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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.5 Developing cultural and creative competences

Last update: 19 March 2024

Acquiring cultural and creative competences through education and training

The Ministry of Education and Merit guarantees all pupils of all levels access to Italian culture and artistic heritage through the promotion of theoretical and practical activities, as well as with workshops, linked to the themes of creativity through the three-year adoption of an Arts Plan (See 8.2). Schools include in their three-year educational offer plans (PTOF) courses of study as well as the production and use of the arts in the following areas:

  • music-dance: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of instrumental music, song and dance
  • theatre-performance: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of the art of theatre, cinema or other forms of entertainment
  • artistic-visual: historical-critical knowledge, practice and conscious use of painting, sculpture, graphics, decorative arts, design, artistic craftsmanship and Italian creative productions
  • linguistic-creative: strengthening of logical-linguistic and argumentative skills, knowledge and practice of creative writing, poetry and other forms of expression of the Italian language, its classical roots, languages ​​and dialects spoken in Italy.

Music Committee: the National Committee for the practical learning of music for all students has the tasks of supporting, coordinating, monitoring and proposing towards the central administration to define cultural and didactic contents as well as create training courses focused on the development of musical practice in school, while also valorising its aesthetic and historical aspects.

Cinema for school: the National Cinema Plan for Schools aims to promote the teaching of cinematographic and audio-visual language in the classroom and has provided for the issuance of several calls addressed to institutions, foundations, associations and schools of all levels to support and promote the study and use of cinema and audio-visual language at school. The calls have seen the participation of thousands of educational institutions, trade associations, universities and research centres, public and private agencies, for a total of 497 projects funded for the 2018/2019 school year and over 1000 projects presented for the school year 2019/2020. 

Theatre and teaching: The then Ministry of Education launched in 2016 a path of promotion, support and valorisation of theatre in schools, intending theatre as a transversal pedagogical tool capable of profoundly affecting the growth of the person in their cognitive and emotional entirety. With the Strategic Indications for the didactic use of theatrical activities for the school year 2016/2017, theatrical activity definitively abandons being an additional extracurricular offer and becomes a complementary didactic choice and becomes part of the didactic offer of Italian schools.

The issue of the acquisition and development of transversal skills in young people has become central in Italy with the reform of “La Buona Scuola” Law 107/2015 (See chapter 6) and has been further strengthened with Decree 774/2019 of the Ministry of Education with which the Guidelines on the paths for transversal skills and orientation (the already mentioned PCTO) were defined, in line with the European guidelines and, in particular, with the Recommendation of the Council of the European Union of 22 May 2018 (2018/C –189/01) relating to “key competences for lifelong learning”. 

The National Digital School Plan, a pillar of “La Buona Scuola” aimed at meeting the challenge of school innovation has now been updated and widened, with a new dedicated section and an hashtag #ContamMInazione. It’s focused on 4 main areas:

  1. Connectivity
  2. Tools and Spaces
  3. Content and Competencies
  4. Assistance

Within these areas it supports a variety of projects and initiatives at national level concerning arts, culture and creativity, such as ”I Miei 10 libri My 10 books”, to promote reading and culture, to form motivated and aware readers, to increase and nourish the desire to learn, to underline the function of reading as an indispensable educational and training practice, to strengthen the role and visibility of school libraries today, in their new meaning. Libraries can in fact be seen as laboratories and innovative environments in which, also through new teaching methods, young people can cultivate and develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and transversal skills. To this end, students are asked to vote for their favorite books which, even in digital format, will enrich the school libraries of their institutions.

Specialised training for professionals in the education, culture and youth fields

The “La Buona Scuola'' reform defined the training of school staff as “compulsory, permanent and strategic” and, to this end, the Ministry of Education and Merit approved the 2016-2019 Teacher Training Plan. The Plan was updated in 2020, defining the operational guidelines for carrying out remote training activities due to the COVID-19 health emergency. The training actions for teachers are mandatory and included in the Three-Year Plan of the Educational Offer.

Regarding the skills related to the use of technologies for the development of digital creativity and the creation of laboratory environments dedicated to art and creativity, the Plan provides training courses for teachers, managers, technical-administrative staff and digital animators (teachers who have a strategic role in the dissemination of innovation at school) on:

  • didactic innovation, 
  • creativity and digital skills, 
  • computational thinking, 
  • digital content.

The Foundation School of Cultural Heritage and Activities, established by the former MiBACT, was founded with the mission of valorising professionals working in the care and management of cultural heritage and activities, with it representing a training and research model of excellence of international standards in the areas of the protection, management and promotion of cultural heritage. The foundation has the “The School of Heritage” course which issues the title of High Specialization Diploma and Research in Cultural Heritage, corresponding to 150 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits, valid and recognized within the European area. It also manages the International School of Cultural Heritage, a permanent laboratory dedicated to foreign professionals involved in the management of cultural heritage.

The system of Higher Education in Art, Music and Choreutics (AFAM) is made up of state conservatories, academies of fine arts (state and non-state ones), former musical institutes promoted by local authorities, state academies of dance and drama, by the Higher State Institutes for Artistic Industries, as well as by other private institutions authorized by the Ministry of Education and Merit to issue legally recognised qualifications. The AFAM system is composed of a total of 145 institutions, of which 82 state and 63 non-state. Higher artistic and musical qualifications have a legal value equivalent to university qualifications. The data collected in 2018 show that there are 326,332 first and second level graduates and 16,454 graduates under the AFAM system.

Providing quality access to creative environments

The main initiatives aimed at supporting, promoting and valorising youth talent and creativity in Italy are implemented at a national level by the Department of Youth Policies and Universal Civil ServiceMiC and the Ministry of Education and Merit through national and European funds, with the latter destined to the less developed southern regions.

The Department of Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service, through the Fund for Youth Policies (See 8.1), finances measures designed to promote the development of young talents and creativity. The project proposals of 33 beneficiaries are now underway.

  1. Giovani per la valorizzazione dei beni pubblici”, measure aimed at promoting private social projects aimed at young people in the territories of the «less developed regions (Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicily, Basilicata) aimed at both social inclusion and personal growth, promoting employability, activation, integration, inclusion and social innovation policies to be understood as a transformation technological economic management of services, spaces and public assets». The measure, which is part of the Piano di Azione e Coesione (PAC), was already adopted in 2013 with the funding of 507 beneficiaries and saw a refinancing in 2018 with a new public notice that approved 35 projects currently underway.
  2. “Fermenti”, a measure aimed at offering financial and technical support to build and implement youth entrepreneurship initiatives that respond to 5 social challenges identified as priorities, including the one on “Training and culture” which provides for the development of ideas designed to offer non-formal learning opportunities; strengthening of personal and social skills, critical and analytical thinking, creativity and the ability to solve problems as well as implementing actions for the protection and valorisation of cultural heritage.
  3. Per chi crea: was a program promoted by the former MiBACT and managed by the Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE) (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) which allocated 10% of the fees for “private copying” to support the creativity and cultural promotion of young people in the visual and performing arts sectors and multimedia, cinema, dance, book and reading, music, theatre.

The Directorate General for Contemporary Creativity (DGCC) of the MiC carries out actions to promote and valorise contemporary art at international level by encouraging the participation of young emerging artists through projects and prizes created in collaboration with Italian cultural institutes. Among the important initiatives, there is Italian Council, an international call to promote the production and dissemination of contemporary Italian creation in the field of visual arts, funding projects that involve the participation of artists in international events or that provide residencies abroad for artists, curators and critics or aimed at the realization of monographic exhibitions at foreign cultural institutions or editorial projects dedicated to Italian contemporary art.

Premio nazionale delle arti is an annual competition promoted by the Ministry of University and Research which promotes, through prizes and awards, the excellence of students enrolled in institutions and accredited courses of the AFAM system in the field of visual, digital and scenographic arts, of the arts of entertainment, design and musical interpretation and composition. Each year a national winner is awarded for each artistic category.