8.10 Current debates and reforms
When a new Flemish Government takes office, the services of the Flemish government write policy recommendations to the government negotiators. In the spring of 2019, the Department of Culture, Youth and Media prepared such policy recommendations. In this document, the Department formulated seven spearheads. One of these seven spearheads is cultural education. The Department Culture, Youth and Media wants to give cultural education a central place in the culture, youth and media policy fields, but also in related fields such as education, welfare and science. Initially, this approach will focus on those sectors with which cooperation is already taking place, in particular education and welfare. In addition, partnerships are encouraged between the cultural sector and other policy areas such as Economy, Science and Innovation, Education and Training, , Public Health … . In the long term, this should lead to the explicit attention to cultural elements in all policy areas ("culture in all policies"). However as already mentioned, in the policy notes of the ministers cultural education receives less attention than in the previous legislature.
The Ministers of Culture and Education wish to establish a cultural Canon of Flanders (Canon van Vlaanderen). This canon has to cover the history, culture and people of the Flemish region, from its earliest habitation to the present day. The canon will pay attention to the highs and the lows, to influences from elsewhere and appearances to the outside world and to both famous and ordinary people. To this end, an independent and pluralistic scientific committee has been established at the beginning of 2020. The committee exist of nine experts of diverse backgrounds, which are assisted by external experts. The committee will present the canon to the Flemish government in the autumn of 2022. They will also develop suggestions for the use of the canon in education (as well as for use in other sectors such as the heritage and museum sector, tourism, integration, etc.).
The Flemish Government approved on 13 July 2018 the new attainment targets for the first grade of secondary education (decreet betreffende de onderwijsdoelen voor de eerste graad van het secundair onderwijs). On 10 February 2021, the Flemish Parliament approved the new educational objectives for the 2nd and 3rd grade of secondary education (decreet betreffende de onderwijsdoelen voor de tweede en derde graad van het secundair onderwijs). The new educational objectives for the first year of the 2nd grade took effect in September 2021, in September 2022 the second year of grade 2 will follow and in September 2023 the new attainment targets will take effect in the third grade. These new attainment targets are developed in function of 16 key competences. One of these key competences concerns “cultural awareness and cultural expression”. It consists of four pillars:
- Perceiving and conceptualizing expressions of art and culture;
- interpreting expressions of art and culture in relation to the social, historical and geographical context in which they manifest themselves;
- experiencing expressions of art and culture and expressing appreciation for them;
- Using imagination in a targeted way when creating artistic work