Methodology&Tools: The project will use pupil-centered methodology including active learning techniques in students’ group work and will utilizes the tools of videodocumentary” and “theatredocumentary” . In the partnership each Region will include one Educational Authority, a number of secondary schools, other local organisations (to promote & disseminate), NGOs (as training and consultancy).
Using the documentary methodology with students. DocFilms and DocDramas:
Students from secondary schools in both regions, in groups, will be invited to reflect upon, negotiate, choose, produce/record and exchange audiovisual messages (videos and/or dramas) on what they believe should be preserved from their natural, man-made or social environment, as representing important aspects of their own youth culture and identity. The trigger-question will be: "which elements of your youth culture would you choose, as a group, to create a short documentary for another youth group to see and comment?». Both videos and/or dramas will be based on own personal stories, and must have the form of the documentaries. In these doc-films/dramas, students, in cooperation with local partners (local associations, NGOs, municipalities, etc), will, at a first stage, present their collective views of their own community-region and, at a second stage, of the community of the other region in the partnership.
Students will critically reflect on their view on the culture they live in and their identity, they will give a public feedback on the above and compare and exchange this view with students from a different culture in Europe. They will notice stereotypes, differences and similarities and appreciate the diversity of cultures in their region and in Europe. They will use arts, especially drama, video and arts education for their survey, reflection and creations/productions. Methods on combining drama and video work in education will be developed and exchanged between the local and international partners. Themes as the economic crisis and violence-racism are to be explored expressing the students’ own view of their collective culture and identity particularly in the context of the present crisis.
Teachers will work together with media and drama experts. They will create peer learning structures and networks in schools. A training course will be developed, both on media and drama tools and on facilitating students in the framework of the project-based learning/teaching methodology.
The messages (doc-films&doc-dramas) are meant to be exchanged initially within the partnership and later among different EU members (via internet, conferences, festival, networks,etc)
This project insists on the documentary methodology of both video and drama as a strong pedagogical tool and also emphasizes on a pupil centered teaching. In this sense it is an ambitious combination and development of previous small scale projects as “the Videomuseums: recording traces of our subjective culture” and “You as I: exploring diversity via drama and arts” both applied in a number of schools in the Eastern Attica Region Greece in the past 6 years. It is also innovative as no audiovisual education has been, in general, satisfactory developed, neither has it, more specifically, been used as a tool to investigate and record young persons identity.
Framework for media literacy-Video documentary
Younger generations grow in a society, where the flow of information and the opinion manipulation through media, constitute a major threat for individuals, who, not having developed the necessary skills to perceive and evaluate such an informational overflow, become victims of propaganda and consumers of cheap cultural substitutes. However, not many proposals have been put forward for a systematic teaching of media language within the formal curriculum. We consider a media literacy project not as an isolated school subject, but rather as the combined outcome of educational activities incorporating other areas of knowledge. In this sense, the use of media language was viewed as a skill exercised whenever communication, accumulation and exchange of information, public opinion measurements and campaigns on social issues are involved. Young participants are invited to investigate, choose and record issues they believe represent important aspects of their own youth culture and identity and present them in the form of a short doc-film. This doc-film can be shared with other students locally/internationally and can also be considered as a means of preserving what they think represents their youth identity and culture. The selection of the subjects is to be decided by the team of students in every participating school promoting not only team work but also active engagement in a series or decisions. Specific techniques on decision making, exchanging of personal views, investigating own stories will be applied at this important stage.
Documentation acquires symbolic and purely ideological dimensions, since it’s not the object which is preserved on video but its image. Recording introduces students to a new way of approaching their environment. Apart from the role of “an empirical consumer” which they usually adopt, they are encouraged to critically examine and evaluate their surroundings. Through documentaries students become active mediators of their own culture. The doc-films produced and exchanged may also offer a methodological research tool for cultural comparisons and sociological research. The prospect of depicting the preservation priorities of a community will provide the opportunity for statistically valid and reliable comparisons over time and among communities of a different cultural, economic and social character. The program’s future implementation in other European communities, may lead to conclusions regarding to the peculiarities and similarities that may be shown in the student-produced “doc-films”.
Framework for Drama Education-Documentary theatre
Drama education offers various methods to reflect upon a personal relation. Therefore drama education supports mainly the phases of research and decision making. Drama methods aim at enabling the group members to express emotions, actions and ideas. They also aim to work constructively with other group members. Within the current project we would like to examine the usability of this methodology in combination with media work.
Documentary theatre is a genre that has its roots in Brecht's and Piscator's theatre, the 'living newspaper' movement of the 1930s, and German and British docu-drama of the 1960s. It is nowadays widely used in contemporary theatre, as well as in community theatre and theatre/drama-in-education. In documentary theatre, documents themselves, i.e. interviews, newspaper articles, court transcripts, statistics, and other research material, are elaborated through devised theatre techniques. In the performances, influenced by non-naturalistic epic theatre, the edited actual words of the informants or documents are used, combined with multimedia, music, narration, audience interaction. In documentary theatre the purpose is to readdress and reassess a historical or social issue under a new perspective, to inform, and/or to present oppositional critiques of dominant ideologies. It overlaps with other genres such as verbatim theatre, theatre of the fact, reality theatre. In educational setting documentary theatre can be a method for researching issues that concern young people, such as marginalisation,cultural identity, politics, social issues, and involves pupils in an intense research and artistic process