Programme details

Wednesday 15.00h Working visits
Prior to the conference the participants will be given an opportunity to visit some of the leading cultural institutes and projects in Amsterdam, amongst which, the Stedelijk Museum, Tropenmuseum and NedPhoGo. During the visit an educational worker will expatiate on the educational policy and activities and explain the contribution that the institute makes to the quality of cultural education for primary school pupils. The visitors may then join in a guided tour of the building and take a peek behind the scenes or view an exhibition. The visit will end with a discussion.
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Thursday 09.30h Opening

Her Majesty Queen Máxima
After a career in academics and politics Dr Jet Bussemaker was appointed Minister of Education, Culture and Science in the Rutte-Asscher government on 5 November 2012. She is a member of the Labour Party (PvdA).
Theodoor (Thije) Adams is a former Director for Cultural Policy and also for International Policy at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. At the moment he is working as an independent advisor and publicist in the field of Art, Culture and Policy. His essays are published by Van Gennep, Amsterdam.

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Thursday 10.00h Keynote 1 - Cultural Education for the Future: a policy vision
Cultural education policy is being developed within the domain of primary education and the domain of arts and culture. Both domains are undergoing changes and innovations. Every new priority  impacts  the relationship between education and culture. One moment cultural education is overshadowed by an emphasis on language and maths, the next it serves the development of creativity and other necessary 21st-century skills. What are the leading educational trends in Europe at present? And what do they mean for cultural education? In today’s culturally diverse and complex society cultural education and cultural awareness appear to be increasingly important for all citizens. What role can cultural  education play in this context? It can lay a foundation for training artistic professionals. But not just that. The skills for innovation that are in high demand in the worlds of science and business are also developed in the arts and in cultural education.

Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin is Senior Analyst and Project Manager at the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI, Directorate for Education and Skills) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He is co-author of the report Art for Art's Sake: The Impact of Arts Education.  

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Thursday and Friday 11.30 – 15.00 Workshop 1 -  The Curriculum: art disciplines or subject integration
The quality of cultural education is considered from two angles at this conference: the design and implementation of the school curriculum (continuous learning lines) on the one hand and the expertise of class teachers and subject teachers on the other. On the basis of which convictions do EU member states determine the content of cultural education in primary schools? What should the curricula for the arts and culture in primary schools look like? What outcome and which objectives are being pursued? Do these arts and cultural subjects also overarch other curriculum areas? And how can teachers be trained to teach within this domain? These questions will fuel the debate about the what, how and why of high-quality cultural education, from the basic principle that arts and cultural education belongs in primary schools. Not just because pupils learn many lessons for the rest of their lives but also because they gain knowledge that they may not otherwise be able to access.

In all workshops international experts will introduce a topic. The participants will then work on the topic collaboratively. It is the intention that the workshops deliver practical solutions which the participants can start working on straight away after the conference.

Lode Vermeersch is a senior research associate at HIVA – Research Institute for Work and Society,  a multidisciplinary research institute associated with the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). Lode is also a senior research associate at the Department of Educational Sciences at the University of Brussels (VUB). Link to academic work by Lode Vermeersch.

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Thursday and Friday 11.30 – 15.00 Workshop 2 - The Curriculum: objectives and outcomes
What can or should pupils learn from cultural education? Do the technical skills – craftsmanship – take precedence or rather the process in which pupils make personally meaningful products? Or should cultural education contribute to the development of perspicacity, imagination, expression, inquisitiveness, perseverance, reflection, communicative skills etc.? Is the aim to prepare pupils for vocational or academic study programmes for professional creative careers? How is this kind of learning assessed and how much importance is attributed to the results? Do you assess the efforts of the child, the creative process, the learning performance or the aesthetic, artistic achievement? What added value does assessment have for learning?
In all workshops international experts will introduce a topic. The participants will then work on the topic collaboratively. It is the intention that the workshops deliver practical solutions which the participants can start working on straight away after the conference.

Diederik Schönau, psychologist and art historian, works at Cito, the Dutch institute for educational measurement since 1981. He has been Professor of arts education at ArtEZ Institute for the Arts in Zwolle (2007-2010) and President of InSEA (1999-2002).

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Thursday and Friday 11.30 – 15.00 Workshop 3 - Expertise of the Teachers: initial training and professional development
The profession of primary school teacher calls for pedagogical and didactic knowledge, a range of competencies, including instruction, guidance and assessment, and an attitude that responds to how children learn. It also requires knowledge of subject content and didactics and of the way pupils learn in specific school subjects. What qualities does a competent class teacher need for cultural education? Is a newly qualified teacher sufficiently skilled to teach arts and culture? Do student teachers gain enough experience during training to deliver good lessons in culture and the arts? Do they have enough confidence in their own ability? What do teachers need, besides time and funding, to turn starting skills into expert skills? Do hands-on experience and cultural interests alone suffice, or is further, postgraduate specialisation needed? Does every class teacher have to possess specialised skills for teaching cultural subjects? Or is it enough for this expertise to be available in a teaching team? What types of professionalisation strategies are conducive to the enhancement of intrinsic knowledge of the subject?
In all workshops international experts will introduce a topic. The participants will then work on the topic collaboratively. It is the intention that the workshops deliver practical solutions which the participants can start working on straight away after the conference.

Seija Kairavuori is PhD, Adjunct Professor of Visual Art Education at the University of Helsinki and MA graduate of the University of Art and Design (AALTO University) in Helsinki. She works as a university lecturer in visual arts education at the University of Helsinki, where she teaches art pedagogy and didactics of visual arts in classroom teacher education.
Links: Research work. University of Helsinki Faculty of Behavioral Sciences and Department of Teacher Education.

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Thursday and Friday 11.30 – 15.00 Workshop 4 - Expertise of the Teachers: contributions from the cultural infrastructure
Which competencies for cultural education are available in the school? In which areas will it be necessary or desirable to enlist expertise externally from the cultural infrastructure? Who should teach cultural subjects? Class teachers, who have considerable pedagogical knowledge, but know less about individual subjects because they have to cover a broad spectrum of learning? Specialised or subject teachers who have been trained in a specific field of art? Or should the school seek partnerships with cultural institutes with educational offerings? What distinguishes class teachers, specialised teachers and educational workers from cultural institutes? Do they each pay attention to other aspects of education? Are there differences in quality? What – aside from financial considerations – warrants a choice for one or the other? What does one do and what does the other do? As in the case of every other school subject, the teacher must possess basic knowledge!
In all workshops international experts will introduce a topic. The participants will then work on the topic collaboratively. It is the intention that the workshops deliver practical solutions which the participants can start working on straight away after the conference.

Dennie Palmer Wolf is a Principal Researcher at WolfBrown, an international arts consulting firm (www.wolfbrown.com). Her recent work focuses on helping systems (e.g., schools, cities, and regions) build robust (equitable, engaging, high-quality) networks of arts learning opportunities in and out of school time. 

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Thursday 15.30h Keynote 2 - Objectives and outcome of Cultural Education
Cultural education usually forms a permanent part of the primary school curriculum in EU countries. But there is a wide variation in the amount of time spent teaching it: 5% in Poland, 17% in Denmark and as much as 20% in Finland (OECD Education at a Glance, 2013). How much attention is paid to the outcomes from this field of learning? What do we as a society – with a view to educational policy, social aptitude and personal development – actually want pupils to learn from arts subjects? And how do we make well-underpinned choices about these objectives? What outcomes and effects can be realised? The acquisition of cultural competencies, or all sorts of side effects relating to culture? Cultural education calls for good didactics as well as choices in terms of content. And a set of tools to monitor and assess the outcomes in terms of learning and cultural development. It requires continuous learning lines, frames of reference and competence levels for each age group.

Dr. Ernst Wagner works at the Institute for School Quality and Research in Education (Munich) and at the UNESCO-Chair in Arts and Culture in Education at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. (Also www.arts-edu.net/)

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Thursday 16.30h Presentation of cultural education policy Amsterdam
The Municipality of Amsterdam has introduced a Basic Package of Arts and Cultural Education so that every child in Amsterdam can receive three hours of cultural education a week throughout his or her time at primary school. For children in groups 1 (aged 4) to 8 (aged 12) these three hours are divided into one hour of music, one hour of visual arts or cultural heritage, and one hour for the school to fill as it prefers, for example, with drama or dance. To make this possible a covenant has been signed by the Municipality of Amsterdam and the school boards.
The Municipality of Amsterdam presents the cultural policy of the city in relation to policy previous and actual choices which made the convenant possible.

Carolien Gehrels is alderperson for the city of Amsterdam. Her portfolio is Economic Affairs, Art and Culture, Local Media, Participation, Monuments, Infrastructure and Water, Business, Competition and Purchasing. Before Carolien Gehrels became an Alderperson, she was managing director of Berenschot Communicatie. In 1992 she came to Amsterdam to work at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (Hospital).

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Friday 09.30h

In September 2013 Ocker van Munster started as managing director of The National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA).  Before that he worked as director of the SKVR, centre for arts education in Rotterdam, as Director Arts at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and as managing consultant at Berenschot.
Jan Jaap Knol is managing director of the Cultural Participation Fund (FCP) since its start in 2009. Before that he was manager of the programme Culture and School at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In his current position he is closely affiliated to the governmental programme Quality in Cultural Education.

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Friday 10.00h Keynote 3 – Quality Guidance: the Role of National Governments and the EU
What ambitions do national governments have concerning the quality of primary school education, in particular arts education? And what kind of instruments do governments have to improve the quality of arts education? Nearly all European countries have a national curriculum. In the Netherlands a set of core goals must be reached  by all schools.How do governments inspect the quality of education in the different education systems in Europe? Is this through a centralised organ such as a national inspection agency? If so, what instruments and criteria do they have to determine the quality of arts education? Is it sufficient that the students or the parents are satisfied with the quality of education? Or do we place the responsibility on the teachers, head teachers or school boards? This would imply trust and the investment in the quality of our teachers. Is this investment being made? What role can the European Union play to assist in quality guidance?

Prof. dr. Marc Vermeulen is a specialist in policy evaluation and strategic analysis. His research focuses on educational systems and organisations and on the specific role of teachers in it. He is Academic Director of the Strategy, Innovation and Governance program  as well as the program for Management in Education at the TiasNimbas Business School of the Tilburg University. He works as an advisor for complex strategic problems in the public domain. He is superintendent of a number of large public institutions (education, housing, culture).  He was an advisor of the Educational Council of the Netherlands.

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