Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap
Art and heritage provide a new perspective on major themes

In the Netherlands, secondary schools are obliged to pay attention to the education of students to become critical and curious citizens: citizenship education. Schools only grapple with the question of how they fit these lessons into the curriculum. Kunstgebouw and Erfgoedhuis Zuid-Holland have developed interactive whiteboard lessons that support and inspire teachers from different disciplines in dealing with major themes from citizenship education, such as diversity, solidarity, globalization and freedom of expression. Seen from the surprising perspective of art and heritage.

Learn to see with different eyes
The core of education about art and heritage is that students learn to look at themselves, others and their environment from a different perspective. With citizenship it is important that you can put yourself in the shoes of someone else, that you are curious and critical. Cultural education and citizenship education therefore clearly overlap. In the Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap, each subject is therefore introduced with a work of art and viewed from historical facts.

Example: Lesson on Equality
Let's look at the lesson on the topic of "equality". The lesson starts with an image of a work of art by the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. The students are asked to describe what they see. What is this artwork made of? In conversation it turns out that classmates have different associations. In this way, students become aware that you don't have to see the same thing when you look at the same thing.

The work of art, two gigantic stiletto heels, appears to be made of pans and lids. The students discover that the artist wants to hold up a mirror to us. Do women have to look beautiful and make sure that the food is on the table? Is that their role in our society? How do they think about this themselves? The lesson continues with a picture of an excavation in Sweden. It is a tomb where a wealthy Viking warrior buried more than a thousand years ago. The tomb is full of swords, arrowheads and two sacrificed horses. Is this Viking warrior male or female? What do the students think?

It was long thought that the grave belonged to a man. Because of the weapons found in the grave. But this is not what the bones told. In 2017, DNA testing determined 100% that the wealthy Viking warrior was female. Isn't it strange that we often automatically think that an important person is a man?

The questions, assignments and videos from the lesson stimulate the students to see things from a different perspective. They discover that high heels were once only for men. Persian soldiers found heeled shoes ideal for horseback riding. At the end of the sixteenth century, the Persians left for Europe and caused a new fashion trend. Men began to wear heels to show that they were of nobility. The higher the heel, the more status!

Each lesson ends with a practical assignment that matches the immediate living environment of the students. In this case, they are challenged to imagine that no more distinction is made between boys and girls. What would be different at school then? No distinction in clothing, hairstyle or make-up. Mixed toilets, mixed changing rooms. Stop using the words "he", "she", "sir" and "madam". How would they like that?

Proven format
The format of the Digitale Scheurkalender is used for these IWB lessons. A proven concept of the Kröller-Müller Museum that looks attractive and is easy to use. The museum even won an international education prize in 2019. The tool has been set up in such a way that other organizations can also develop a Digitale Scheurkalender, in consultation with the Kröller-Müller.

Feedback from teachers and students
The teaching material of the Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap has been developed in close consultation with teachers, so that it fits in well with daily teaching practice. The lessons were also tested in the classroom, asking for feedback not only from teachers but also from students. The Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap currently contains eight lessons on the themes: democracy, freedom of expression, equality, solidarity, identity, globalization, diversity and digital coexistence. Based on input from teachers and students, the Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap will be expanded with four new lessons next year.

The Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap is a free online tool that teachers can easily use on the digital whiteboard. They are ready-to-use lesson activities that do not require additional preparation. The lessons tie in with cultural education, history, geography, Dutch, mentoring and social studies. It is therefore quite possible to use them across disciplines.

The Dutch Curriculum Development Foundation (SLO) is associated with the project as a sparring partner, as are Kennisnet and the Digital Heritage Network (NDE). Kennisnet and the Digital Heritage Network (NDE) have selected the Digitale Scheurkalender Burgerschap as a best practice project within their program "Unlocking digital heritage for education". The province of South Holland, the Mondriaan Fund and the VSB Fund support the project financially.
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In education we are so focused on cognitive skills, so focused on the head. With art and heritage, your students will immediately touch their hearts. That leads to completely different conversations.

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