The ‘To be or not to be well – Drama and Theatre in Education’ project ran between 2019 and 2022. The final results of the project include a Well-being Curricula, which consists of four document packages, one from each partner, based on the characteristics of each place, and the needs of the schools. We offer this as a scheme for other practitioners (in Europe and beyond), who would like to work on their school communities well-being, involving Drama.
All four Curricula are based on commonly explored and priorly agreed values of the partnership resulting in the strategy of:
- Partners explored how Drama and TiE can contribute to the well-being of school communities;
- Through a series of events (TiE performances, Drama lessons, workshops, seminars, mentoring sessions, meetings);
- In which teachers/educators/school staff AND potentially leadership were involved;
- In exploring their own well-being and connection/disconnection to themselves and others;
- In order to become more equipped and mentored for the better engagement of all students, with a special focus on marginalised and at risk students;
- Who were also involved in Drama and TiE activities in the frame of the events (point 2);
- And as a result teacher-student relationships and the school climate were improved and taken care of more consciously by all members;
- Also knowing the benefits of Drama and TiE in the classroom, incorporating it to the general Education Curricula.
Big Brum Theatre in Education Company from Birmingham developed a new play, ‘Socially Distant’ (written by Chris Cooper) and used it as a Stimulus for teachers and students to reflect on the centre of the story throughout the project activities. The To Be project team members in the UK explored the use of drama and theatre to promote the well-being of teachers from a single school and young people they teach.
Activities of the To Be project in the Lužánky Leisure Time Activity Centre have been built upon the organisation’s long lasting Drama in Education practice and further developed the co-operation with schools by providing training for teachers and realising Drama in Education programmes for their pupils. The Well-Being Curriculum was developed for and during six encounters with the teachers of five different primary schools in Brno and surrounding areas, over the period of one year. The participants involved in the encounters were primary school teachers, headmasters and specialised educators.
Through the To Be project Nyitott Kör explored the great potential of working together with a group of teachers from the same school, and also with their students, on a set of events, which were gradually built on each other, and which we present through this document. The design of the project enabled us to think strategically about the partner school, involve all classes and meet nearly all of the teachers during the period of the two school years of the project (2019/2020 – 2020/2021).
In the To Be project the Association of Drama Practitioners STOP-KLATKA focused on one partner school and built a strong connection with it through involving teachers and their students in common work. They offered online sessions to the teachers, and face-to-face activities for the pupils, involving puppets. They aimed to show drama techniques to the teachers and a wide range or series of exercises which could be adapted in their classes.
We expect that these resources enhance teachers’ communities and their skills in order to better engage students who are (socially, emotionally) disconnected from the school, at risk of exclusion, or struggle among formal school expectations. We wanted to respond creatively to the need to consider the well-being of the schools (and the individuals present in the schools) crucial for learning.
“I appreciate the exact description and time span of activities. I also like reflection worksheets and "to go" text messages.”/ Veronika Kirchnerová, Psychologist, Biskupské Gymnasium Brno, JCMM
“I appreciate the videos, it adds a lot of information to the descriptions from the curriculum.”/ Jana Novakova Stara, Czech Wellness Institute, Masaryk University
“We can also get a wide repertoire of useful techniques in distance teaching and learning, negotiations via the Internet using open systems. I think that we can also learn about the value given to the encounters and dialogue plus deeper thinking that comes into being there in between.”/ Pirjo Vaittinen,Tampere University, PhD, University Lecturer (emer.), Theatre Critic and Researcher, Drama and Theatre Educator
“I do admire the adaptability and flexibility you show in the arrangements shared in the process. I think that this all will be needed badly in the time after the pandemia.”/ Pirjo Vaittinen,Tampere University, PhD, University Lecturer (emer.), Theatre Critic and Researcher, Drama and Theatre Educator
The project is co-funded by the Erasmus Plus programme of the European Commission of the European Union. Project number: 2019-1-HU01-KA201-06127.
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