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A Bildung perspective on the Norwegian arts education model


Norwegian cultural policy is characterized by an ideology of democratization, which has prompted an alliance between the culture and education sectors, aiming to render arts and culture available to every child. The concept of Bildung is prominent in that respect, harbouring a potential in explaining the discourse behind much educational and cultural policy. Three educational schemes that together make up the Norwegian arts education model are described and analysed in a Bildung perspective: The music subject in the core curriculum, the culture schools, and the arts in school program, the Cultural Rucksack (DKS). There is a duality inherent in the Bildung concept, as it is used to describe both the individual process of self-cultivation; an individual journey, as well as the cultural content that is regarded necessary to fulfil this process. Using this duality as an analytical perspective, the article shows that the arts education model is characterized by both sides of the Bildung concept, in addition to a critical perspective evident in the use of the concept – the anti-instrumentalist perspective.

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