R.U.In? – Drama methods’ innovation for inclusive youth communities

Description of the project
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. We, in accordance with all the partner organizations believe that it can also deal with aggresivity, 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. Most of the theatre practitioners and teachers, even art-pedagogists have never met with the methodology before. The methodology itself comes from the UK, also there has been ongoing some initiatives around Europe and some other countries worldwide to work with it, although there is no general scape about it. It has many, yet unexplored possibilities and tools, which could be offered to test and implement into everyday practice by anybody dealing with youth communities. We need to measure our impact through a continous research, which accompanies the testing and the implementation phases.
We would like to distribute the results of the strategic partnership and also the methodology itself for a wider global understanding towards the intellectual outputs. We develop an online application for mobile and PC, which functions as a structured database of drama based lesson plans, trainings, dynamics and exercises. Anybody will have access to the app; teachers, youth workers, educators can search for different aspects of bullying, they are facing with, and apply the found drafts and plans to their age groups and situations. We develop a second intellectual output, that is a manual about how to implement, what stages you need to consider, how you should start, how you can sustain drama based activities in or out of the classroom. The third intellectual output is the research itself.To get any updates regarding the project and information around bullying issue in general please click on the following picture:
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Description of the training course
The training course took place in Crown Inn Hotel, in Nicosia (Cyprus) from Monday 20th March until 29th March 2017. It consisted of 7 days of workshops designed for 21 participants (2 members of the host organisation consisted the organising team and 2 the lead facilitators) from 4 partner organisations from 4 E.U. member states who are active in the field of Drama and Theatre in Education. Participants from Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Cyprus worked together in a free and creative atmosphere in order to share and exchange their knowledge and their working techniques on the use of drama based methods in the field of education as tools for dialogue on the issue of bullying for the age group of 6-18 years old.
The training course schedule included workshops leading from each country’s facilitators where each of them was using his organisation’s own methodology such as applied theatre,  game-theatre-education, clown tools for actors/teachers, physical theatre and other. The training course content included also outdoor activities as a visit at a primary school as well, as a guided tour in the old city of Nicosia walk and a Cypriot cultural dinner in Nicosia city.

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