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The Planning Path

Join us on a journey towards a ready-made Cultural Education Plan! The Planning Path will help you find your way there step by step.

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1. Appointing a responsible person or team

The work starts with the appointment of the person responsible for drawing up the Cultural Education Plan. The person in charge is allocated time to work on the plan. They may be a representative of the municipality’s cultural services or of primary education, or a team of both. Both the municipal education department and the cultural services are needed to develop the plan. The expertise of both, combined time, reasonable resourcing, a clear division of responsibilities and the use of multidisciplinary networks will ensure a good outcome.

The next step is to put together a design team. Who all can we get help from? This can include representatives from the education department, art school, welfare area, municipal youth department, cultural and artistic institutions and associations. It is advisable to involve those who are already enthusiastic and motivated about the subject.

What about the actual target group of the plans, children and young people? How could they be involved in the development of a Cultural Education Plan? What do children and young people want from the plan? What kind of content? What would they like to experience? Children can be asked to comment on the draft of the plan. Appropriate partners could include school student councils for example.

2. Determining the goals

Determine the value base and objectives of the Cultural Education Plan. Why do you want a Cultural Education Plan in your municipality? What values guide the development and implementation of the plan? These questions are the basis for starting to develop a structured and high-quality Cultural Education Plan.

What does the plan aim to achieve? By determining the objectives, you can make decisions about what to include and what to exclude. Objectives also guide the follow-up and evaluation process.

3. The scoping phase – what is already being done, what is on offer?

There’s no need to start from scratch. Making use of existing content and previous practices in the municipality facilitates the process. Make a list:

4. Combining school and cultural services

The aim is to integrate the Cultural Education Plan into the local curriculum of the municipality. The municipality will then be obliged to implement and finance it. Involving an education representative in the process will help to identify the wishes and needs of schools and the content of the curriculum, and to bring together ways in which the municipality’s cultural activities can complement and extend them. A well-defined set of basic principles will make it easier to schedule activities in a busy school environment. External providers expand the school’s competences and bring new learning methods into everyday school life. This ensures that the content of the Cultural Education Plan and the local curriculum are aligned.

5. Drawing up the plan

What are the different types of implementation? There is no right or wrong way to develop a Cultural Education Plan. The names and contents of Cultural Education Plans vary widely, as each municipality draws up a Cultural Education Plan that suits them best. The model does not have to remain the same, but may change and evolve over the years.

Age-specific plans

The plan can be structured so that for every age group, a specific art form, cultural object or experience is chosen. For example, all third graders in the municipality would visit a museum, fourth graders a library and fifth graders a concert.

See for example: Tampereen Taidekaari, Kemijärven kulttuurikasvatussuunnitelma 

Calendar model

The calendar contains targeted information for teachers on cultural services in the area to support their lesson planning. The calendar is usually produced on a termly basis and can include pre scheduled cultural and artistic activities targeted at specific age groups, from which teachers can choose the most appropriate for their class. The calendar model is particularly suitable for municipalities where there is a wide range of activities on offer. It gives schools the opportunity to set their own priorities.

See for example: Espoon KULPS!, Helsingin

A Two-level plan

The two-level plan consists of a basic level and an advanced level. The contents of the basic level are often compulsory and the minimum level activities are similar from year to year. The contents of the advanced level do not go by age, but are available to all, and often vary from year to year. Schools and classes can use the advanced level content as they see fit.

See for example: Sallan kunnan kulttuurikasvatussuunnitelma, Keski-Savon kuntien Kulttuuriketju

The Cultural Curriculum

The Cultural curriculum is a compulsory part of the local curriculum. Once the Cultural Education Plan is integrated into the local curriculum, schools and teachers are obliged to implement the plan. This means that pupils have equal opportunities regardless of class, location or change of school.

See for example: Oulun kaupungin kulttuuriopetussuunnitelma, Jyväskylän Kompassi

Once you have decided what structure you want for your plan, it is time to think more carefully about the contents of the plan: Who does it cover? What kind of content would it contain?

What kind of contents can be included in the plan?
  • Excursions to artistic and cultural institutions and sites in the region
  • Workshops and artist visits led by artists
  • Performances by touring groups
  • Pre-workshops, workshops and follow-up work at school
Remember to take into account a wide range of cultural and artistic disciplines in the planning phase!
  • Architecture and the built environment
  • Film
  • Cultural heritage and interculturalism
  • Visual arts, photography and comics
  • Word art and literature
  • Media and new cultural fields
  • Design and crafts
  • Music
  • Local culture
  • Dance, theatre and circus

6. Operational coordination

Congratulations, the plan is ready. The first stage has been achieved. What now?

The next step is to implement the Cultural Education Plan in the municipality’s schools and arts and culture sector, communicate it and put it into practice. The Cultural Education Plan can first be piloted in a few schools before being extended to the whole municipality. Each school should appoint a cultural representative. This will improve communication and commitment to the plan.

And who pays and where does the money come from? Planning creates cost-effectiveness. A plan ties up the resources available and uses them equally for the benefit of children and young people throughout the municipality. Sometimes simply rearranging the resources available will bring savings and at the same time enable part of the plan to be implemented. Read more about the different funding solutions and savings ideas below:

The next step to ensure the continuity of the plan is to think about follow up and evaluation. Think about and plan how you will collect feedback each year, what you will monitor in the plan and when you will evaluate the success of the activities. These will highlight the effectiveness of the approach, areas for improvement and whether your objectives have been met.

The final task is to post your new plan on the website so that others can learn from your good ideas!

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