This report on culture and learning comes out of an investigation and consultation across formal and informal learning, the arts and heritage. It is the outcome of a series of consultation seminars held in five cultural venues across England, and of interviews with
groups of teachers from different parts of the country, plus written responses to a Demos Consultation Paper, Culture and Learning: Towards a New Agenda, written by John Holden.
It’s recommendations encompass:
- Central government’s responsibility to promote cultural learning as a key element within the and as of core value in cross-curricular learning;
- Local governments’ and partnerships’ responsibility to make cultural learning a more explicit part of their planning for children and young people;
- Schools’ responsibility to agree what cultural learning means for them and incorporate it as an explicit, core element in their curriculum;
- Cultural organisations responsibility to give cultural learning a core role in their work;
- Teacher training providers responsibility to developing more accessible, high-quality initial training in cultural learning for teachers;
- Funders to refine or develop long-term funding models that support collaborations between cultural and learning organisations;
- Sharing and evaluating good practice
- The learning and cultural sectors should come together to form a Cultural Learning Alliance, for a time-limited period, to develop and advocate for a coherent national strategy for cultural learning.
We shouldn’t be wondering whether children need art and music and stories and poems any more than gardeners wonder whether plants need water. The effect of deprivation is the same in both cases. The effect is less instant and dramatic in the case of children who know no culture, but just as deadly in the long run. We’re not talking about economic benefit or competitive advantage or maximising employment choices: we’re talking about life and death – the life of the mind and the heart, the murder of the soul.