If the effects of globalization and modern technologies will continue to blur the natural and social barriers that previously separated different nations and cultures… if human mobility from nation to nation in search of various opportunities might continue, thus creating a need to explore factors that could heighten human tensions in a global village...
a curriculum that prepares citizens to ‘respect humanity’s differences and cultural wealth is preferable’, with the aim of promoting:
Abilities like talking, observing, listening, studying artefacts, reflecting, questioning and participating in meals, objects, music, dances, religious activities and educational programs.
Abilities to learn from local communities and to tolerate ambiguity in order to develop cultural awareness and understanding.
While comparing familiar with unfamiliar cultural practices, participants are more likely to engage ethnocentric principles, i.e. the use of participants’ familiar cultures as the standard or norm.
Avoiding a tourist-based curriculum that has the potential to be ethnocentric and to emphasize exotic differences between cultures.
Implementing carefully planned curricula that immerse participants in disorienting cultural situations are recommended because they culturally transform participants.
Building cultural appreciation is an intentional act that is preceded by the development of self-awareness . Becoming self-aware requires an understanding of one’s own culture before studying other cultures.
Becoming aware of other cultures involves an appreciation of one’s position in relation to tolerance, diversity, cultural judgment and cultural and social barriers.
Culturally responsive educators appreciate the link between culture and the manner in which people interact with each other. They understand the effect of their own values, beliefs, choices and biases on learning;
Culturally responsive educators communicate effectively inter-culturally because they are literate culturally;
The ability of think critically and to engage effectively with materials from diverse cultures allows culturally responsive educators to respect other cultures, and to support learners socially, emotionally and cognitively.
Different countries have developed different strategies (for instance, Netherlands has worked on a list of basic features for their national historical stories)
The relation between history and cultural heritage needs to be discussed:
“ Heritage is ‘that part of the past which we select in the present for contemporary purposes’ (Graham et al, 2000, 2). This means that heritage has less to do with the past that with the present. Nevertheless, history and heritage are related. Many building landscapes and pieces of art are seen as heritage because they refer to certain historic periods, persons or events. Heritage can act as a symbol and refer to stories of history” (: 408)
The selection of heritage sites further strengthens this emphasis, as periods of ‘glory’ are more amenable for representations purposes that periods of decline.
“ In general, heritage presents the ‘desired’ history, rather than the complex and often dissonant results of scientific historical research” (: 408)
However the overrepresentation of material heritage, in other parts of the world “heritage consists not only of stones but of ideas or oral traditions” (see Chung, 2005). The effort to incorporate intangible heritage wish to transform this dynamics.
Criteria for selecting European cultural heritage:
Traditionally, heritage sites have been presented as exemplary or illustrative of a certain era or spatial context.
Sites are seen as exemplary of developments or phenomena present in larger regions (the Baltic, the Mediterranean od Eastern Europe). This suggest that these sub-European regions have their own shared histories, there are historic relations between the countries and people.
Many sites have been selected because they are considered to be unique or, at least, very good examples of periods or developments in history.
Heritage can also refer to developments that started in a certain region or place as subsequently became important within much larger region .
Sometimes EHL represents Europe contributions to humanity , European inventions or developments that have influenced other part of the world.
European Union tries to select symbols for Europe as a whole which can represent the amalgamation of the European Union.
Recently they have designated or proposed a number of transnational sites (Roman fortification, Franco-Belgian belfries and the Struve Geodetic arc)
EHL should represent European diversity: mixture of religions and ethnic groups within changing political boundaries; peaceful and war (Auschwitz and Mauthausen; more relics of this troubled past and of it minorities.
WHAT HERITAGE? WHOSE HERITAGE? and WHICH GROUPS ARE REPRESENTED OR FORGOTTEN?
Cultural heritage education for teachers through diversity
Which criteria mediate in the selection of cultural awareness and cultural heritage?
How can we organize our teaching materials in order to empower diversity and intercultural practices through teaching and learning cultural heritage?
How can we incorporate cultural (heritage) education in the curriculum (organizing projects, problems, cases or lessons; developing collaborative, personal, research skills)?