Heritage Education

Heritage education is a relatively new addition to the curriculum, rarely mentioned in official documents and rarely defined in any detail. As part of a study for the Council of Europe (Copeland forthcoming a) the following definition was constructed from a variety of pedagogic sources and participants' perspectives:

Such a definition brings together many of the facets of active citizenship and a developed view of heritage.

Heritage EducationCitizenship Education
active methods
project-based teaching
constitutes a life-long learning experience of participation in various contexts
self-management and self-disciplineequips men and women for active and responsible roles in life and society
interdisciplinary exchange to fight racism, xenophobia, violence, aggressive nationalism and intoleranceaims at developing a culture of human rights
interculturalismprepares people to live in a multicultural society
co-operative practicesstrengthens social cohesion, mutual understanding and solidarity
partnership between teachers, cultural leaders, craft workers, parents and financial backerspromotes inclusive strategies for all age groups and sectors of society
Table 4: Citizenship and heritage education - active methods

Clearly as education for democratic citizenship is a major educational aim, then heritage education, as a type of education, can contribute to it. However, examination of the various citizenship curricula in the United Kingdom reveals that, while implicit references are made to 'human culture' (Scotland), and 'wider issues and challenges ... including sustainable development' (England), there are no explicit references to heritage or heritage education.


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Last updated: Wed Jul 10 2002