DRAMA FOR CHANGE

 

SUMMARY

Europe is now home to a great diversity of people from different ethnic, cultural and religious  backgrounds both as a result of immigration and migration from urban to rural areas.   Combined with the global economic downturn has resulted in high levels of unemployment.  Historically when a society has high levels of unemployment those from immigrant, minority and women groups  experience the greatest levels of discrimination.   The  European Commission against Racism and Intolerance report (Dec 2011) states " The ongoing economic crisis has created a vicious cycle in which many of the groups of concern to ECRI (vulnerable groups) are trapped. Diminished economic opportunities and welfare cuts push them into poverty, which breeds negative feelings on both sides of the social divide. Immigrants and some historical minorities are perceived as a burden to society. Old myths about yielding influence in the financial world are revived. Discrimination in employment is rife. Racism and intolerance are on the rise in Europe today and the resulting tension sometimes leads to racist violence." This project proposes that drama is an effective and accessible tool addressing these issues however there are few opportunities to access non formal tools and training available to support adult educators to use drama in their classrooms to work with vulnerable adults.  A European Commission Directorate-General Education and Culture paper entitled Common European principles 2007, for teacher competence recommends that teachers must promote mobility and cooperation in Europe and encourage intercultural respect and understanding.  Teachers also need to understand factors that create social cohesion and exclusion in society and to be aware of the ethical dimensions of  the knowledge society.

This project bring together a cross sector of organizations that work with marginalized groups in adult education. The aim is to develop a training curriculum to provide adult educators with the skills necessary to work with young people and adults through a creative medium in order to promote social inclusion, gender equality and anti-racism work. The project addresses a gap in training for adult educators aiming to use creative processes to address issues of rising inequality and racism and the lack of inclusion for marginalized groups. The project develops a curriculum and a toolbox of resources available on-line and in DVD format.

The University of Turku, Finland, (2005) study called Drama: A Way to Social Inclusion states that drama is an ideal medium for promoting social change and the inclusion of marginalised groups within society. The work builds confidence and creates opportunities for participants to identify and address their own needs rather than having those needs dictated from above or through the formal education system.   Participatory drama (not just any drama) is considered a democratic and critical device for learning, where both the ”teachers” and ”pupils” learn from each other, and more precisely learn and work together.

Objectives:

1. To conduct a period of research across all partner countries:

a. To conduct research on best practice in each partner country to promote equality, inclusion and anti racism.

b. To develop and distribute a questionnaire to stakeholder organisations in order to identify the needs of teachers wishing to learn how to use drama and theatre games and exercises to promote issue based work.

2. Based on the needs identified as part of the period of research, to develop a curriculum to provide training for teachers working with young people and adults on how to use theatre to promote gender equality, inclusion and anti-racism work. To display the information on EPALE or on another web portal and a copy of the training on DVD for distribution. This includes:

a. Theories and policy in relation to guiding principals for teachers using creative methods to educate young people and adults on issues of equality, inclusion and anti racism.

b. A range of drama and theatre games and exercises which can be adapted to explore issues of equality, inclusion and anti racism.

c. A Toolbox of Resources to accompany the training.

d. A video demonstration of a selection of exercises and to distribute this video to key project partners.

3. To create a sub group of partners to develop a draft version of the curriculum including:

a. Test sections of the curriculum by all partners.

b. Develop the first draft of the curriculum.

c. Pilot the curriculum in each partner country and gather feedback from trainees on curriculum and tool box.

d. Finalize the curriculum and toolbox.

4. To conduct an Awareness and Dissemination plan to promote project outputs and to run multiplier events issuing press releases and newsletters.

Outcomes:

- Research on current theory and policy on equality, inclusion and anti racism in each partner country.

- Research on the needs of adult educators in relation to using drama techniques to promote equality, inclusion and anti racism in the partner countries.

- The development of a Tool Box of Resources for adult educators in each partner country including theory and policy on equality, inclusion and anti racism work.

- A list of principals underlying use of drama techniques to be conducted with adult learners.

- A list of drama and theatre games and exercises and how they can be used to  promote equality, inclusion and anti-racism work.

- Video demonstrations of how to use a selection of the drama and theatre games and exercises with a step by step approach to running the games and exercises.

- A list of organisations providing support, information and advocacy in partner countries and all the information will be made available in each partner language.

- Web portal to host the Toolbox of Resources including an on line forum for educators to discuss the issues arising and copies of the tool box will be saved onto a DVD to be distributed.

- A full curriculum providing detailed information for training trainers on how to use drama and theatre techniques to promote equality, inclusion and anti racism work.

- A pilot test run of the training in each of the partner countries and a  total of 75 participants trained during the pilot training.


PARTNERSHIP

Smashing Times Theatre Company (Ireland) - coordinator  www.smashingtimes.ie

Dialoge language institute (Germany)  www.dialoge.com/

Instituto de Formacion y Estudios Sociales (Spain)  www.ifes.es/

Pressure Line (Netherland) www.pressureline.nl/

Ku Tu Ltd (Bulgaria)  www.kutu-bg.eu/