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Finland/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

The government decides on the allocation of hours between subjects in basic education. The core subjects taught in comprehensive schools are laid down in the Basic Education Act (628/1998). These subjects include physical education, music, visual arts, and arts and crafts over the nine years of basic education, is 56 weekly lessons per year (one weekly lesson means a module of 38 hours of instruction, and 56 weekly lessons per year means that the number of lesson hours dedicated to art and skill subjects is 2 128 over the nine years of basic education). The minimum number of single subjects in this group and the minimum number of all elective subjects also come under a Decree. The actual numbers of lesson hours in art and skill subjects vary within these limits at the discretion of the education provider.

After having assessed the school practices, a recent study comes to the conclusion that the relative weight of art and skill subjects has been dwindling in basic school curricula, even though the minimum number of hours in these subjects has remained the same. The system of Finnish Arts Education is described in English in the following document

A cultural education plan has been developed in Finland by the Association of Cultural Heritage Education in Finland and the Association of Children’s Cultural Centers in Finland. The cultural education plan details how cultural education and cultural heritage education is implemented as part of teaching in the municipality or region. During 2015-2016 a project called Kulttuurivoltti (Cultural somersault) developed an online tool (a website to facilitate and encourage the creation and writing the plans in Finnish municipalities.

A cultural education plan:

  • Is a plan detailing the systematic implementation of culture, art and cultural heritage education as part of the municipality’s teaching.
  • Represents the agreement of one or more municipalities regarding the cultural education of pupils from one grade to another.
  • Renders the schools’ cultural education work target-oriented.
  • Concerns the grades 1–9 and, in some municipalities, secondary education and early childhood education.
  • Guarantees all children and youth the equal possibility to experience and participate in local culture in a diverse manner.
  • Is written and implemented in cooperation with education and culture sector operators.
  • Is based on the municipality’s own cultural supply and heritage as well as the spontaneous activities of children and youth.

Chapter published: 16-07-2018

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