Quality Cultural and Arts Education – an essential part of children's daily life

MSc Martina Peštaj, MSc Nataša Bucik, Nada Požar Matijašič, Darja Štirn

The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport have since 2006 been managing the development and accessibility of quality programs and projects of cultural and arts education in all domains of culture and art, and for various target groups. Our discussion presents the most important national projects and platforms connecting the fields of education and culture, offering support to experts in both, as well more broadly to all those who wish to bring children closer to the world of art, and who understand the vital significance of making culture and art part of children's daily life. We stress the importance of quality cultural education programs and projects, and that of attention towards a diverse age-appropriate offer. Through good practice examples we delve into the importance of children's direct contact with art and/or artists, and the added value of cooperation between artists and educators.

Martina Peštaj, MSc in psychology, is the editor of children's and youth programming at RTV Slovenia. Her expert domain is media psychology where she explores the influence of digital content on the development of children and youth. She writes articles, holds lectures, participates in research projects, is a panellist of home and international juries and a guest of expert conferences and festivals. She also dedicates time to the projects of cultural and arts education in the field of film, animated film, and theatre for children and youth, especially from the aspect of the developmental characteristics of target audience groups.

Nataša Bucik, MSc in psychology, works at the Directorate for Creativity at the Ministry of Culture of the RS. Since 2006 she has been a national coordinator for cultural and arts education – the field at the intersection of culture and the education system. She promotes and facilitates partner networking between cultural institutions, artists, and education institutions. Since 2014 she has been a member of the National Committee for Cultural and Arts Education and a member of the European network ACEnet, which promotes cooperation between the sectors of culture and education on the EU level. She also works on the preparation of national documents, expert training, materials and facilitation of quality projects in cultural and arts education for expert publics nationally and abroad. One such project was the National Strategy for the Development of Reading Literacy 2019-2030. She strives for the visibility of the importance of cultural and arts education in other fields: healthcare, environment, urban spaces …

Nada Požar Matijašič is a psychologist working at the Education Development and Quality office of the Ministry of Education. She is a national coordinator of cultural and arts education at the Ministry since 2006, and since 2014 member of the National Committee for Cultural and Arts Education. She manages the framework of synergies between the sectors of education and culture, from the national to the local level, participating in the preparation of national training courses and various relevant materials for experts in both fields. She cooperates in the preparation of national documents and, as member of the ACEnet network, the European association encouraging the cooperation between education and culture, also international ones.

She participated in drawing up the National Strategy for the Development of Reading Literacy 2019-2030 and is an active member of the National Council for Reading Literacy, which oversees the realization of its goals. Her field of work is also preschool education. She was part of the preparation of the Preschool Curriculum and member of various expert groups in Slovenia and the EU. Since 2007 she has been a member of the OECD Network on Early Childhood Education and Care, which promotes the development of quality preschool education on the international level, transferring knowledge from there into the Slovenian space.

Darja Štirn, educator and historian, is within the Institute PETIDA dedicated to the research and development of pedagogical and cultural-artistic practice, and to the promotion of creativity in children and youth. She is the head of several artistic projects in the field of preschool education, where she researches, monitors and introduces into the curriculum contemporary concepts that view the child as a morally competent being and address the promotion of prosocial and moral development with the assistance of art. Through research projects, she collaborates with various educational and cultural institutions, NGOs and artists, writes articles and lectures, and presents project results in the field of cultural and arts education to the general public at home and abroad.