Mirrors in the making: Culture, education, and the development of metacognition in early and middle childhood (4-10)

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    Schools are not always clear on the concept of cultural education and its benefits for a child. There is no scientific framework providing insight into content, cohesion and connection of the subject. In this study, Van Heusden’s interdisciplinary theory of culture is used to obtain greater understanding of the cultural consciousness which is central to cultural education. The research on which this thesis reports was part of the Culture in the Mirror Project in which researchers and schools worked together. It contains a theoretical working-out of Van Heusden’s framework, a literature study into the development of the cultural awareness of children between the ages of four and ten and an empirical study carried out in primary schools in Groningen and Rotterdam.
    Cultural education is pre-eminently suitable for addressing the cultural consciousness (also called metacognition) of children. It turns out that forms of self-imagination, in particular, are central in childhood. The empirical research shows that when the participating teachers use the theoretical framework developed by Van Heusden, their knowledge of what cultural education is (the content) increases.
    Young children also have a cultural consciousness which can be addressed through cultural education. Although metacognition is often associated with linguistic and analytical ways of thinking, other forms of reflection, such as self-imagination turn out to be suitable too for the giving of meaning to culture. This research project offers, for the first time, a broad scientific framework for conducting the debate into the function of cultural education at the level of content.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • van Heusden, Barend, Supervisor
    Award date19-Oct-2015
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8206-7
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8205-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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