Written by Magdalena Pasikowska-Schnass,
Cultural and educational policies can contribute to the development of skills needed to cope with the complexity of contemporary multicultural societies, and to qualify for jobs in the fast-growing creative and cultural industries. This is supported by research on learning processes and the impact of art and cultural education. Both Unesco and the OECD have called for a proper place for, and recognition of, art and culture in education.
In the EU, competence for culture and education policies lies with the Member States, though the EU plays a role too, by supporting them financially, and supplementing and coordinating their efforts in this field. A 2006 European Parliament and Council recommendation on key competences included cultural awareness and expression as a transversal competence. This was understood to comprise knowledge of particular works of art from local, regional, national and European cultural heritage; their relationship to other cultures worldwide; self-expression in various media, styles, and forms; and openness to intercultural communication.
The European Commission continues to support projects to modernise education. In 2017, it launched a public consultation on the revision of the key skills and competencies needed for the labour market of the future, with a view to updating them. The European Parliament has undertaken work on the subject in an own-initiative report.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Arts, culture, and cultural awareness in education‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.
Listen to podcast ‘Arts, culture, and cultural awareness in education‘