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Table of contents 

Culture in the Mirror - The Netherlands and the Flemish Community 

Handbook on cultural awareness and expression - EU

Arts and cultural education in Flanders - Anne Bamford


Culture in the Mirror 


Culture in the Mirror is a research project that was originally set up in 2008 at the Dutch University of Groningen, by prof. dr. Barend van Heusden. The following year a procedure was started to realize a similar program in the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community in Belgium. 

The following goals were defined for the Culture in the Mirror research project:

1) To develop a theoretical framework for arts and culture education (continuous curriculum 4 to 18+ years) - i.e.: theory development and validation.

2) To translate this framework into a matrix and tools, that would allow teachers and schools to develop a culture education curriculum which fits their speicific needs - i.e.: empirical curriculum design research

3) To provide an instrument for policy makers for long-term decisions and quality evaluation - i.e.: empirical policy research

Read the summary in English here


More publications

PhD Thesis

van Dorsten, T. (2015). Mirrors in the making. Culture, education, and the development of metacognition in early and middle childhood (4-10) (PhD Thesis). Groningen: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. (


van Heusden, B. (2015). European culture. Between rationality and reason. In P. Gielen (Red.), No culture, no Europe. On the foundation of politics (pp. 133-142). Amsterdam: Antennae Valiz.


School Education Gateway. (2016, 20 april). Education Talks #1 Professor Barend Van Heusden, University College Groningen. (Videofile). (



Handbook on cultural awareness and expression

Cultural awareness and expression is the eighth key competence for lifelong learning defined by the European Union in 2006. A working group of EU member states' experts wrote an elaborate report on this key competence:  


Open Method of Coordination (OMC) working group of EU member states' experts on Cultural Awareness and Expression. (2016). Cultural awareness and expression handbookLuxemburg: Europese Unie.

Summary in English

Powerpoint presentation


Arts and cultural education in Flanders - Anne Bamford

In 2007 professor Anne Bamford published her report "Quality and consistency. Arts and cultural education in Flanders". It revealed a profusion of high quality initiatives in cultural education, both within compulsory education and in leisure time. The spread of these initiatives, however, appeared to be scattered across the educational landscape, thus excluding a considerable group of children and youngsters from participation. In the report, professor Bamford formulated several recommendations to overcome this so-called curricular discontinuity. 

Bamford's conclusions and recommendations soon led to the start-up of the Culture in the Mirror research project. The Flemish branch of Culture in the Mirror was initiated by the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training in 2009.  


Bamford, A. (2007). Kwaliteit en consistentie, Arts and cultural education in Flanders, Vlaams Ministerie van Onderwijs en Vorming, CANON Cultuurcel, Brussel. (