Embracing democratic values in culturally diverse societies. The Role of culture, heritage and landscape in supporting children and young people to become active and engaged citizens.

The 4th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe took place in Reykjavík on 16 and 17 May 2023. The ensuing Declaration emphasises the need to strive to uphold the European democracies each and every day, continuously, in all parts of our continent. It underlines the commitment to developing mutual understanding among the peoples of Europe and reciprocal appreciation of our cultural diversity and heritage.

The Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe also underline “the importance of education to give children and young people the necessary references to grow up embracing our democratic values in culturally diverse societies and take an active part in the protection of our cultural heritage.”

With reference to the Reykjavik Declaration and convinced that culture is a powerful instrument for explaining democratic values, acceptance of diversity and the meaning of peace for future generations, the CDCPP held a thematic session during its 12th plenary session on the specific role of culture, heritage and landscape in giving children and young people the necessary references, such as mutual understanding, respect, solidarity, a sense of history, etc to promote positive creativity that will help counter violence or destruction.

The thematic session focused in particular on the following issues:

  1. The importance of cultural literacy – why and how;
  2. Formal education as a common basis – opportunities and intrinsic limits (national core curricula, qualification requirements, teachers’ competences);
  3. Exploring alternative non-formal approaches (hobbies and leisure activities, lifelong learning for all ages, digital engagement, …);
  4. Cultural services – their role in relation to access to information, preserving mental wellbeing and participation in society.

The thematic session was moderated by Carmen Croitoru, Vice Chair of the CDCPP, and divided into two parts.

The first part took the form of a Round Table, based on contributions from the following experts:

Tuuli LAHDESMAKI (Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and manager of the DiALLS project in Finland):

  • “Promoting Cultural Literacy: Teaching Dialogue and Argumentation Skills for Collaborative Engagement through Tolerance, Empathy, and Inclusion” - download presentation and summary of the presentation 

Olaia FONTAL (Professor at the University of Valladolid and Director of the Spanish Observatory on Heritage Education):

Aija TŪNA (Latvian National Cultural Centre and Head of the Latvian School Bag programme)

  • “Access to Arts and Culture through the “Latvian School Bag”: Investment in the future of each child and society as a whole” - download presentation and summary of the presentation 

The second part of the session comprised brief oral presentations from participants to illustrate the topics covered, report on experiences, etc. The subsequent open discussions allowed the Committee to identify possible ways of addressing the above-mentioned issues. 

Agenda - 15-17 November 2023

Illustration about the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP)
  • Daniil KHOCHABO
  • Alison HELM

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