When designing and implementing cultural activities with an educational profile we need to take into account key competences and lifelong learning recommendations.
The European Reference Framework on Key Competences has been defined in the Recommendations on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. These were adopted by the Council and the European Parliament in December 2006. The eight key competences are interrelated and combine knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability, with a focus on applying knowledge in real life situations. Critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision making and constructive management of feelings are essential.
Thus, key competences at European level are considered to be the following:
1. Communication in the mother tongue;
2. Communication in foreign languages;
3. Mathematical competence (A) and basic competence in science and technology (B);
4. Digital competence;
5. Social competence and civic competence;
6. Learning to learn;
7. Initiative and entrepreneurship;
8. Cultural awareness and expression.
To familiarise ourselves with these key competences we can use an analysis sheet produced by the Romanian Institute of Educational Sciences, presented at the following link https://www.ise.ro/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Competente-cheie-europene.pdf.
We believe that all key competences have a high potential from the perspective of cultural education, especially in the context of the recent emphasis on the use of online and offline digital technologies, which were less represented a few years ago.
A high degree of applicability in the cultural field is shown by the key competences Cultural awareness and expression, Social competence and civic competences and Learning to learn.
Cultural awareness and expression is a competence which involves knowledge of cultural heritage, the place of heritage in the world, representative cultural products, including contemporary culture, understanding cultural and linguistic diversity and the importance of aesthetic factors in everyday life. The skills referred to are critical and aesthetic appreciation of artistic creations, self-expression through various means, relating to the opinions of others, identifying opportunities in culture, developing creative skills with applicability in a professional context. From the point of view of attitudes, it is about a deep understanding of one’s own culture and identity, which generates respect and openness towards cultural diversity, creativity, artistic expression and participation in cultural life.
While some key competences can be applied very effectively in the cultural field, interdisciplinarity allows for approaches that emphasise, depending on the needs we wish to address, all key competences. For example, starting from a heritage representative of fine arts, history and traditional culture, a museum education project that addressed Mathematical Competences and Basic Competences in Science and Technology is presented below. Entitled Museum Heritage – Learning Tool, the project was developed through a partnership between the Museum of Bucharest, the ASTRA National Museum Complex Sibiu, the Institute of Education Sciences and Global Mindscape. The project ran from October to November 2015 and was co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration.