TCS can be considered part of the school’s educational mission and should be incorporated into the curriculum objectives. It is important that school management, cultural specialists, teachers and students are involved and included as central participants in the TCS programme. Together we are to develop diverse and relevant TCS activities that align with school curricula.
TCS activities are organised on the county and municipal level, while Kulturtanken is responsible for the overall programme. Kulturtanken aims to have school management, teachers and students all feel a sense of ownership of the TCS programme. TCS productions can increase awareness of art and culture in education, enabling the programme to serve as a resource for achieving the school’s goals, both in terms of the curriculum and benchmarks for various subjects.
“The school and cultural sectors should cooperate closely on the Cultural Rucksack at every level. The schools should be involved in the programme and given time to plan for the various activities.”
(From Objectives and Principles of the Cultural Rucksack. White Paper no. 8 (2007- 2008): “A Cultural Rucksack for the Future”)
Activities involving professional performers and artists as part of TCS can inspire, challenge and motivate students in terms of creative problem solving, learning to think outside the box in solving complex challenges and learning about innovation.
The core curriculum, section 1.4 [A2] The joy of creating, engagement and the urge to explore (link), states that “[t]he ability to ask questions, explore and experiment are important for in-depth learning,” and that “[c]reative abilities contribute to enriching society”. In addition, “Art and culture include many inventive and creative fields […]” and “[o]ur aesthetic sense is developed when we are exposed to different cultural expressions, and this helps to point out new perspectives. Artistic and cultural expressions are also important for individual personal development.”
Experiencing the work of professional performers and artists enables TCS to serve as an important supplement to achieving both the overall goals of the curriculum and those of the individual subjects.
“Cultural experiences are also intrinsically valuable, and the pupils must be allowed to experience a wide range of cultural expressions in their time in school.” (Educational values in the new curricula. Section 1.4 The joy of creating, engagement and the urge to explore).
School management plays an important role in embedding TCS in the school’s education programme. Feedback from performers and cultural organisations show that a committed school management strengthens the sense of ownership in TCS activities locally and results in art and culture playing a large role in the school’s curriculum. School management that views TCS as an important tool for achieving objectives and that takes responsibility for its implementation contributes to the further development and improvement of the programme.
The report The Cultural Rucksack (Breivik and Christophersen 2013) shows that students want to be prepared for TCS experiences and that the activities should be relevant to their own lives and personal circumstances. They also want to have the opportunity to process the experience afterwards. According to students, being seen and heard, as well as being able to participate, would improve the experience. Teachers play a key role in ensuring the relevance of the experience. Teachers can help the students see the connection to other learning activities at the school and to interpret and evaluate the experience, as well as help link the experience to the general and subject-specific goals of the curriculum.
TCS productions are to interact with school curricula. Having the teacher align the activities with specific goals in the curriculum can help ensure that the experience is perceived as relevant for students. The promotion of art is not to replace regular education, but to supplement the school’s everyday activities. Teachers and school management are an important resource that can place the experience within a context and relate it to other school activities. The website offers the possibility to search for individual schools and view descriptions of productions to be organised at the school. The information includes both theme and educational relevance, which can make it easier to prepare a long-term plan for interaction with the school’s other educational activities.
Cultural organisations are an important intermediary between the school and TCS. They are responsible for facilitation before, during and after TCS activities. An important role of the cultural organisations is to coordinate TCS activities with the school’s other activities, although the specifics vary from school to school. Long-term planning can make it easier for teachers to place the TCS experience within the context of the school’s educational goals. This makes it possible to incorporate the experience into the curriculum and clarifies the educational relevance for both teachers and students.
A primary goal of the programme is for students to experience the activities as relevant and to play a role in developing and implementing the activities. The content of the TCS programme should also reflect the everyday media and technological reality of children and young people.
TCS is under continuous development in terms of student involvement. Student are to be involved throughout the process: planning, programme or production phase, during the production itself and interaction with the artists or in various forms of follow-up work and evaluation. Teachers, performers and TCS planners contribute to achieving the goal of increased student involvement in TCS. This goal coincides with the focus of curricula on democracy and participation.
Kulturtanken has initiated various measures and pilot projects to increase the degree of student participation in TCS.
“The pupils must experience that they are heard in the day-to-day affairs in school, that they have genuine influence and that they can have impact on matters that concern them.” (Core curriculum – values and principles for primary and secondary education 2017. Section 1.6 Democracy and participation).
The voices of students are to be heard clearly and they are to feel a sense of ownership to the TCS programme. Cultural experiences can contribute to increased understanding and knowledge of the world in which we live. TCS can serve as an arena for both learning and development in which students gain an understanding of cultural and artistic diversity, as well as enjoy cultural and artistic experiences.
“Cultural experiences are also intrinsically valuable, and the pupils must be allowed to experience a wide range of cultural expressions in their time in school.” Core curriculum – values and principles for primary and secondary education 2017. Section 1.4 The joy of creating, engagement and the urge to explore) (link)
There are various targets for student participation in TCS throughout the country. Information on student participation in your county or municipality can be found on the website for your county or municipality.