Key concepts

Cultural education refers to the art and cultural contents, locations, methods and activities that are part of children and young people’s early childhood or school education or studies. Guided art, cultural and cultural heritage education supports children and young people’s opportunities for creative expression and to experience and create culture and art. It also develops their creativity, multiliteracy and prerequisites for learning. Cultural education brings together different subjects and themes. In addition to artistic and practical subjects, it applies to all early childhood education and teaching. 

A cultural education plan is a plan for how cultural, art and cultural heritage education is implemented as part of early childhood education and teaching in a municipality. It is prepared and implemented with early childhood education, schools, culture, and art operators. A cultural education plan is based on implementing the curricula for education and early childhood education and the municipality’s cultural offer and heritage with a child-oriented and inclusive perspective. The plan makes art and cultural education provided in early childhood, basic and secondary education goal-oriented. It also guarantees equal opportunities for all children and young people to participate in art and culture. 

Cultural heritage education aims to support the development of knowledge, skills and cultural identity. Cultural identity defines how people identify themselves in a cultural context. It helps to understand and accept not only our own roots but also other cultures. Cultural heritage education also supports cultural literacy, a part of multiliteracy skills. Cultural heritage education can occur in memory organisations, such as museums, libraries and archives, or in different cultural environments. 

In this context, children’s culture refers to the culture produced for children by professionals or professionals in cooperation with the children. Children’s culture includes, for example, basic education in art. It also refers to the culture created by children through play, for example. The key principles and premises for children’s cultural activities include quality, equality, child orientation and art and cultural education. 

Multiliteracy refers to the skills and ability to interpret, produce, combine and evaluate different kinds of texts and messages in a written, spoken, printed, audiovisual or digital format. Cultural education provides room for children and young people’s creativity and simultaneously promotes multiliteracy development. 

Art education refers to multisensory learning of different life phenomena. The learner’s active role is an essential part of art education activities. Learning is based on experiences, experimentation and doing things yourself. Art education develops the skills and senses of children and young people. It is simultaneously learning about art and learning through art in the context of different art forms.