Van Heusden, Prof. Barend
Barend van Heusden is professor of Culture and Cognition. His research focuses on art not as a collection of objects (photos, for example, or sculptures) or events (such as music or theatre) but as a process that takes place in the brain. Whether you are looking at a painting, making or listening to music, telling a story or reading a novel, they’re all cognitive processes with a similar function and structure.
Over the past few years Van Heusden has been project leader and main researcher in the ‘Cultuur in de Spiegel, naar een doorlopende leerlijn cultuuronderwijs’ [Culture in the Mirror, towards a continuous curriculum for culture education] project, for which he formulated a theory about culture and culture education. The research was conducted in collaboration with a number of teachers as well as SLO, the Dutch national expertise centre for curriculum development. It has resulted in a curriculum framework for a continuous curriculum in culture education. A continuous curriculum entails teaching not only dovetailing with what children have previously learned but also with their development and their culture. The first phase of Culture in the Mirror concluded with a conference, which was attended by 600 professionals.
According to Van Heusden, the development of self-awareness takes centre stage in culture education. He also believes that good culture education will train pupils’ general cognitive skills – perception, imagination, interpretation and analysis – and develop their media skills. Culture education encompasses subjects such as social studies, history, philosophy and religious studies, and also literature studies, art, music, new media, drama and dance. ‘If our theory is correct, the ability to reflect starts to develop at about the age of four. So that is the right time to start, dovetailing with what children that age are naturally able to do and are already doing.’
Previously in the news
- University researchers develop new teaching method for culture education
- Kunst is een gegeven [article in DvhN, in Dutch]
- The ‘Cultuur in de Spiegel’ website contains numerous links to articles and lectures by Van Heusden.
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|Last modified:||02 March 2021 09.27 a.m.|