Harnessing the Power of a “Cultural Heritage – Communities – Education” Relationship in Times of Crisis 

Polytechnic University of Milan 

Cultural heritage has become an important tool for providing benefits on both social and economic levels. In terms of cultural heritage policies in Europe, the Faro Convention on the “Value of Culture Heritage for Society” stresses the increased awareness for cultural heritage in social and economic policies. Thus, we are beginning to explore a new “transdisciplinary” role for cultural heritage, capable of delivering advantages beyond the cultural sector. According to the European Council (2015), this convergence between the cultural sector and other sectors is promising since it provides innovative solutions to problems by combining knowledge and skills from these fields.

In this part, the contribution will consider the role of cultural heritage in the educational sector. We recognize that cultural heritage and education are codependent; cultural heritage is crucial for the enhancement of educational sector, and conversely, education is vital for the protection, recognition, and appreciation of the values of cultural heritage. For this reason, we notice the promotion of cultural heritage education and training in the New European Agenda initiatives, as well as the 2030 Agenda on Indicators for Culture.

Today, our educational sector is subject to various challenges, one of which is the outdated educational system. Another challenge is that inflicted by the pandemic where the educational system witnessed a disruption of its existing model. Therefore, this contribution will showcase the best practices where cultural heritage has been appraised and acknowledged for overcoming the challenges of the educational sector. As a first example, the Eduació360 project in Catalonia, represents an initiative to link the youth with the cultural facilities within the city to amplify the learning experience. A second example is the Kuopio Cultural Pathways in Finland, a project to integrate arts and culture of the city into the learning curriculum.