Lifelong Learning Programme

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Teachers’ Guidelines

Homepage > Teachers’ Guidelines > Theatre as Experiential Learning Tool

The role of theatre as a site for learning in a community context and how it can provide informal learning opportunities for young people experiencing social difficulty

Theatre as Experiential Learning Tool:
Step by Step Process to Implement Theatrical Laboratories in Classroom

Table of Content

6.1 Competencies Needed
For the OFF-book Theatre Lab’s correct management, trainers need three groupings of competences:
  1. Area related to knowledge skills;
  2. Area related to know-how skills;
  3. Area related to knowing how to be skills.

Regarding point 1. area of skills related to knowledge, we refer to the specific knowledge on theatrical education and on the environmental conditions in which trainers work. Technical skills related to directing and stage composition are required. And a range of technical skills including sound and lighting operation, stage management, stage and set building, live sound and lighting operation music if necessary, amplification are needed too. Trainers must be able to coordinate artistic elements, and he must be able to get ideas across to designers, without restricting with interpretations. We consider the need for acting competences only to help students. We use acting skills in order to favour the learning climate.

Regarding point 2. area of skills related to know-how we refer to the methodological basis on the project construction, on communication techniques and group management. Basic skills such as knowing how to detect the training needs of a group, knowing how to manage the reception phases of a group of students, knowing how to use the techniques to define the shared groups’ rules, knowing how to accept all the peculiarities, how to communicate and share the objectives, knowing how to choose the most suitable communication methods are absolutely necessary for the trainers.

Regarding point 3. area of skills related to knowing how to be we refer to the ethics of the responsibility and the ability to manage participatory processes. The trainer must indeed be self-aware, as he must be able to accurately assess his emotional states, interests, values, and his strengths. He must have the ability to manage himself, he must know how to adjust his emotions in order to manage stress. He must control impulses, he has to be able to persevere in the face of obstacles. He must be able to plan and monitor his own progress at school and in personal life, expressing his emotions in an appropriate way. He must have social awareness and he must be capable of empathy and understand the others’ point of view. He must be able to recognize and appreciate individual and group similarities and differences. He must be able to recognize and use all the human resources in the class. He must have relational skills, he must be able to establish and maintain positive and rewarding relationships based on cooperation. He must be able to prevent, manage and resolve interpersonal conflicts. He must be able to make responsible decisions bearing in mind ethical aspects, social norms, respect for others, and the possible consequences of the actions themselves.

The inclusion of all these skills allows the union of practical-dynamic activities with those theoretical-intellectual and can represent for students, one of the possible ways, if not even to be preferred, for the acquisition and / or development of some of the eight key European competences for lifelong learning, in particular: learning to learn, social skills, spirit of initiative and, above all, cultural awareness and expression. With this awareness, we reinforce the main goal of the OFF-book project, which is a referenced model to help design interventions against school dropouts.
Online Resources
  • Facilitating Effective Student Learning through Teacher Research and Innovation Publisher: Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. The innovation of didactic and learning strategies is one of the basic demands in teacher training at all levels of education, as it has been clearly recognized by the European Union. The book is intended for teachers, teacher trainees, school managers, teacher trainers and policy makers in education – all those who shape the educational experience. It contains 20 papers contributed by researchers from 14 countries. The main conclusion of all the contributors is that changes of educational practices require committed, long-term cooperation between researchers and teachers in implementing theoretically supported change.
  • KeyCoNet 2013 Literature Review: Key competence development in school education in EuropeThis literature review outlines the key issues in relation to the definition and the implementation of key competences in school education in Europe, at classroom/school as well as at systemic level.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.