The project is aiming to introduce a new innovative method that will make use of theatre techniques in order to make more attractive the teaching of the school subjects in the elementary school. Through the improvement of the attractiveness of these subjects and through the active participation of the students in the classroom, the project aims to improve the educational achievement of the students in these subjects.
The project aims also to develop innovative resources for the teachers embedded in the digital era. It is aiming to develop an e-learning course for the training of the teachers as well as a portal which, based on a fairy tale scenario, will lead the teachers through the interactive resources of the project allowing the development of user generated content and the sharing of the content between different members of the community . In this way, by creating open and innovative resources, accessible in different European languages, it aims to expand its impact all over Europe and develop resources that will be widely used and accessible to all elementary school teachers interested.
The use of theatre techniques in the elementary school is proven to be very effective for the improvement of the school performance of the children (see for example the work of Kieran Egan, Dewey and Jean Piaget). It addresses at the same time linguistic intelligence, logical (reasoning) intelligence, spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, intrapersonal intelligence and naturalist intelligence. It makes the class more attractive and it promotes the active participation of the students in the class improving in this way the educational performance of the children.
It is especially important for immigrant/refugee children that do not know very well the language of their host country and therefore they need more non-linguistic stimula in order to be able to achieve the desired level of learning. However, even though theatre education is part of many of the school curricula, the use of drama techniques in order to teach subjects of the school curricula is not widely used. Most of the schools use the traditional top-down approach to learning which limits the active participation of students in education. When drama techniques are used, it is usually in the framework of language courses and not in the framework of science or maths. For this reason, the project is aiming to produce a comprehensive methodology for the use of drama techniques for all the subjects of the school curriculum and for all the classes of the elementary school. This will be a very useful resource for all the elementary school teachers in Europe who will be able to find suggestions and tools in order to implement drama techniques for teaching the curriculum.
The scarcity of teacher training in this field is another need addressed by the project. Throughout Europe, there is scarcity of teacher training seminars on the subject and when they are organised, they are usually concentrated in the big cities. The material that is available online is usually fragmented and limited in “tips” that could be used by the teacher in order to teach specific subjects in specific classes. The project is aiming to develop interactive online resources that will be comprehensive, they will cover the whole curriculum of the elementary school (adapted in different national realities) with videos of good practices implemented by other teachers that would be practical and easily implementable by teachers all over Europe.
The project CLEAR is co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme in the framework of Erasmus+ 2016. It is implemented by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries (Greece, Italy, Sweden, Turkey and Bulgaria) and coordinated by the Center of Higher Education in Theatre Studies from Greece.