8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences
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As described by the Ministry of Culture and Education about Creative expertise, 'Early childhood education and care and general education, such as comprehensive school education, general upper secondary education, liberal adult education and basic education in the arts, form the foundation for creative expertise. Studies preparing for occupations in the fields of arts and culture can be completed both in vocational institutions and at universities and other higher education institutions.
To increase creative expertise, training is provided within projects that receive funding for example from the Centre for economic development, transport and the environment and the Public employment services (TE services). Such projects may include, for example, labour policy education and structural fund activities such as projects of the European Social Fund (ESF).
During the programme period 2014–2020 of the EU structural funds, a package of actions called Creative Expertise (ESF) is being implemented. The funding authority is the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Häme. The Creative and Inclusive Finland network was the umbrella project responsible for the activation and coordination of the ESF package on years 2015–2018. On years 2018–2020 Creative Finland takes care of the coordination.'
Like already mentioned, education in the fields of art and culture form the foundation for creative expertise. The government decides on the allocation of hours between subjects in education. The core subjects taught in comprehensive schools are laid down in the Basic Education Act. These subjects include physical education, music, visual arts, and arts and crafts over the nine years of basic education. For more specific information about the content of basic education, general and vocational upper secondary education, see the Finnish Education system described by the National Agency for Education.
Cultural youth work is described below in subchapter 'Providing quality access to creative environments.'
Based on the presentation of Kristina Kaihari, it can be described that in Finland, teachers everywhere have the same qualification requirements. Teachers are highly trained (Master’s degree) as well pedagogically, which is crucial in the conceptualisation and implementation of the curriculum with motivating and inspiring pedagogies, learning methods and skills to think critically. (Kaihari 2017.)
The Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centres maintains a nationwide portal of Finnish children’s culture field. It aims to gather and distribute information and to promote networking and relationships of various professionals connected with the branch.
Youth work (see Glossary) has a strong position compared to other European countries. It has statutory basis and youth work programmes offered by educational institutions are highly regarded and development oriented when compared internationally. 'Creative methods' are part of the core curriculum competence in a Bachelor degree in Civic Activities and Youth Work, for example, in the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. A Bachelor in Civic Activities and Youth Work can be studied also in HUMAK University of Applied Sciences and Novia University of Applied Sciences. 'Creative methods are used in wellbeing work' as mentioned in relation to the core curriculum of the Bachelor of Social Services in Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Bachelor of Social Services can be studied also for example in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and in Diaconia University of Applied Sciences.
With concern to youth work studies offered by a university, University of Tampere offers a Master's Programme in Youth Work and Youth Research. Moreover, a possibility to specialise in youth research as part of doctoral studies is available from Autumn 2016 onwards. The studies are organised at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, as part of the Doctoral programme in social sciences.
About renewing the learning environment in formal education for providing increased quality access to creative environments, see Youth Wiki/Finland 6.7 Skills for innovation.
Based on the definition given by Finnish Youth Association, the Cultural youth work is a form of youth work that uses easy access cultural and participatory methods as its tools to foster growth, learning, dialogue and a sense of community. Cultural youth work uses various forms of art to promote young people’s means of expression, enhance their ability to voice their opinions and encourage them to define their own culture.
Young Culture and Finnish Youth Association
Young Culture is both an organisation and a form of cultural youth work. It aims to encourage and inspire young people to engage in cultural hobbies, regardless of their hometown, education, ethnicity, language or socio-economic background. Yearly art events organised around Finland form the core of Young Culture. Every year around 5000 young people participate in 20–30 regional events, from which some groups are chosen to perform in the yearly national main event in Spring. Young Culture is a part of the Finnish Youth Association and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The Finnish Youth Association is a major player in the field of cultural youth work in Finland. The Youth Association offers cultural hobbies, such as dance, theatre, circus, music, and sports, for all ages. About 700 Finnish Youth Association clubs operate locally, all around Finland. The national organisation along with its 15 regional offices organise events and courses, produce materials for further use, and support the local clubs with their needs. The aim is to generate genuine participation and let everybody's creativity show. For example, the instructors of the dance and theatre groups draw ideas and suggestions from the children, rather than giving a ready made choreography or manuscript.
Oranssi Association and Oranssi Apartments Ltd.
Oranssi has a youth cultural centre close to the centre of Helsinki and inexpensive communal housing for young people in old protected wooden buildings, forming several communities that are located around Helsinki. The idea of Oranssi is to provide young people with the opportunity to independently produce their own kind of culture and to self-create their living environment. Oranssi housing and cultural activities are organised by young people, and aimed for the young, who also get to strongly participate in every level of the organisation, from decision-making to the actual physical work.