The Raak-Public stimulation program was founded by the Netherlands ministry of Education (Ministry of OCW). Its target is to integrate inner and outer school activities, especially from the perspective of our kind of institutes for Higher Professional Education and (for instance) cultural and science institutes.
In this cultural literacy project at least two institutes for higher professional education (Edith Stein at Hengelo and our Hogeschool Utrecht) work together with cultural and science institutes (Twentse Welle, Museon, Naturalis, Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht, Rijksmuseum Twente en Instituut Beeld en Geluid), along with an external commercial partner, BMC, on a project that will establish good and best practices for primary school-based activities.
The content is about cultural heritage (it also implies art and science, being landmarks in the cultural landscape!), and to promote projects that bring the different cultural backgrounds and scientific knowledge of Dutch primary school children together. At school and in close harmony with the art, science and cultural heritage presentations of the institutes as mentioned above.
Another binding aspect of this project is the use of crossmedia tools; the new media relevance of activating media activities for pupils. Of course, a large part of the research project is to establish the opportunities on a level of curriculum development (in the mainframe of educational goals) and to establish a good practice and inspiring materials, called ‘the tools’ for cultural and media literacy programs.
Our contribution lies in cooperating, as a member of the so called syndicate, under the leadership of the University of Higher Professional Education in Hengelo, Edith Stein, with an accent on these three aspects:
Basic research and elaborating good (or even best) practices for ‘tools’ (Programs, materials, manuals, assignments, etc.).
The foundation and maintenance of a Community of Interest about the role and the skills of a so called media coach, also called an art-/culture-/science coordinator within a primary school, paving the way for integrated projects and collaboration with external institutes and
Another (linked with the number 2 CoI) Community of Interest about media literacy and media education programs as a subject and as a means for pupils, in order to participate in cultural heritage collections.
Within our research group there are rich experiences seated in the field of media literacy programs from an educational point of view and also from educational activities at museums and cultural heritage institutes.
These experiences are a starting point for dedicated research, aimed at umbrella organisations for culture and media literacy programs in education, in The Netherlands: Cultuurnetwerk (Culture network), Sciencecentra.nl (science centres) and Netherlands Institute for Film Education.
At the same time there are thousands of smaller and bigger initiatives aiming at primary school children to bring more cultural awareness and media literacy. In some cases those projects are done by professional artists, filmmakers or culture experts (from specific cultural identities like religious groups, representatives from indigenous people and so on; but also from traditional or experimental art forms or media).
Despite the overload of fixed subjects in schools there is a broad pressure on (not only!) primary schools to step out into the schools’ environments and to work together with museums (etc.) to bring social and critical awareness (with slogans like integration, mutual respect, ecological, political and media-activities, television, the Internet, gaming) into those schools.
Our contribution to the research project also implies certain points of view and experiences on the edge of crossmedia, web based facilities and innovative educational practices (like the Freinet pedagogy: a clue for activating media use and media production activities on the internet).
More practical information about the project and the first results of the socalled Communities of Interest in Culture and Media Literacy Programs will follow soon on this site.