The idea behind FOTEL project
The objective of the project is to examine to what extent the application of Forum theatre methodology by teachers, combined with practical knowledge about intercultural relations, may reduce the risk of early school leaving by youth aged 13 to 16.
In recent years, early school leaving (ESL) has become one of the most significant social issues facing the European Union. The scope of the problem is growing, and it currently affects over 14.4% of students in Member States, in particular the youth from ethnic and national minorities, including immigrants and Roma.
The causes of ESL are complex and in order to find an effective solution, further research to establish an optimal preventive measure is required. The FOTEL project is focused on discovering and examining the causes and mechanisms of ESL, including:
- problems in teacher-student and teacher-family relations connected to different social and cultural expectations of the sides;
- teachers' lack of skills necessary to work with uninvolved students from various ethnic and migrant backgrounds;
- student's problems with self-esteem, self-confidence, stress management and previous negative experiences (school failure, discrimination) and others.
In order to fulfil objectives of the project, research as well as comprehensive educational and awareness activities will be conducted in selected schools in Hungary, Spain, Italy, France and Poland, including:
- pilot workshops with selected groups of students, consisting of the preparation of a Forum Theatre performance on the subject of early school leaving, based on their personal stories;
- research (critical incident workshops with teachers, interviews with parents, teachers and youth, cases);
- a handbook for teachers and other educational professionals working with the youth susceptible to ESL will be developed on the basis of conducted research;
- experience gathered during research and pilot workshops will be used to prepare an agenda of an international course for teachers, to be included in the catalogue of the Comenius programme.
FOTEL project is an international initiative set up by organisations using and promoting drama as a preventive and educational method in working with children, youth and adults:
- Elan Interculturel (France), www.elaninterculturel.com;
- La Xixa Teatre (Spain),www.laxixateatre.org;
- Giolli società cooperativa sociale (Italy), www.giollicoop.it;
- Artemisszió Foundation (Hungary), www.artemisszio.hu;
- The Association of Drama Practitioners Stop-Klatka (Poland), www.stop-klatka.org.pl.
Each partner is responsible for realization specific tasks in the project:
Artemisszió Foundation as main coordinator is responsible for the management part of the project. As a bridge, the organisation has the role to connect the partner organisations and the European Commission, to overview and supervise the professional quality of the work, to monitor the activities during the whole period of the project and to prepare midterm and final reports towards the Commission.
Artemisszió Foundation is responsible for the dissemination of the project, supervising and supporting the partners dissemination processes. During the project period each partner will organize a film projection where they invite several teachers, school stuff, directors, stakeholders. Amount of attendant: minimum 50 people by country.
Elan Interculturel is responsible for leading the research to analyse the context of ESL by using the critical incident method. Read more about research here.
Besides Elan Interculturel will:
- train teachers to use the critical incident methodology in their schools,
- organise forum theatre workshops in collaboration with the partner schools,
- participate in the compilation of an international teachers’ training course,
- contribute to the handbook about how to reduce ESL by using theatre methods,
- monitor and evaluate the project.
Forum theatre pilots in schools:
Giolli is coordinating the "FT pilots" that will integrate the factors coming from the interviews and research cases in a course with students, co-facilitate with a local teacher, who can learn a lot from that process. The course aims at building up a theatre performance where the ESL factors analysed and shown finally to a mixed audience: students, parents and teachers form the same school. The technique used, Forum-Theatre allows participants to propose solutions by acting directly on the stage. The results of this phase will be shared with the school partners and stakeholders and will be brought into the online final handbook. FT operates creating a safe space where students can express themselves, their point of view on the question. While using Forum-Theatre method we will focus just on the factors of early school leaving problem. Although drama pedagogy is often used is schools, we are not aware of any experience where the two thematics were so closely linked. Each partner organization will cooperate with a vocational or high school where there is a high rate of early school leavers and specially migrant and Roma pupils studying there.
Evaluation of pilot workshops:
The Association of Drama Practitioners STOP-KLATKA is responsible for developing a method of evaluating pilot workshops for youth concluded with a Forum Theatre performance. The method will be shared with other partners of the project, to be used in the evaluation of pilot workshops conducted in their countries. The evaluation will serve to examine the effectiveness of Forum theatre methodology as a preventive measure in working with young participants of the workshop and the play. STOP-KLATKA will then present a comparative report based on evaluations carried out in all participating countries.
The Association of Drama Practitioners STOP-KLATKA is responsible for creating and updating the website of the project throughout its duration. The website will serve as a source of information about current events, as well as a source of knowledge and materials created and gathered during project activities, which will be made available to teachers, educators, pedagogues, educational institutions and organisations.