Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education
National working programme for 2018–2022 (updated 8.9.2017)
The significance of arts and culture both for the individual and for society has been identified and recognised in Finland. Several previous governments have placed emphasis on the accessibility and availability of culture in their government programmes. The objective of providing every child and young person with an opportunity to engage in arts and culture has been stressed in the Finnish arts and culture policy. Arts and cultural education aims to strengthen the individual’s creative skills, cultural competence and wellbeing.
The proposal for children’s culture policy programme (Ministry of Education and Culture 2014) includes a proposal to establish a national promotion centre for children's culture and arts education in Finland. One of the key projects included in Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government Programme (2015–2018) aims to facilitate children’s and young people’s access to arts and culture. To implement these objectives and to promote arts and cultural education in a larger scale, a Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education has been established. The Observatory is formed by the Center for Educational Research and Academic Development in the Arts CERADA (part of the University of Arts Helsinki) and the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres in cooperation with the Finnish National Agency for Education, Taiteen perusopetusliitto (Finnish association for basic education in arts), the University of Lapland, and Aalto University.
The Finnish Observatory is a member of the European Network of Observatories in the Field of Arts and Cultural Education (ENO). The ENO network requires its members to draw up a national working programme.
The working programme of the Finnish Observatory is in agreement with the UNESCO policies and guidelines for arts and cultural education and with the Articles of Association of the ENO network. The national working programme defines the purpose of the activities, key objectives and measures of the Finnish Observatory for the period 2018–2022. An action plan determining the tasks and division of responsibilities will be drawn up annually to support the implementation of the working programme.
The objective of the Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education is to reinforce the equal accessibility and effectiveness of arts and cultural education as well as to improve the social status and appreciation of the field.
Arts and cultural education of children and young people is the top priority in the activities of the Finnish Observatory for the programme period 2018–2022. Another objective is to promote lifelong learning and arts and cultural education intended for various age and target groups.
Means and measures
The Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education will promote its objectives:
- By collecting and disseminating information on the practices, research and policies in the field of arts and cultural education in Finland
- By reinforcing the connection between research and practical work
- By supporting cooperation between the actors in the field of arts and cultural education and ensuring a favourable operating environment in the field
- By promoting international cooperation in the field.
Key measures for the programme period 2018–2022
Collection and dissemination of information
- Survey and description of the Finnish system for arts and cultural education (Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres, Center for Educational Research and Academic Development in the Arts CERADA and others)
- Compilation and listing of Finnish studies and research results in the field (CERADA)
- Storage and dissemination of information in the portal childrensculture.fi (Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres)
- Development of research-based argumentation tools and production of materials (CERADA)
- Drawing up of national proposals for measures and the related communication (Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres, CERADA and others)
Reinforcement of the connection between research and practical work
- Dissemination of research results
- Survey of research needs observed in the practical activities and the related communication
- Identification of opportunities provided by the existing activities and their utilisation from the perspective of research
- Development and establishment of new practices and methods, such as development of arts and cultural education taking place before, during and after school hours through cross-sectoral cooperation
- Arrangement of a national cooperation event once a year
Ensuring a favourable operating environment for arts and cultural education
- Drawing up and publication of statements and opinions
- Survey of the different channels for influencing
- Recognition of the quality of Finnish arts education and supporting it
- Participation in the international discussion on values in arts and cultural education and its application into practice (e.g. UNESCO policies and guidelines)
- Development of learning materials for arts education (e.g. materials for phenomenon-based learning and “culture as a learning environment”)
Promotion of international cooperation
- Identification of key actors in the international field of arts and cultural education and establishment of long-term international cooperation
- Maintenance of international ENO connections and preparation of cooperation and participation
- Making Finnish arts education better known abroad
- Organising “Helsinki Summit”, an international arts education congress/ENO network meeting during the programme period
- Initiation of preparation of an international cooperation project and network in the field of children’s culture