The European Framework acknowledges some inter-disciplinary learning themes applied to the 8 Key Competencies. These are: critical thinking, creativity, initiative, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking and constructive management of feelings.

UNESCO note that specific forms of ICH may include tangible elements. For example, traditional performing arts may include musical instruments, masks, costumes, body decoration and theatre props. In social practices, rituals and festive events a variety of physical elements may be also included in the form of special gestures, recitations, songs, dances, special clothing, processions and special food.

The compelling idea behind all these tangible elements, in specific areas of intangible cultural heritage, is that they encode meaningful visual messages for the community that practice and keep alive such cultural heritage. They can be defined as a form of visual communication where the tangible elements describe a process for sending messages using visual images.

There are two reasons why the content of ICH visual messages is unique. First, they are related to collective narratives of values shared by the members of communities about universal human-life questions such as security, love, trust and freedom. Second, the answer to those universal questions given by the ICH visual messages is meaninful for the daily life of the community members.

The contribution of ICH visual messages to the inter-disciplinary learning themes applied to the 8 Key Competencies relies on the fact that in order to be able to construct meaning from the ICH visual images, the ‘reader’ of these images has to develop inter-disciplinary skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, exploration and reflection.

Therefore, there is a positive correlation between developing ICH visual literacy and the inter-disciplinary learning themes applied to the 8 Key Competencies.