Diverse : Nine studies interculturalism and teacher training the amsterdam university


Publication Type:



AHK, Amsterdam (2010)


In 2007, the Arts and Culture Education Lectorate of the Amsterdam University of Arts chose cultural diversity as a subject for its research program. This publication gathers the results of the studies undertaken. These studies are not only about the teacher training course, but also about the field of arts education, government policy and developments in the arts. From the research a common goal has been set - to understand the complex subject-matter of cultural diversity through theoretical and empirical research and the desire to place cultural diversity at the heart of teacher education.


Cultural policy and cultural diversity (Chapter 1)

Vera Meewis makes a critical analysis of  Dutch national policy and that of four major cities on cultural education and cultural diversity. Cultural education plays an important role in the legitimacy of cultural policy. The policy is often eclectic and attempts to reconcile different views on cultural diversity. Policy makers formulate high expectations on how cultural education may contribute to promoting  active participation of 'cultural citizens' in society.


Cultural diversity in secondary school (Chapter 2)

Marijke Heine examines the theme of cultural diversity and art subjects on the basis of her own teaching practice at a school for secondary education with a very culturally diverse population in the course Cultural Artistic Education (CKV). She explores how students experience the CKV lessons in relation to their cultural home-situation. Based on data from questionnaires and interviews she sees a gap between the 'high' Western art with which she confronts her pupils and their all-day art experience. This raises questions about the desirable contents and learning effects of CKV lessons and arts education lessons in general.


Art teacher programs and intercultural exchange (Chapter 3)

Ans Hom describes the way in which the teacher training courses at the Amsterdam University of Arts (AHK) deal with intercultural exchange with foreign countries. On the basis of interviews, questionnaires and an analysis of the curricula, an overview is given of the position of the exchanges in the curricula and the focus on cultural diversity therein. Hom describes the intercultural competences that are being pursued in the exchanges and internship projects. The importance of intercultural competences during the exchange programs in a non-Western country is illustrated through an exchange project with five students from two teacher training schools of visual art and design and a teacher training school in Mali. During the exchange the Dutch students were taught the bogolan painting technique.


Altermodernism in the visual subjects (Chapter 4)

Robert Klatser investigates the possibilities of a so-called altermodern approach to the visual subjects.  Altermodernism is a new art-historical label that refers to the detachment of all roots and situations that makes up an identity. Artists no longer work from their own specific

cultural identity but from a global context. The theory of altermodernism may offer points of reference to help inbed interculturality in the teacher training curriculum. This is only possible by exploring the different meaning of concepts such as (visual) culture, identity, modernism and postmodernism.


Interculturality in the teacher training program dance (Chapter 5)

Jelle van der Leest describes the place of interculturality in the dance teacher training program at the Amsterdam University of Arts (AHK) and the developments that have taken place in recent years. He also investigates the ideas that students and teachers have on interculturality. He does this on the basis of a written questionnaire supplemented with interviews. This research makes use of concepts defined by Saraber (2008) and others to analyze cultural diversity in dance and music education, for example analytical versus holistic, but also definitions of multiculturality, interculturality and transculturality and of relativism and pluralism. In theory the definitions give clarity but in practice they are understood differently.


Non-Western dance in Great Britain (Chapter 6)

Funmi Adewole discusses developments in dance education in Great Britain. There is a growing number of training courses 'Training in dance techniques and choreographic practices derived and based on non- western dance forms'. This is fed by developments in the dance profession such as the rise of the so-called Community dance.


Cultural diversity in teacher training program music (Chapter 7)

Lisa van Bennekom examines the approach and teaching practices on cultural diversity in the music teacher program at three Dutch arts universities. Interviews were held with the head of department, teachers and students. The interviews show that all involved find that cultural diversity is of great significance for music education, but its place in the curriculum is controversial. When universities try to integrate cultural diversity into all educational components,  the students experience that it almost disappears. Separate world music modules seem more effective.


World music in teacher training program music (Chapter 8)

Adri Schreuder looks back at the introduction of world music in the music teacher program at the Amsterdam University of Arts in the second half of the nineties. He describes how world music was further integrated into the subject of Methodology and the link from theory to internships and projects was developed further. Finally, he tries to legitimize the current world music program through the theory of music transfer from Brinner.


Interculturality in teacher training program theater (Chapter 9)

Lenne Koning and Katja Hieminga analyze the situation of interculturality in the theater teacher program at the Amsterdam University of Arts, and in doing so they ask why there is a lack of students with culturally diverse backgrounds. They held interviews and did a literature study using the theory of Barba, a theater pedagogue, and the concept of reflexivity by the sociologist Bourdieu. The researchers state that a reflexive attitude, taking account of your own position and the awareness of the positions and perspectives of others, is necessary in order to think through and effectuate interculturality in the program.  Aspects as diversity in teaching staff, the selection process and theater pedagogy are described from a reflexive view.