8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences
On this page
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There are several educational spheres related to acquiring cultural and creative competences:
There is Framework Educational Programmes ‘Rámcový vzdělávací plán’ (RVP) that forms a generally binding framework for the creation of school educational programs for schools in all fields of education in pre-school, primary, elementary art, language and secondary education.
- Formal school system and National Curricular documents – Framework Educational Programmes
- Elementary Art School system (for details see this chapter and Chapter 8.4), have their own Framework Educational Programmes
- Leisure-based and Interests Education, have their own Framework Educational Programmes
- Non-formal Education, without state Framework Educational Programmes
Cultural competences are developing systematically through arts education and aesthetic education and also many other related and similar approaches, such as entrepreneurship and creativity education (see Chapter 8.6) and others.
Formal school system
Creative activities (tvůrčí činnosti) are the basis of general education in obligatory and optional content. They help gain and develop a sum of creative and cultural competences.
Basis of educational content
Art and music education is obligatory in schools as separate subjects.
Gymnázium (specific ISCED 2 form)
Gymnázium (specific ISCED 2 form)
Performing arts and communication
Optional content includes dramatic education, film/audio-visual education dance and movement activity education
Pre-school education – Art, music, movement and drama activities are implemented under the five Educational areas (Child and his/her body, the child and her/his psyche, the child and others, the child and the society, the child and the world).
Elementary schools – The area of art and culture is one of the nine educational areas. It includes educational fields of music education and art education. Educational content areas of art and culture are in the form of school subjects included in education as a required component in the years 1-9 of elementary school (1-4 year of eight-year and in 1st and 2nd-year of six-year grammar school). Drama, Film/Audio-visual education and Dance Education are included in the Additional educational disciplines. Their educational content can be implemented at the level of school education programmes as an additional optional teaching subject, course or module or integrated into other subjects.
Gymnázia – The area of art and culture is one of the nine educational areas. Educational disciplines in the Arts and culture are Music and Visual Arts. These fields are included as a mandatory part of the training in the 1st and 2nd years of the four-year cycle (6th and 7th-grade of the eight-year cycle, and the 4th and 5th year of the six-year cycle). The student chooses one of the mandatory fields. Part of the educational content of Arts and culture is a topic that integrates the arts and communication, the content of which is mandatory for all students. Subjects coming from the area of art and culture can be included in the upper grades of the Gymnázium, and it is possible for the students of these subjects to undertake the final leaving exams (maturita). Drama and Film/Audio-visual are included in the scope of supplementary educational disciplines. Their educational content may be implemented at the level of school education programmes as an additional, optional teaching subject, course or module or integrated into other subjects.
Conservatory – provides the level of education in vocational artistic education in music, drama and dance field. Prepares students for professional careers in the arts as performers, teachers in Elementary Art Schools, etc., or to study at universities with an artistic focus or art faculties.
Secondary vocational schools, lyceum and vocational school – Depending on the type of expertise of the education, cultural competences are incorporated either in training directly in the art (art and applied art), or pedagogical education (secondary school and Lyceum), or as so-called Aesthetic education as a general basis for exploring art and culture and for the strengthening and deepening of knowledge of this area acquired in primary school (mainly from literature and in general cultural review).
Higher Education Institutions with artistic focus or faculties of education – Professional artistic and cultural education. Graduates are to succeed in artistic professions (performing artists, artists, designers, composers, conductors, actors, etc.) or as teachers of artistic disciplines in different types of schools.
Leisure-based and Interests Education
Leisure time centres, school play-centres and school clubs help further develop cultural and creative competences. Youngsters interested in cultural activities can attend special courses or undertake their own projects and activities with the support and guidance of an educator. These centres are not part of formal education.
Most, if not all, public cultural institutions are providing educational activities as one of their regular or project activities. Museums, galleries, theatres, libraries and other memorial institutions usually also have special cultural programmes for children and young people. Chateaus, castles and other cultural and cultural heritage institutions usually provide special educational programmes or organise special events or festivals with educational elements for children and young people and for school and out-of-school youth collectives.
Základní umělecká škola (ZUŠ, earlier also known as 'Liduška' – 'Lidová škola umění', 'Elementary Arts School')
ZUŠ is a special kind of school according to the School Act no. 561/2004 Sb. within the system of art education in the Czech Republic. Artistic Education is overarching literacy applied at all levels of education.
The system of ZUŠ is considered by experts of Research Institute of Education in Prague and by many artistic professionals as unique in the world in relation to the scope and density of the network in the country, structure and its interconnection to the system of art education.
ZUŠ provides the basics of artistic education in music, art, dance and literary-dramatic fields. They do not provide a level of education; however, the pupils are certified as in traditional schools (grades and word evaluation, certificate every semester - 'vysvědčení'). Students are accepted to the study of the relevant discipline based on proven prerequisites (preparatory study) or talent exams (study at I., and II. degree levels and adult studies). Studying a given degree in the artistic field is completed by a final exam, which may take the form of a graduate performance or exhibition of artwork.
ZUŠs provide education on 4 levels:
- preparatory school lessons
- basic studies of the 1st (7 years) and 2nd levels (4 years)
- studies with an extended number of school lessons (for talented pupils)
- adult education
Elementary Art Schools can also prepare pupils for education at secondary art schools and at conservatories or for studies at universities focusing on artistic pedagogical activities.
As other schools, also ZUŠs also educate according to the Framework Educational Programme (FEP) for Elementary Art Schools. Each school needs to prepare its own School Educational Programme based on the FEP as an individual curricular document.
For more info about Elementary Art Schools see Chapter 8.4.
Also, youth organisations and youth work are paying attention to cultural development and creativity with many of their activities, depending on the art, activities and focus of those organisations. We can find cultural summer camps, special music, art, dance, theatre projects and activities, and creative activities are usually the base of all the work with Children and Youth in the Czech Republic. Each of those organization has its own approach, statutes.
Teachers' informal education
There are general systems of supporting teachers in all fields, and culture and creativity are not the exception. Among the most important are the methodological and sharing national-wide portal RVP.cz and the system of further education of teachers (DVPP). For details, see Chapter 6.7.
As the teachers and educators in Elementary Art Schools and Leisure-time centres are considered as teachers according to the Educational Act, they can also participate in the DVPP.
Educators and youth workers
As the teachers and educators in Elementary Art Schools Leisure-based and interest education are considered as teachers according to the Educational Act, they can also participate in the system of further education of teachers and the RVP portal also has sections for their activities.
For other forms of Youth Work, there is no state centralised system of further education for youth workers and it is up to each (youth) organisation to develop their own strategies, which is quite common.
Between years 2019 – 2023, the Czech Council of Children and Youth carry out an EU-funded project ´Šablony´to support the improvement of the quality of non-formal education. One of the ten thematic areas is dedicated to cultural awareness and expression - creative expression, fine art and music, dance, dramatic art, literature and audiovisual art.
There is also an annual nationwide Mutual Exchange of Experiences for youth workers and volunteers and culturally and creatively-oriented courses are also included.
Professionals in the cultural sector (e.g. artists, managers of cultural institutions, curators…)
Further education of adults depends on their own acitivity and interest in the education or the activity and support of their employers. There are opportunities to attend courses organised by educational institutions, universities, private actors and experts.
The National Information and Consulting Centre for Culture (NIPOS) also organises educational seminars and other opportunities such as conferences etc.
Also the NIPOS provides 3x a year a bulletin called 'Kormidlo' ('Rudder') about high-quality events, shows and workshops in all fields of aesthetic activities of children and youth throughout the country.
It focused on fields of:
- children's and youth theatre
- recital and drama
- stage dance
- dance folklore art
children's and high school choir singing
For young artists up to 35 years of age, it is possible to apply for a scholarship at any professional arts institution at home or abroad with the aim of realising some artistic creation. These scholarships from the Ministry of Culture are for professionals but there is also an opportunity for non-professionals.
Scholarship are available in the field of:
- Professional art
- Non-professional art and traditional folk culture
- Creative scholarships in the field of literature
There are several top-level initiatives to support quality access of young people to creative environments:
Elementary Art Schools
The education is partially paid by the young people (or their families) themselves, but most of the expenses are covered by the founder of the school and state and public transferred resources. For young people from an economically disadvantaged background, there can be also remissions on the school fees. From this perspective, it is a very accessible option for young people. On the other hand, there is a logical barrier of accepting only pupils based on basic talent exams or artistic predispositions, which however are on a reasonable level and make sense in the whole concept and context of individual work with professional artists and art teachers.
Aesthetic activities of children and youth
The cultural sphere (materialised with state organisation NIPOS – for details see Chapter 8.2) operates with the concept or rather the idea of aesthetic activities of children and youth within aesthetic education. It is rather a traditional term used and supported by the state before 1989. However, in the cultural sector, it is a strong concept, even if there is no official definition.
National system of competitive shows and exhibitions
There is a coherent and interlinked decentralised system of shows and exhibitions from local to national level. It is a robust system with quality activities of non-professional artists. Many of those activities are limited only to young people but not all; they can attend higher levels and thus new opportunities are opened for the non-professional artists. At the same time, it helps facilitate contact between the active people and stimulate the quality of peer-to-peer as well as professional education and sharing good practices and artistic values of living arts. In the field of theatre and film the foundations of this system were laid in the 1930s.NIPOS also oversees national competitive shows and exhibitions.