts re-engage teachers
and increase the quality of their overall pedagogy.
31. School leaders such as school directors, principals and local
inspectors play a vital role in ensuring that quality arts education
is implemented within schools; therefore, these school leaders also
require professional development to extend the raft of skills needed
to effectively manage, organise, adapt and plan instruction, to create
a space for arts practices within schools.
32. Quality arts-rich programmes generally tend to flourish in
situations where there is scope for organisational flexibility.
Within the education sectors, rigid timetables, compartmentalisation
of learning and restrictive assessment structures tend to limit
the extent and quality of art-rich education. Similarly, within cultural
organisations, high costs, containment within the physical boundaries
of a gallery or facility and lack of administrative flexibility
limit the chances of engaging fully with the education sector.
strive for new partnerships
33. Arts and culture education
are not the responsibility of one establishment or institution alone;
it is a cross-cutting task. Its base is in establishments, institutions,
organisations, associations and societies that are concerned primarily
with culture, education, youth and academia, but also with the economy,
health and urban development. Quality arts and culture education
stems from strong partnerships involving responsible State institutions,
the schools and outside arts and community organisations, or – more
innovatively – schools, arts organisations and private businesses.
It is schools, teachers, artists, the communities and increasingly
the various industries and donor businesses which together share
the responsibility for the delivery of the programmes.
In this same spirit, our recent Resolution 2270 (2019)
on the value of cultural heritage in a democratic society
encouraged policies designed to “review and update education curricula
and vocational training so that they respond correctly to changing
employment needs within the cultural sector, allowing for a stronger combination
of arts, economy, technology and science to be formed in order to
stimulate much more effective interactions between technologies,
the creative arts and entrepreneurship” (paragraph 4.2.4).
35. The paradox is that most European States have separate ministries
or departments at national, regional and local level for education
– for primary, secondary and tertiary, plus adult, education – and
for culture. Different authorities manage establishments such as
opera houses, libraries, theatres and museums, kindergartens, schools
and universities. The range of these different establishments also
reflects the differing remits, goals and target groups of the authorities
responsible for them, along with differing attitudes, values and methods
of delivering education and culture.
36. Active partnership involves the direct inclusion of a range
of cultural and artistic organisations in all aspects of the planning
and delivery of arts education programmes. The most effective programmes
have managed to build sustainable, long-term and reciprocal associations
with cultural agencies and industries. An authentic partnership
means that all players acknowledge the contributions made by the
others and are involved in all aspects of decision making, implementation
37. While many schools have had artist-in-residence programmes,
these frequently fall short of the level of partnership implied
in quality arts provisions. These partnerships need to occur externally,
between different schools and other educational entities/agents
such as institutions, artists, the community and families.
38. Often, family members are reluctant to encourage their children
to take part in artistic activities, as it is perceived to be recreational
rather than educational. The involvement of cultural partnerships
builds support for arts education and encourages the broader community
to see the arts as valuable. Furthermore, early alliance between
cultural institutions, parents and children is likely to reap benefits
in terms of audience development in later years.
39. Short-term and tokenistic involvement of creative professionals
is unlikely to produce sustained changes in the quality provisions
within school or educational contexts. Quality partnerships should
ideally be of at least two years’ duration and involve the high-level
commitment of education, arts and cultural organisations.
40. Collaboration is a crucial part of the arts, especially the
performing arts. More than in the case of other disciplines, arts
subjects very often require group work activities such as in the
case of drama, music and dancing. Group work in turn creates a spirit
of belonging and personal interaction that is also important for
the personal development of the child. Teamwork develops communication
and social skills and may have an important impact on the child’s
general attitude towards school.
policy foundations for a Europe-wide tool for recognising cultural
competences: what do current policy documents say?
41. The urgent need for promoting
European values, recognising the centrality of culture to current
social, economic and democratic issues, giving value to cultural
awareness and expression competences and encouraging partnerships
across different policy sectors are eloquently argued for in a number
of recent Council of Europe and European Commission documents. The
following is a very small selection taken from key documents.
In our report on “Culture and
urged the Council of Europe to stay at the forefront of positioning
culture as an integral part of the democratic process. The report
recommends fostering co-operation between different sectors of the
Council of Europe to develop innovative approaches to cultural policies.
It points to the need for member States to better integrate cultural
activities; improving access to culture for marginalised and underprivileged
youth, and to support projects that aim to integrate cultural activities
into other policy sectors such as health, social services, prison
and penitentiary rehabilitation schemes.
Based on this report, Assembly Resolution 2123 (2016)
asks, inter alia
that member States:
the right of everyone to participate in cultural life as a core
human right (paragraph 6.1);
- promote the diversity of cultural expression as positive
factors for innovation and development (paragraph 6.2);
- foster partnerships between the cultural sectors (cultural
institutions and individual artists) and the education system, including
formal education and lifelong learning, to promote the understanding
of freedom of expression, respect for diversity and the development
of intercultural competences from a very early age (paragraph 6.4);
- bring decision making processes regarding culture as close
as possible to the citizen (paragraph 6.5).
44. The Council of Europe’s IFCD
is a tool for assessing and optimising cultural policies on the
basis of reliable, comparative data and for examining links between
culture and democracy within and among the 47 Council of Europe
member States. The first thematic report “Cultural participation
and inclusive societies” (2017) highlights the links between culture,
trust in society and inclusion. The IFCD policy maker’s guidebook (2016)
explains the logic and how to implement the framework.
The latter document states that: “A link has been made in
recent years between a strong, well-functioning democracy and an
abundance of cultural opportunities for citizens and others living
within a society. Societies are said to be more open, tolerant,
well-functioning and economically successful where people have easy
access to a wide range of cultural activities and participation
rates in these activities are high. Cultural activities seem to
be an important part of building citizens’ skills to express themselves,
inform themselves, think critically and hold opinions – skills that
are essential for a democracy to work.”Note
awareness and expression handbook
The European Union Open method
of coordination working group on “Cultural awareness and expression”
published a handbook
in December 2016 on the subject; its annex contains
good practice examples from across Europe. The competence in cultural
awareness and expression is one of the eight key competences that
form the reference tool which EU member States are called to integrate
into strategies and infrastructure in the context of lifelong learning.
47. The handbook defines “cultural awareness and expression” as
“the appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of
ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media, including music,
performing arts, literature, and the visual arts. Cultural knowledge
includes an awareness of local, national and European cultural heritage
and their place in the world. It covers a basic knowledge of major
cultural works, including popular contemporary culture”. This definition
is based on the idea that a solid understanding of one's own culture
and a sense of identity can be the basis for an open-minded attitude
towards others and respect for diversity and cultural expression.
Relevant skills related to this competence include, among
others, the ability to relate one's own creative and expressive
points of view to the opinions of others, and to identify and realise
social and economic opportunities in cultural activity”.Note
Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning
On 22 May 2018, the Council
of the European Union adopted a Recommendation
on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning
. The recommendation includes in annex the updated “European
Reference Framework” of key competences for lifelong learning. This
Framework sets out eight key competences,Note
important and interlocked, which “all individuals need for personal
fulfilment and development, employability, social inclusion, sustainable
lifestyle, a successful life in peaceful societies, health-conscious
life management and active citizenship”.
50. These key competences include the “competence in cultural
awareness and expression”, which “involves having an understanding
of and respect for how ideas and meaning are creatively expressed
and communicated in different cultures and through a range of arts
and other cultural forms. It involves being engaged in understanding,
developing and expressing one's own ideas and sense of place or
role in society in a variety of ways and contexts”.
Creative Europe Programme (2014-2020, 2021-2027)
51. The Creative Europe programme
was established in 2014 with the objective to safeguard and promote cultural
and linguistic diversity and Europe’s cultural heritage, and to
strengthen the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative
sectors. The programme aims to anticipate new trends in the relevant
sectors by bridging culture and creativity, fostering the movement
of young talented artists and sharing cultural content across borders.
It helps cultural and creative organisations to operate transnationally
and promotes the cross-border circulation of works of culture and
the mobility of cultural players.
The new European Commission proposal for the Creative Europe
recognises the intrinsic value of
culture and puts forward a double increase in the budget, safeguarding
the freedom of artistic expression, mobility of artists and circulation
of works. Regrettably, the proposal does not promote an explicit
link between creativity, culture and education.
On 27 November 2018, the EU Ministers of Culture adopted the
Conclusions on the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022,Note
which nevertheless offers two areas
for creating synergies between culture, education, research, digitalisation
and regional and urban development. These include: a) “Young creative
generation”, which will aim at fostering the creativity of young
people and their innovation potential in the digital age, and b) “Citizenship,
values and democracy”, which will examine the impact of participation
in arts and culture on active citizenship, openness, curiosity and
critical thinking and the applicability of the Council of Europe Indicator
Framework on Culture and Democracy in the EU context.
models of youth awards and certifications
54. There are many existing youth
awards and recognitions administered in Europe but very few that
focus on the arts or culture or are intended to recognise and record
the achievements of young people.
is a Europe-wide tool to document
and recognise learning outcomes from youth work and solidarity activities.
It is available for projects funded by the European Commission’s
Erasmus+ – Youth in Action programme. Project participants are given
the possibility to describe what they have done in their project and
which competences they have acquired. Thus, Youthpass encourages
reflection on the personal non-formal learning process and outcomes,
strengthens the social recognition of youth work and supports active European
citizenship of young people and of youth workers by describing the
added value of their project. It also aims at supporting the employability
of young people and of youth workers by raising their awareness
of and helping to describe their competences, and by documenting
their acquisition of key competences on a certificate.
The Arts AwardNote
in the United Kingdom is a thriving
model of a national programme that was founded in 2005 and is managed
by Trinity College, London in association with the Arts Council,
England. It is a tool to support young people who want to deepen
their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills, and
achieve a national qualification. Through its five levels, children
and young people aged up to 25 can explore any art form including
performing arts, visual arts, literature, media and multimedia.
The award builds confidence, helps young people to enjoy cultural
activities, and prepares them for further education or employment.
The Arts Award is particularly good at promoting leadership skills
in the arts. However, to the writer’s knowledge, it does not include
the wider elements of culture and heritage.
At institutional level, Artsmark Note
is the creative quality standard
for schools, accredited by the Arts Council. It provides a clear
framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture
and creativity across the curriculum. It provides schools with access
to enviable networks of leading cultural organisations that enable
them to use the arts to engage and develop self-expressed and confident
young people and inspire teachers. As well as recognising schools
that are making the arts come alive, the Artsmark award is a practical and
valuable tool for enriching a school’s arts provision whatever the
starting point. Schools are awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum, based
on their achievements.
The Cultural Competency RecordNote
is a German pilot project, an individual
educational passport given to young people from the age of 12, which
describes the artistic activities pursued by the young person and
the individual strengths he/she has demonstrated in the course of
the project. This set of tools has been developed in co-operation
with practitioners of cultural youth education, social scientists
and representatives from the business community.
59. Whilst these four projects are useful tools within particular
local contexts, none of them is easily implementable across the
member States of the Council of Europe. None takes explicit account
of the growing importance of “creativity” and its cross curricular
nature. As suggested by Ms Parr, the time is ripe for the development
of a new award or certification taking into account the new European
Reference Framework of key competences, the increased profile of
and value placed on creativity skills and the emphasis on lifelong learning,
as learning does not just take place in school.
The uniqueness of the award that I would like to propose is
that it will:
- be relevant to
the arts and culture;
- promote the skills, knowledge and attitudes articulated
in the EU lifelong key competency No. 8, defined as “Cultural awareness
- be Europe-wide and promote European values;
- encourage partnerships across culture and other policy
and professional sectors at European Union and local levels.
framework of the award
61. The proposed award would recognise
the learner's achievement and progression through the knowledge,
skills and attitudes defined in the “European Reference Framework”
of key competences for lifelong learning.
I find particularly significant the explanation given by this
text as regards the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related
to the “Competence in cultural awareness and expression”:
“This competence requires knowledge
of local, national, regional, European and global cultures and expressions
… and an understanding of how these expressions can influence each
other as well as the ideas of the individual. It includes understanding
the different ways of communicating ideas between creator, participant
and audience … It requires an understanding of one's own developing
identity and cultural heritage within a world of cultural diversity
and how arts and other cultural forms can be a way to both view
and shape the world.
Skills include the ability
to express and interpret figurative and abstract ideas, experiences
and emotions with empathy, … and the ability to engage in creative
processes, both as an individual and collectively.
It is important to have an
open attitude towards, and respect for, diversity of cultural expression
… A positive attitude also includes a curiosity about the world,
an openness to imagine new possibilities, and a willingness to participate
in cultural experiences.”
The tool would recognise competences achieved while the learner
takes part in formal, non-formal and informalNoteNoteNoteNoteNote
learning activities. Subcultures,
diversity and creative technology should be included and respected both
in the range of activities and in the methods of recording achievement.
64. The learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and attitudes to
be acquired) could be articulated in increasing levels of challenge
and routes for progression so that achievement could be recognised
at several levels (e.g.: bronze, silver, gold; or levels 1, 2, 3).
65. The learning journey and goals to be achieved within this
framework should be proposed in the first instance by the learner
taking part in the award scheme. They should be discussed and agreed
by an approved local mentor, such as a teacher, arts or cultural
professional, youth or community worker who would be responsible
for supporting and challenging the learner throughout the process
and recommending the award be given when there is sufficient evidence
that the agreed goals have been reached and appropriate level of competences
achieved. Input from more specialised professionals will be needed
through the progression routes.
66. Identified learning goals will be achieved over time and evidence
of the learning journey will be gathered and presented as evidence
of achievement for an award to be given. Both the challenge of the
learning goals and the scrutiny of the collected evidence should
increase with the progression levels of the award.
67. A record of reflection and self-assessment by the learner
should be an important part of the process and in itself evidences
progression, particularly in skills and attitudes.
68. National or territory hubs could act as a link between the
local and European levels to train and support local mentors.
69. In order to maintain the strong European dimension of this
award scheme, all awards should be distributed from a single European
centre: a sponsoring organisation, perhaps with the support of a
contracted university which could advise and manage accreditation
70. An imaginative and creative approach should be taken to gathering
evidence of achievement and the learners should propose how this
is done. It is likely that creative technology will play a major
part in the recording of activities and achievement for assessment.
71. Modules for cultural awareness and expression at different
progression levels could be developed and offered as additions to
existing youth achievement award schemes. Existing award schemes
could apply to deliver these modules, achievement would still be
assessed at local or European level for these modules depending
on the degree of challenge and a European quality assurance mark
added to the learner’s certification.
of the tool
The tool should enable:
- young people/learners to evidence
the competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) they gain by participating
in statutory and/or non-statutory arts, culture and creative activities;
- the importance and relevance of the knowledge, skills
and attitudes associated with cultural awareness and expression
to be better understood;
- new partnerships across a wide range of sectors and disciplines
to be developed and sustained with the common aim of promoting and
further integrating cultural awareness and expression throughout
policy development in Europe;
- European values to be better understood and valued. Europe
is a global leader in promoting values of democracy, inclusivity,
freedom of speech and expression, participation and respect for
to get started?
73. Ideally, this should be a joint
project between the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
It will involve several phases and the exact scope of future work
can only be determined after the output of an initial phase is known.
To begin with, the Council of Europe and the European Commission
could designate a project leader tasked with:
- devising and implementing a consultation strategy to evidence
the extent of the interest for the proposed award among stakeholders
from a variety of sectors, including culture, arts, youth work,
justice and health. The consultation should seek the views of young
people, policy makers, arts, culture, youth work and education professionals
as well as academics and employers. This could take the form of
a questionnaire disseminated online through a variety of existing
organisations and networks and would seek to gather information
and opinions about local benefits and possible barriers;
- researching in more depth possible models of delivery
and their associated costs, including the possibility of establishing
a new award and/or the possibility of adding a “module” to existing
- researching possible sources of funding for the implementation
of the award.
75. It may be that this work cannot be resourced from existing
personnel in which case a tender for this phase of the project could
be developed and suitably qualified external contractors sought.
In either case the project leader should appoint a small advisory
group for support and follow-up. It is recommended that the advisory
group members are sought from a range of sectors such as health,
justice and social work as well as the more obvious sectors of culture
The following partners could be approached for their input:
- ACEnet, an informal network
of policy makers from European Education and Culture Ministries;
- European Network of Observatories (ENO). ENO connects
knowledge centres in European countries. It aims to facilitate the
exchange of research findings and innovative practice, to stimulate
new research in arts and cultural education and to support the development
of arts education within the framework of global UNESCO policies
and guidelines for education, culture and sustainable development;
- European Youth Parliament: this should be central to the
development of this tool, as part of its rationale is to support
the development of young people's critical faculties;
- European Youth Card Association: a non-profit making organisation
that represents 36 countries across Europe and is committed to supporting
youth mobility and active citizenship for its 6 million card holders;
- representatives of the following existing awards: Arts
Awards, Cultural Competency Record and Youthpass;
- former chair or member of the Open method of coordination
working group on “Cultural awareness and expression”: this group
was time and task limited so no longer meets; but, having been involved
in the process of developing the Cultural Awareness and Expression
Handbook, they could have interesting and well-informed insights
To be successful, the project
should build on sound foundations. In this respect, I believe that:
- young people must be viewed
and treated as integral partners (co-creators) in the planning and development
of the tool;
- the diversity of European citizens must be respected and
supported at all stages of development and implementation;
- doing/ making/producing/creating must be integral to the
achievements measured by the tool;
- quality of cultural experience is vital and should be
considered at every stage of design;
- the process must involve elements of self-identified goals,
self-reflection and self-assessment;
- the accreditation process is likely to involve local,
regional, national and European level elements;
- the best use should be made of digital tools both for
the recording and administration processes and for connecting like-minded
young people from across Europe.
78. Creativity and creative competences
have an important role to play in truly transformational education and
can help boost the conditions where children and teachers flourish
and thrive. In today’s context, where teachers are working with
an overloaded curriculum in a culture of accountability, it is too
easy for classroom practice to become driven by tests and test results
rather than developing young people’s competences and preparedness
for active professional and enriching personal lives. There needs
to be a major shift in European education systems: modern learning
will have to be framed not by test design, but by the pupils’ needs
Developing learners’ creative and emphatic skills and competences
makes them confident and ambitious with high levels of self-esteem.
They become motivated to explore and challenge assumptions, ready
to take ownership of their own learning and thinking. They become
imaginative, open-minded, confident risk-takers, and appreciate
issues from different perspectives. They can ask questions, make
connections across disciplines, envisage what might or might not
be possible, explore ideas, identify problems and seek and justify
80. Modern schools need strong programmes both in arts and through
arts, and artistic and creative ways to learn in an integrated way
across the curriculum. For this to be put into practice, European
schools need competent teachers to be able to teach transversally
and creatively through arts and culture.
Based on the evidence and work already undertaken and cited
above, I’m moving towards three key recommendations:
- The governments of member States
should be encouraged to embed cultural and creative competences in
their formal education systems.
- The governments of member States should encourage and
support sustainable, long-term partnerships between schools, employers,
creative industries and cultural institutions in order to give young
people the confidence and capabilities that they will need in a
world and economy that depends on innovation.
- These partnerships should:
- involve a range of organisations in all aspects of the
planning and delivery;
- create sustainable and reciprocal associations;
- encourage shared responsibility for planning, implementing
and evaluating a programme;
- be accessible to all, particularly to children starting
from an early age and to young people from underprivileged socio-economic
- be research-oriented and project-based and enable spontaneous
situations and create meaningful learning opportunities.
- The Council of Europe
and the European Commission, in collaboration with professional
associations and involving the input of cross-sectoral policy leadership,
should develop a Europe-wide tool for recognising the competences
developed by learners whilst participating in arts/culture/creative
activities (beyond those funded by Erasmus+ and including skill