Intangible heritage within the curriculum

Intangible heritage covers cultural expressions that we want to pass on from generation to generation. Education plays an important role in this. Not only to give a future to traditions, festivities, arts and crafts, but also to support students in the formation of creative, critical and historical thinking, identity, their own opinion and understanding of another's opinion and culture. Intangible heritage education is in line with the core objectives and learning areas such as Citizenship, Art & Culture and People & Society. On this page you will find tools for teachers and heritage communities to integrate intangible heritage in the po, vo or MBO.

What is intangible heritage education?

With heritage education, students develop knowledge, skills and attitudes based on heritage as a primary source of instruction. That means not only learning from a book, but also tasting, seeing, making, doing, experiencing and experiencing. The significance that people give to heritage (over time) is central to this. By giving meaning to the heritage themselves and by learning different perspectives on it, students see how meaning can differ and change and why some people want to keep passing on traditions. Intangible heritage education connects past, present and future and asks why we want to safeguard heritage.

Huh, but I already do that!

At school, you may pay attention to storytelling in class, there may be a reading contest, children's stamp action or attention to handwriting. You are looking for affairs with current events such as carnival, Sint Maarten, Holi or 4 and 5 May or give creative lessons about cultural dances and music. Perhaps the pupils visit a local craft or discuss different views of heritage that are the subject of a social debate. In short, there is plenty of teaching about intangible heritage at school, but how do you place these lessons within the curriculum?

Intangible heritage and the core objectives

Core objectives apply in primary education and in the secondary education. Core goal 56 states that the students acquire knowledge about and value for aspects of cultural heritage. Depending on the lesson and the heritage, intangible heritage is linked to several core objectives. Think for example of assessing information in discussions and forming an opinion, they learn to deal with differences in views respectfully, they learn about important historical persons and events and learn to use images, language, music, play and movement to create feelings and to share experiences.

Citizenship: Identity and Cultural Diversity

Citizenship education introduces students to democratic society and trains them to become critical citizens. It is also about identity formation and multiple perspectives on social developments. Intangible heritage is often close to the perception of students. They derive identity from it. Cultural expressions such as poldering and the public debate on social issues ensure that there is room for multiple perspectives. But heritage also goes hand in hand with exclusion and exclusion. That is why it is important to encourage understanding of different cultural expressions.

Lesson Tip: Students look for similarities between various forms of intangible heritage.

Pride, Keti Koti and May 4 and 5 are different in many ways. Perhaps the students identify with one, but not with the other. Can they agree that all are about celebrating freedom? And despite their different cultural background, Henna art and Delfsblauw are both painting and go cooking, Brabant sausage rolls and Indonesian rice tables are all about gathering around food. Telling stories is also an intangible heritage, but what are the differences and similarities between passing on folk tales, memories of the Second World War and the Anansi stories that came to the Netherlands via Suriname and the Antilles? And how does heritage in your area compare to that in other provinces?

Lesson Tip: Students enter into a dialogue about intangible heritage with different perspectives.

Intangible heritage is always on the move. In order to continue to exist, it adapts to social developments. Unsafe heritage becomes safer, crafts use machines and heritage with animals becomes more animal-friendly. Sometimes there are disagreements between people who want to give the heritage a future without modifying it and people who want changes. Citizenship also includes developing your own opinion and empathizing with someone else's point of view. Can students empathize with various points of view?

Art and Culture: creativity and artistic orientation

Dance, music, stories, recipes and crafts; they are creative forms of intangible heritage that lend themselves to a practical lesson and for reflection on the creation of art and culture. Art can amuse, challenge, amaze or make you think, as can performing arts and traditional craftsmanship.

Lesson tip: Students experience and give meaning to this.

Experience intangible heritage through a practical lesson with a lesson letter or school visit. Visit an intangible heritage, watch one of the videos or do a (sniffing) internship to experience the heritage. After making or experiencing, the meaning and reflection follow. Why do students think that this heritage is passed on from generation to generation? Do they find that important themselves?

In the music lesson you can for example get acquainted with Tambú, originating from the Netherlands Antilles, or with shanties, songs that used to be sung on board ships. A practical lesson on crafts is also in order here, such as Staphorster dot work, making cheese, paper scooping, wood carving, decorative painting or a visit to a miller.

People and Society - historical thinking and orientation on yourself and the world

Mens en Maatschappij is about orientation about yourself and the world, geography and history. In primary education, your pupil can slowly make comparisons from his personal experience with local heritage, heritage in the province and finally (inter) national heritage. Intangible heritage helps to develop historical thinking by showing differences and similarities between past and present and the dynamics over time. That makes students aware of location-relatedness and that how we celebrate or remember something says more about today than about the past.

Lesson Tip: Students map the changes of intangible heritage over time by interviewing their grandparents and parents or by conducting self-discovery research on our website.

Intangible heritage is dynamic and ideas about it are diverse. The first commemoration on May 4 in 1946 was very different from today's commemoration, due to a public discussion about who we do and don't commemorate. The Sinterklaas celebration from two generations back looked very different from today. What has changed? And how do these changes fit into their time? There are customs that have their origins in the colonial past or in slavery. How have these forms developed? You will find many of the answers in the Network and on the Inventory. What do students think the heritage will look like in the future?

All rights reserved