Cultural Education – an Interview with Ralf Seifert
Ralf Seifert. Sächsisches Staatsministerium für Kultus (SMK). (Photo: © SMK)
Numerous international declarations have guaranteed every young person the right to cultural education. Ralf Seifert is advisor on cultural education in the Saxony Ministry of Cultural Affairs and has there successfully implemented a variety of programmes for the cultural education of young people. In an interview with Goethe.de he talks about the value of an aesthetic education for social interaction.
Mr Seifert, how do you define cultural education?
The basic understanding of the Saxony Ministry of Cultural Affairs is based on the statements of the German Cultural Council, the Study Commission on Culture in Germany and the Federal Association for the Cultural Education of Children and Young People. Cultural education enables the development of various skills. We assume three key perspectives that are to be developed: the capacity of perception, the capacity of developing forms and the capacity for interaction in a social context. In order to throw light on and evaluate processes, we move not only on the level of pure production but also on the level of reception and reflection. These three levels include aspects of social participation.
Cultural education in the classroomWhat role do schools play in cultural education?
How does it look with respect to the responsibility of cultural institutions?
The cultural institutions of Saxony are an immense support in the implementation of services in cultural education. And since they also have an educational mandate, structures and networks are now in place so that we can develop joint approaches. The cooperation in bigger cities is naturally easier because there the concentration of cultural institutions is higher. Saxony, however, has more schools in rural than in urban areas. This is a real challenge that has confronted us for many years. We try to meet it with various idea competitions, cooperations and programmes.
Programmes and awards promote research-based learningCould you name a few cultural educational programmes in Saxony?
What other strategies of cultural education are there?
I’m fascinated by the program Culture.Researcher!, which is a joint programme of the German Children and Youth Foundation and the PwC Foundation Youth-Education-Culture. As culture researchers, school children study cultural aspects of their everyday lives. They get suggestions and ideas from experts. In the end, they present their research results and pose new questions. Saxony is taking part in this programme. I believe that such projects offer the opportunity to anchor cultural education in the education system on the long-term.