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International Research project of TiE and DiE effect measurement R.U.IN?. Drama methods’ innovation for inclusive youth communities

Nyitott Kör Egyesület (Open Circle Association) from Hungary is coordinating a strategic partnership amongst four drama and education organizations: TheatrEtc from Cyprus, Sigma Art from Romania and CEDEUM from Serbia. The project has been funded by the Erasmus+ KA2 and is on-going for 20 months from September 2016.

In our quickly changing and globalizing world often focusing on individual assertiveness we forget about the importance of functional communities and tolerant environments where one can feel safe and supported. One of the most important socializing medium we participate in (after the given family context) is the school community, the classroom. Other important environment for the age group of 6-18 years olds are the communities they participate in according to their free time activities, hobbies, extracurricular occupations. Educators, teachers and youth workers leading classes and groups experience the phenomena of bullying among the students.  The long-term effects of bullying are numerous, and can include sensitivity, anxiety, and depression. Recent statistics suggest that the majority of students will experience bullying at some point in their academic careers. In the early 21st century, increasing attention has been given to the importance of teachers, group leaders, educators and parents understanding and recognizing the signs of bullying (among both bullies and victims), and being equipped with strategies and tools to address school bullying and deal with it as a community, in or out of the classroom. Drama and theater in education has proven (DICE research, 2009) that it can effectively improve Lisbon Key competences. The project partners believe that it can also deal with aggressive behaviors, power inequity and victimization distress. We would like to prove that through a research and based on that, improve our methodology in a collaborative process, in which we explore what elements could be implemented most successfully for the reason to decrease bullying in a certain community.

The Drama and Theatre in Education methodology is still a very small and quit unknown discipline compared to other art-education branches. Most of the theatre practitioners and teachers, even art-educators have never met with the methodology before. We feel that TiE has many, yet unexplored possibilities and tools, which could be offered to test and implement into everyday practice of teachers dealing with youth communities. The impact of the TiE programs will be measured through a continuous research, which accompanies the testing and the implementation phases.

The project would also like to distribute the results of the strategic partnership and the methodology itself for a wider global understanding towards the intellectual outputs, by developing an online application for mobile and PC, which functions as a structured database of drama based classroom drama/structured drama plans, trainings, dynamics and exercises. Anybody will have access to the app; teachers, youth workers, educators can search for different aspects of bullying, which they are facing with, and apply the found drafts and plans to their age groups and situations. We develop a second intellectual output, which is a manual about how to implement the methodology, what stages you need to consider, where to start, and how you can sustain drama based activities in or out of the classroom. The third intellectual output is the Research itself.

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