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Resolution 2283 (2019)

Education and culture: new partnerships to recognise personal development and competences

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 24 May 2019 (see Doc. 14886, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Mogens Jensen).

1. Twenty-first-century societies need people with creative and analytical thinking, critical understanding, social skills, tolerance, intercultural awareness and the ability to handle conflict. Education bears the greatest responsibility in enabling young people to acquire these essential competences as part of their personal development, democratic consciousness and employability. Access to culture, arts and culture education and participation in cultural life are crucial in achieving this result.
2. The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the recent Council of the European Union Recommendation of 22 May 2018 on key competences for lifelong learning (2018/C 189/01) to include “cultural awareness and expression” as a key competence for lifelong learning, as well as the decision by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to add creative thinking to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests as from 2021. These new targets now need to be worked into comprehensive education programmes accessible to all.
3. In this context, the Council of Europe Framework Competences for Democratic Culture present a comprehensive set of values, skills and attitudes for an appropriate participation in democratic societies, and the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy offers a unique tool for assessing and optimising cultural policies and for examining links between culture and democracy.
4. The Assembly reiterates its appeal to European governments, already expressed in Resolution 2123 (2016) on culture and democracy, to allocate the same level of sustained investment to education and cultural activities as to other areas crucial to Europe’s global economic competitiveness and stability.
5. The recent Resolution 2270 (2019) on the value of cultural heritage in a democratic society recommends that European governments direct culture and heritage into education in more effective ways, and revise education curricula and vocational training in order to create better synergies between the arts, the economy, technology and science and to stimulate interaction between technologies, creative arts and entrepreneurship.
6. All children, regardless of their artistic skills and abilities or economic status, should be entitled to receive arts and culture education of a high standard. The Assembly notes with concern however that, despite the successful advocacy to include arts as part of education policy, this has not led to wide-scale implementation of quality programmes for teaching the arts and teaching through the arts in schools.
7. The implementation of quality arts and culture education largely depends on teachers and creative professionals, but they often lack appropriate in-service professional training. Digitalisation creates new possibilities for teaching the arts and culture and through the arts and culture, which cannot be fully exploited without the adequate preparation of teachers, creative professionals and school leaders.
8. However, quality arts and culture education is not the responsibility of individual establishments or institutions, it requires cross-cutting partnerships involving responsible State institutions, schools, communities, arts organisations and increasingly also industries and businesses. There is a strong need for sustainable and project-based partnerships.
9. Non-formal and informal learning play an equally important role in the development of essential cultural and creative competences. However, the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed while practising extra-curricular activities go mostly unrecorded and unrecognised. Enhanced co-operation between different learning settings and the official recognition of their respective value for personal, social and civic development would encourage new learning approaches and initiatives.
10. Consequently, the Assembly would welcome the creation of a Europe-wide tool for recognising young people’s competences acquired while participating in artistic, cultural and creative activities in a variety of learning contexts.
11. In the light of the above, the Assembly recommends that the member States of the Council of Europe:
11.1. integrate creative competences and cultural awareness into formal education systems, in line with the recommendations of the European Reference Framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning, to foster the creativity of young people and their innovation potential in the digital era;
11.2. design modern, quality arts and culture education programmes, both for teaching the arts and artistic expression and for using the arts as a cross-sectoral pedagogical tool in teaching other subjects, taking into consideration the recommendations of the “Seoul Agenda” of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
11.3. promote inclusivity in providing quality arts and culture education, paying specific attention to children and young people from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, with the aim of encouraging active citizenship, openness, curiosity and critical thinking, building, inter alia, on the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy;
11.4. support innovation in education and develop novel approaches to teaching and learning; review the professional training systems for teachers and creative professionals, encouraging well-adapted in-service training and mobility for professionals in teaching arts and culture and offering special training for teaching other subjects through arts-based practices;
11.5. foster and financially support sustainable, long-term partnerships between schools, communities, creative industries, cultural institutions, businesses and employers to offer young people new opportunities to develop their competences in cultural awareness and expression.
12. The Assembly invites the European Commission to:
12.1. introduce a stronger and more inclusive link between fostering European identity through cultural diversity, creativity and mobility and providing quality education in the arts and culture in school programmes within its Creative Europe programme (2021-2027); this would meaningfully contribute to building the European Education Area by 2025;
12.2. support and stimulate cross-sectoral and cross-border co-operation between culture, education and other policy and professional sectors, as well as innovative partnerships involving State institutions, schools, communities, organisations and private businesses at European Union, national and local levels;
12.3. develop a competence framework for “cultural awareness and expression” (European Union key competence No. 8 for lifelong learning), which should include, inter alia, a frame of reference for teacher competence development within the context of pedagogical innovation, as well as provisions for assessing creativity and cultural competence;
12.4. reflect on the creation of a Europe-wide tool to recognise the competences developed by young people while participating in artistic, cultural and creative activities, in collaboration with the Council of Europe and relevant professional associations, within the framework of its Creative Europe programme (2021-2027) and more particularly within its Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022 (under “Young creative generation” and “Citizenship, values and democracy”). This tool should serve the purposes of:
12.4.1. recording the competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) articulated in the European Union lifelong learning key competency “Cultural awareness and expression” which young people acquire by participating in statutory and/or non-statutory artistic, cultural and creative activities, to certify the acquisition of these competences;
12.4.2. encouraging young people’s participation in innovative partnerships in order to promote and further integrate cultural awareness and expression throughout policy development in Europe;
12.4.3. ensuring that European values are better understood and valued by the young generations.