Cultural Education – a German Phenomenon?
According to the German understanding, cultural education primarily aims at personal development through and with the arts. At the individual level, it is about the development of aesthetic perception and creative skills and the socialization of cognitive, emotional and unconscious attitudes. The social side of cultural education traditionally comprises inclusion and participation, education in democracy, and more recently sustainability and diversity. Education is thus brought about by artists or through artistic and aesthetic processes.
In international cooperation, the transfer of this concept of cultural education to other culturally and historically-developed educational contexts has repeatedly foundered. The differences thereby revealed have provoked discussion about the social role of creativity and innovative ability, contemporary forms of tradition and the formation of values, sustainability and ecological change. Despite the divergent perspectives in Germany and China, political actors and civil societies on both sides are pursuing the goal of creating a sustainable and future-oriented living environment for coming generations.