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What, why, and how?

What is a cultural education plan?

A cultural education plan is a plan for how cultural, artistic, and cultural heritage education is implemented as part of teaching. It is based on the municipality’s range of cultural services and cultural heritage, as well as on the voluntary activities of children and young people. The plan can be referred to as a cultural education plan, cultural trail, cultural stairway, or cultural route, for example. This site will help you develop a plan that covers all of basic education. In some municipalities, the cultural education plan also covers early childhood education and secondary education, or even the entire life cycle. A plan can also be shared by multiple municipalities, in which case the municipalities can agree on common content or operating methods.

Cultural education brings together different subjects and applies to all instruction in addition to artistic and practical subjects. The cultural education plan is based on the local curriculum and makes the cultural education activities of the schools more goal-oriented. The plan is a shared aid for schools and actors in the arts and culture sector. It combines the objectives of the local curriculum, the municipality’s cultural heritage, and the municipality’s cultural offer into a systematic whole. At the same time, it gives every students an equal chance to participate.

The bases for drawing up a cultural education plan can be found in a number of documents, including the fundamentals of the basic education curriculum (2016) and the proposal for a cultural policy program for children (2014).

Why a cultural education plan?

A cultural education plan guarantees children and young people equal opportunities to experience art and culture. With the help of such a plan, art and culture can be provided in a way that suits the age group as a natural part of the school day. Produced through multi-professional collaboration, the plan promotes the overall growth and development of students. Through the cultural education plan, regional equality in cultural education can be promoted and children’s culture can be made a more significant contributor to wellbeing.

The cultural education plan benefits students, teachers, actors in the arts and culture sector, as well as the municipality.

What are the benefits of a cultural education plan for students?
  • It guarantees equal opportunities to participate and learn about arts and culture.
  • The development of skills in understanding, evaluating, and consuming culture are evolving, and students are becoming better at interpreting messages conveyed by the media and the world around them.
  • This fosters the development of cultural identity and cultural competence.
  • In addition to local culture and heritage, cultural education also teaches an understanding of cultural diversity.
  • Culture and the arts promote the learning of other subjects by introducing new approaches and methods.
  • It makes life at school more pleasant, allows students to experience successes, and strengthens their creativity and self-esteem.
  • It provides a means of self-expression and dealing with various things.
  • With the help of a cultural education plan, art and culture can be provided as a natural part of the school day in a way that suits the age group in question.
How does a cultural education plan benefit schools?
  • Art visits can strengthen, expand or refine the learning of the content defined in the curriculum and contribute to achieving the set goals.
  • The plan makes cultural and artistic content a stable part of school life.
  • It makes cultural education coordinated and easier to predict.
  • It makes teachers’ work easier, as the content does not depend on the interest or financial opportunities of the individual teacher or school.
  • It offers opportunities for creating multidisciplinary learning modules and drawing on wide-ranging areas of expertise and phenomenon-based learning.
  • Collaboration with arts and culture actors enables teachers to share expertise and learn about new teaching methods.
  • Out-of-school trips offer learning environments that cannot be modeled in the classroom.
  • Collaboration with out-of-school cultural actors is one of the most important promoters of learning in cultural education.
  • Cultural content can be incorporated with a variety of school subjects.
How does the cultural education plan support artists and other cultural actors?
  • It helps in the development of cultural activities for children and young people, and in meeting the needs of schools.
  • It increases the number of visitors to cultural services and broadens the visitor base.
  • In this way, a cultural education plan contributes to enlarging cultural and artistic audiences in the future.
  • It teaches the use of cultural services.
  • It provides job opportunities and operating conditions for arts and culture professionals.
How do cultural education plans benefit municipalities?
  • Culture is an important pull factor for any municipality.
  • A cultural education plan enables the municipality to present the special cultural features of the area, which supports local actors in the field and strengthens ties between inhabitants of the municipality and their environment.
  • The plan promotes the development of TEAviisari health promotion capacity-building in municipal culture.
  • It supports the municipality in implementing legislation concerning public cultural services.

How to create a cultural education plan

The cultural education plan is created between actors in the field of education and culture. The aim is for the various actors in the municipality to discuss the realization and promotion of the cultural rights of children and young people. By bringing together different actors, the resource load can be reduced, expertise can be shared and it can be ensured that cultural education is diverse.

A plan can also be shared by multiple municipalities, in which case the municipalities can agree on common content or operating methods.

This site provides information, tips, and support for the cultural education plan drafting process. The site includes a design tool that is freely available. Click on it to begin drafting your cultural education plan!

The personnel of the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers are experienced in drafting cultural education plans. Children’s cultural centers provide regional support in developing them. A support group for the creation of cultural education plans has been assembled from the nationwide network of members of children’s culture, and can provide specialist assistance in the planning process.

Plans made by other municipalities can be a helpful source of tips on operating models and solutions. All the cultural education plans made in Finland are listed for viewing.

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