A substantial body of evidence indicates that quality artistic and cultural education may have a deep positive impact on personal development and on the improvement of motivation and learning skills, and it may support the creative and innovative potential of individuals. This is also why reinforcing synergies between culture and education is a policy priority in many Member States and at EU level.
Cultural awareness and expression is one of the eight key competences that have been identified at EU level as the essential outcomes of learning throughout life. Cultural awareness and expression is “the appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media, including music, performing arts, literature, and the visual arts”. The framework also describes the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes related to the competence.
Several key documents have emphasized the key role that arts and culture may play in education. The Council conclusions on cultural and creative competences and their role in building intellectual capital of Europe , adopted in November 2011, invite Member States and the Commission to actively support the acquisition of cultural and creative competences throughout lifelong learning.
Member states, with the support of the Commission, have been and will be working on topics related to a better focus on arts in education through the Open Method of Coordination.
A wealth of evidence shows that arts and creativity in schools may bring about significant improvements in education. They may have a substantial impact in improving pupils' performance; and they increase motivation and interest in learning, thus contributing to prevent or bring a remedy to early school leaving.