Print this Page
Print this Page

A new school exam programme for cultural participation and appreciation is being developed.

Show all Profile-News...

Netherlands/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

Cultural education in primary school

In the Netherlands primary schools are given full responsibility for educational quality and granted autonomy when it comes to shape their own curriculum. This applies to all subjects, including the arts and culture. Central government, though, takes steps to facilitate the improvement of the quality of cultural education and developing the primary school teacher's competencies in this area. For instance in the programme Cultural Education with Quality [Cultuureducatie met kwaliteit], 2013- 2016. With the Cultural Education with Quality programme the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science aims to give primary schools and cultural institutions a firmer footing in cultural education. The ministry is working closely with the municipal and provincial authorities on this programme. The Cultural Participation Fund [Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie] and the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts [or LKCA [Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst] have a task in the implementation of the programme.

In addition to the core goals, schools must show how cultural and artistic development relates to connected areas of learning such as history, citizenship studies or media awareness. Cultural institutions should provide content geared towards these objectives. The programme marks a shift in the minister's existing policy of receptive cultural participation outside the school, towards an increase and improvement in active participation in arts subjects within the school.

The programme includes four main aims regarding the improvement of cultural education in primary schools:

  • to stimulate the development of a long-term cultural education pathway instead of only incidental cultural projects;
  • to improve the quality of teaching, as well as the knowledge and skills of the teachers;
  • to synchronise the programming of cultural institutes with primary schools; and
  • to create an assessment tool to ensure that the programmes at the schools can be evaluated on a regular basis.

These measures are being implemented on a centralised level (central government); on a decentralised level (provinces and municipalities); and by the education institutes.

Cultural education in secondary school

Just like primary schools, secondary schools are autonomous in shaping their cultural education / curriculum, except that for the art lessons examination requirements exist. For all pupils in upper secondary education (age 15-18) "ckv" is compulsory. The general goal of ckv is cultural participation. As part of the programme, ckv-students take part in cultural activities and visit cultural institutions. Ckv-students learn to make a reasoned and informed choice of arts and cultural activities that are meaningful and of interest to them. Their choice is based on experience gained from participation in cultural activities, knowledge of culture and the arts, practical activities within the various disciplines, and reflection. In March 2014 an advisory commission was installed by the Ministry to develop a new exam programme for CKV. In November 2014 the commission delivered its advice to the Ministry.

Upper secondary pupils can opt for art as an exam subject. Art is subdivided into general arts and arts (arts visual, arts dance, arts drama, arts music) Pupils select one discipline within arts, provided the school offers this as an elective. There is a national exam for general arts and no school examination. The arts know both a practical and a theoretical component. There is a school examination for both the practical and the theoretical components.

In order to further stimulate secondary school pupils to participate in cultural activities, they receive a Culture Card. With this pass, the students of secondary education institutions receive discounts on entrance fees for theatres, cinemas, museums etc. (see chapter 8.2.2).

Chapter published: 19-03-2017

Your Comments on this Chapter?