1 SECONDARY LEARNING EFFECTS OF COMMUNITY ARTS IRIS E.V Institut Research Organisation IRIS e.v., Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung, Hechingen (Institute for Regional Innovation and Social Research) IRIS was founded in 1988 as a regional oriented institution for social research and project counselling. General principle of the work of IRIS is the conception of processes of regional development in the social field what means the development of social welfare structures refering themselves to the region they work in. IRIS combines activities of research, development and counselling in the sense of subject-oriented action-research. Areas of work: Youth policy planning: Development of a discoursive concept of youth welfare planning (as moderation of local planning and communication processes); Tecnical support, counselling and development of projects in the fields of two networks for employment and vocational training actually containing 40 projects funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Research on transition between school and work (in rural regions); European and intercultural cooperation: coordination of an intercultural discourse on the concept young adults, promotion of transnational cooperations between projects of social youth work and vocational training; Research and conceptualization of employment and further training measures for women (ongoing LEONARDO- and EFRE- 10-projects); organisation of international conferences, editorial work for international publications; Evaluation of projects for migrant youth. Gender research and gender policy planning Studies relevant for the thematic network: Regional analysis on young people s transitions between school and labour market in several rural areas (1990; 1991; 1996) as sociographic studies in which official statistic data are confronted with results of qualitative interviews with experts and young people (Arnold, Helmut/Stauber,
2 Barbara/Walther, Andreas 1991: Berufsfindung Jugendlicher in einer ländlichen Region, Hechingen; Nuglisch, Ralf/Pfendtner, Petra 1996: Eine Regionalanalyse im Alb- Donau-Kreis, Hechingen, Stauber, Barbara/Arnold, Helmut 1990: Berufsfindung von Jungen und Mädchen in einer ländlichen Region. Eine Regionalanalyse im Zollernalbkreis, Hechingen 1990). Study on the life situation of single mothers in a rural area to find out by which strategies they coped with the problem to combine child caring and work in a sociocultural context which is rather hostile against single parents as well as against women s individual life planning (Stauber, B. 1996: Lebensgestaltung alleinerziehender Frauen, Weinheim/München) Research Director / Coordinator Barbara Stauber Born 1963 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, social scientist, working for IRIS (Institut für regionale Innovation und Sozialforschung) and TIFS (Tübinger Institut für Frauenpolitische Sozialforschung), expertise in womens studies and transitional studies. Studies Political Science and Philosophy (University of Tübingen), 1995 Ph.d.thesis in Educational Sciences at the University of Tübingen on "Life arrangements of young single mothers in rural areas. Working now on a research as basis for my habilitation thesis on the topic Self-performings of young women and men as social inventions and their relevance for social integration. Experiences in field research (qualitative interviews), in project evaluation in teaching (University of Tübingen, Institute of Educational Science). in scientific coordination of European projects: : Coordination of the project Qualitative success criteria for the further training of women ( Leonardo-da- Vinci ) - since 1997: Scientific coordinator of the European research project Secondary learning effects in community arts ( Youth for Europe ) - Since 1998: Coordination of European research activities within EGRIS (European Group of Integrated Social Research) about Misleading trajectories in school-to-worktransitions ( TSER ) Research Partner Andreas Walther Axel Pohl Steven Miles Maria do Carmo Matos Gomes Rui Manuel Bargiela Banha See annex.
3 Key Words Professional competences Performance Learning experiences Interculturality Lifelong learning Skills Secondary Learning, informal learning Research subject This study is a comparative evaluation of community-arts projects in three European countries (Portugal, Great Britain, Germany) and is scheduled to last for three years. The starting point of the project was the view that young people with poor social opportunities (with regard to educational levels, family contexts) can be motivated and supported more successfully in the field of cultural pedagogics/community arts. Besides learning to perform (in this case, theatre work) they gain very important learning experiences, which we call "secondary learning effects". "Secondary" should not be understood as in a hierarchical relation to "primary", but rather as an indirect form of learning, which is not explicitly named or set out within any given curriculum. It comprises the achievement of social, cultural and personal competencies (e.g. self-confidence), which might be decisive with regard to employment prospects. The project sets out to systematically evaluate these secondary learning effects and to harness the results for both youth research and the institutions of youth aid/youth policy. The theatre work projects with young (disadvantaged) people carried out by three community-arts projects were examined: Liverpool (United Kingdom): "Acting up" Lisbon (Portugal): "Chapito" Mannheim (Germany): "JUST" The three projects are comparable in so far as they all involve the performing arts and disadvantaged young people, and the aim is to make these young people visible in their (social and cultural) competencies. Description of the Community Art Projects: Acting Up (Liverpool) offered performing arts to unemployed young people with the aim of raising their self-confidence so as to equip them to cope with unemployment, mostly on the psychosocial level. Facing a completely de-structured labour market, the strategy of the project was to make young people fit for survival by enabling them to experience that they are competent in certain areas and activities. In addition, the arts sector has proved to be one of the few growth areas of the labour market. The general hypothesis is that performing arts provide young people with communicative skills which are becoming increasingly important as professional competencies in the context of the information
4 and service society. The course considered by the project involves 25 young participants who work together for nine months preparing performances. The work involves thematic work and research on the issue of the show, lyric writing and theatrical improvisation, training in acting and music, rehearsals, performance. In the second part of the course, workshop leading skills are developed and experience is gained in schools, youth clubs and international exchange projects. Chapito (Lisbon) was founded in order to give street children a social place and occupation so as to prevent them from falling into deviant lifestyles. It started to work as Circus School Mariano Franco mainly teaching circus skills and giving young people the opportunity to be part of a circus group and to perform in public. From the 90s the work was extended to include the concept of Arts and Manual Skills for Entertainment, also conceptualised as professional skills. The courses contain socio-cultural, theoretical and artistic modules starting from both the young people s strengths and their needs. Arts and manual skills for entertainment are the goal of the learning process as well as the means of achieving direct access to young people's lifeworlds and individual development. Chapito functions as a family and a home for the young people participating. JUST (Youth in the Community Mannheim) is a youth work project which uses the performing arts as a means of drug prevention. In a area of the city where 80% of the population are migrants, mainly from Italy and Turkey, and where there is a severe drug problem, youth work proved to be the only means of gaining access to young people the addicted and the not yet addicted. The project workers developed a range of measures to attract young people mostly before they get involved in the drug scene. The most promising efforts have been the drama and music projects which are analysed in this study. The course considered by the project involved 10 young participants working together in their leisure time, between one and three times per week, in developing plays based on their life situation. The main issues are life as an immigrant in Germany and (male) gender roles. Support was provided to another group of young people to form a rap-band, rap music being very popular amongst immigrant youth. The lyrics, in Italian, Turkish or German, reflect the young people s everyday experiences. Methodology / Methods To evaluate the quality of learning processes in socio-cultural projects, qualitative methods of social research were needed, so as to integrate as far as possible the participants of the projects (young people as well as teaching staff), as active subjects within the research. In spite of their comparable approach (cultural pedagogics/community arts), the three projects are working under
5 very different conditions. This difference has to be analysed in detail to detect the learning potential. It is also very important to activate processes of learning-from-each-other (at the level of researcher as well as at the level of pedagogical practice). For this purpose, the research must, as in this common study, be conceptualised as intercultural communication with common research methods, a parallel evaluation procedure and ongoing circles of "intercultural understanding". The main methodological instruments are participation observation, group interviews, expert interviews and individual interviews. Stage 1. Preparation of research interviews with so-called "keypersons": teaching staff, project managers, project leaders people in "key" roles in terms of access to young people's lifeworlds. Stage 2. In preparation for the project, the documents, concepts, work-plans, curricula and their modifications were analysed following the Dokumentenanalyse method (Hodder 1994). Stage 3. Group interviews with young people were carried out. These were important in participation. Group interviews with young people allow them to express their opinions: The group serves as a "safe room", the hierarchical differences between interviewers and interviewees are minimised, the communication is not only between interviewers and interviewees, but involves real "discussion" (amongst the young people themselves), and this helps them to "forget" about the interview situation. Group interviews therefore are very appropriate for building up a confidential relationship with the interviewees, awakening their interest in the research topic, and integrating them as active research participants (as subjects of research). Stage 4. The most important methodical step was evaluation of presentations of theatre scenes. Through this, the young people could appear in all their competencies. This is an important means of triangulation (Denzin 1995), in that it provides another type of information which completes the already existing knowledge (drawn from the group interviews and social status of these young people). Videotapes of these presentations were jointly evaluated by the transnational research team, and a main connecting thread for further interviews with experts was developed. Abstract This study is a comparative evaluation of three community-arts projects in three different countries (Germany, UK and Portugal). It describes how young people with poor social opportunities and bad learning experiences can be empowered and how their social and technical skills can be developed in the field of cultural pedagogics/performing arts The study also asks how these experiences can be transferred to innovative European transitional policies.
6 The methods employed to evaluate the quality of learning processes in community-artscultural projects are qualitative methods of social research (participatory observation, group interviews, expert interviews, participant interviews) in order to maximise the integration and participation of both participants and pedagogues in the research. Performing arts are a particularly good way of providing young people with an opportunity for self-reflection and give basic orientation with regard to their future lives. Initial Research Objectives The objective was to obtain answers to the following questions: What do we learn about learning processes in community-arts projects? What are the conditions and the criteria for success of these learning effects? (how do "secondary learning effects" develop? How are the mechanisms of "indirect learning" to be described?) What do we learn about social competencies and how can they be achieved? What do we learn about the necessary prerequisites to transcend strictly fixed gender roles/to re-shape gender relationships? What do we learn about the necessary prerequisites for autonomous life concepts of young women and men? (what then are the conditions of social integration beyond gender "normality"?) What can we learn from each other within a transnational research context and with regard to the different conditions in which the evaluated projects are carried out? (what then are the transnational learning effects?) Changes in the initial Research Objectives There are no essential changes in our research objectives. But there are some additional considerations which emerged during the research process, which could be described as follows: The intercultural aspects should figure much more to the forefront in such research projects: All three projects have an element of "interculturality" due to the different cultural origins of their participants and/or due to connections with other international projects. As emerges in the interviews we carried out, these contacts are very important. This issue deserves much more indepth research: what are the learning effects which derive from intercultural contacts? Can they be specified with regard to the concerned groups and their characteristics? A deeper analysis of the shifting character of the projects: All the analysed projects started out as projects for disadvantaged young people. Secondary or indirect effects were their major objectives and the reasons why they were established. Now, the Portuguese project and to a certain extent the British project too, has shifted towards "vocational training normality", in that they have developed into organisations which, besides their initial work, provide officially recognised training in the field of the performing arts. In the case of Acting Up, the course is a four month course in youth and community theatre leading to NVQ-2-credits in the first pre-vocational block of the course. Chapito run a three-year training course for actors. Only JUST still works on the just prevention level. One question for ongoing research is: What has led to a change of "normality"? Another: What effects of exclusion accompany this new normality? How can these effects be inhibited?
7 Main Research Results 1. The projects provide the participants with a status and with the experience that their lifeworld orientations are recognised as valuable; 2. The possibility of expressing one's "own" topics constitutes a contrasting experience to the processes of self-demotivation and the demotivation most of the participants had to face over their educational careers. 3. The concrete learning processes are also important and in contrast to normal learning processes: the participants experienced that they could learn a much wider range of skills than they would ever have expected, such as: Different performing techniques, such as, juggling, trapezium, physical expression, dance, tightrope etc; The autonomous development of different elements of a single performance within a limited time; The combination of different individual scenes into one coherent performance. This has a strong effect of empowerment. 4. These competencies are not just "technical", but are closely related to core aspirations of the young people involved. 5. In addition, participation in the project provides basic skills: As one of the participants in the Mannheim project put it, "concentration is the main thing you learn here. Before the course started I could never concentrate on one thing, I always thought of a thousand things at a time. But now, I have learned how to concentrate. You will see, when you see us perform." 6. Social skills, such as communication skills, were developed. 7. Strengthening of important resources which are indispensable for the ongoing transition process. The most important: motivation. All individual interviews record an increase in motivation. Factors are the group as motivational context, the practical, concrete and creative character of learning, the personality of the teachers, and very frequently mentioned the "sense of worth" and "meaning" the project gave to their lives. 8. Performing as an actor/actress is a particularly good means of providing scope for selfreflection as a subject within a social context. This, for example, could mean surmounting individualised problem-ascription and achieving a new perspective on (unsolved) structural problems. 9. The performing arts are a very fruitful setting for group experiences. 10. The performing arts are also a very good means of expressing emotions and feelings. All three videotapes show that young people exploit this opportunity to choose mystical characters, magic atmospheres, poetic (and surrealistic) means of expression. Since these emotions are not particularly concrete, they tend to be overshadowed by "more important" (more concrete) topics/issues. However, these less concrete emotions are also important. The performing arts provide the opportunity to express these aspects and thereby have an indirect stabilising effect on young people's self-confidence: "It made us realise what it was like to perform in front of other people. We knew that we couldn't fail. During classes we can always fail" (Interview with "Chapito" participant, Lisbon) 11. The participants are given the opportunity to see learning and training as a personal project again, rather than as a onerous demand on their free-time. It (the course) just becomes everything to you, it just means everything. It's just your destiny in life to complete it." (Acting-up, Liverpool)
8 12. The projects provide the participants with a status they have been unable to procure previously and in this way they begin to recognise and realise their own self-worth. 13. Performing as an actor or actress provides a particularly good opportunity for self-reflection and for giving serious thought to their futures, which they may have previously have been too anxious to even begin thinking about. 14. The potential model status of the project in the context of innovative employment policies: All three projects follow a labour market training strategy that could well be labelled "innovative" (Manninnen, 1998), in the sense that they do not restrict their curriculum to narrow labour market skills, but actually widen their educational objectives to teach more general life skills. However, there are still enormous differences in the relationships between the projects and the official education and training systems in the respective countries. The three projects can be described as lying on a sliding scale with the official education system at one end and independent informal education at the other, the German project being the most informal one with least official recognition and the Lisbon project being the most formally recognised one. Equally, the differences in the target groups of each project are obvious. In this light, a fundamental question arises: how can the clear benefits of the sort of education provided by these projects, and by performance arts training in general, be integrated into educational systems throughout Europe without the particular informal benefits of those projects being sacrificed? 15. The quality of the learning taking place in these projects: It is difficult to generalise about the benefits deriving from the sort of learning that the projects we are evaluating have engendered, because many of the skills acquired by the young people are life-skills that are not easily measurable. But if self-motivation and personal aspirations represent major resources in the attainment of personal skills for changing demands in a constantly changing world, then these projects provide their participants with experiences that are fundamental to the principles of life-long learning. The evidence mentioned above suggests that by integrating arts elements into young people s training, learning that was previously characterised by demoralisation and demotivation can actually be a force, at very least, for improved self-esteem and, at best, for a hopeful future. Thus it can be concluded, that without entirely neglecting structural effects, lifelong learning policies must be aware of the fact that as far as young people are concerned, the cultural-artistic contexts in which they learn potentially play a key role in how effectively they learn. The informal nature of the learning processes have presented the young people with the opportunity to learn how to learn. As such, educational institutions need to be more aware of the problematic nature of youth transitions and of the need to actively engage with young people s learning requirements at a time in their lives when their identities are under considerable strain. One way of dealing with this problem is by recognising that young people s lifestyles can actually provide a positive and beneficial means of coping with the problems of an increasingly problematic labour market. By creating an environment within which young people want to learn, not only young people, but the learning society in general, may well begin to fulfil its potential. Conclusions from the Main Research Results 1. The performing arts are a particularly good way of providing young people with an opportunity for self-reflection and they also facilitate a basic orientation for their future lives. They therefore could play a guiding function especially for those who do not trust in institutional support. They entail strong effects of empowerment and play a major role in avoiding social exclusion. 2. The community arts projects we have evaluated could serve as models of innovative employment policies:
9 All three projects follow a subject-orientated labour market training strategy in so far as they do not restrict their curriculum to narrow labour market skills, but concentrate on general "life skills". However, there are still enormous differences in the relationship of the projects to the official education and training systems of the respective countries. The three projects can be described as lying on a sliding scale with the official education system at one end and independent informal education at the other, the German project being the most informal one with the least official recognition and the project in Lisbon being the most formally recognised. Equally, the differences in the target groups of the projects are obvious. In this context, a fundamental question arises: how can the clear benefits of the sort of education provided by these projects, and by performance art training in general, be integrated into educational systems throughout Europe without the particular informal benefits of these projects being sacrificed? 3. The qualities learned in these projects are important in all supporting measures of school-to-work-transitions: self-motivation and personal aspirations represent major resources in the attainment of personal skills for facing the changing demands of a constantly changing world. By integrating cultural-artistic elements into young people's training, learning that was previously characterised by demoralisation and demotivation can actually be a force, at very least, for improved self-esteem and, at best, for a hopeful future. 4. In terms of lifelong learning it can be concluded, that as far as young people are concerned, cultural-artistic contexts play a key role in how effectively they learn.. Main contribution to the objectives of the YFE Programme To detect how social exclusion could effectively be avoided by creating attractive projects for young people in disadvantaged starting positions as regards their school-to-work transitions. To find out how very important resources for future prospects could be developed: motivation, social skills, personal skills, cultural skills etc. In the long run, this serves to create new employment options, which of course must be supported by policies. To find out how basic preconditions such as self-esteem and self-experience could be provided. To identify one crucial but very often underestimated starting point for youth policies: the arts and their potential meaning for young people. There is potential here for political support, which to date has not been exploited.
10 ANNEXES Andreas Walther Born , Hannover Scientific curriculum Diploma in Educational Science at the University of Tübingen, Title of thesis: Social Work between Discourse and Management Phd in educational science; title of thesis: Scopes of action in transitions to work. Study on young adults at the limits of the labour society in Employment policies for young adults in Germany, the UK and Italy. Professional And Research Experience since 1990: freelance researcher for IRIS, Institute for Regional Innovation and Social Research - Regional Studies on Youth Transitions - Expertise for the region Baden-Württemberg on the demands of transition policies - Advisor for projects funded by the European Social Fund - Foundation, development and management of EGRIS, European Group for Integrated Social - Research, a research network based on the concept Young Adults (since 1993) - Organisation of European conferences on Young Adults (1995) and Lifelong Learning in Europe (1996, 1998) - Coordination of EU research projects: Misleading Trajectories (TSER Network, ), Secondary Effects of Community Arts (Youth for Europe, ) - Participation in EU projects: Integration through training (Leonardo), Employment opportunities in the third sector (DG V), Best practices in youth transitions (DG V) Relevant Publications Stauber, B., Walther, A. (1995): Nur Flausen im Kopf? Lebens- und Berufsentscheidungen von Mädchen und Jungen als Frage regionaler Optionen. Bielefeld: Karin Böllert KT- Verlag. (Life and Work Decisions of Young People in Dependance of Regional Options) Walther, A. (Ed.) (1996): Junge Erwachsene in Europa - jenseits der Normalbiographie. Opladen: Leske+Budrich. (Young Adults in Europe - beyond the normal life course) Walther, A., Stauber, B., du Bois-Reymond, M. et al. (1999): Young Adults in Europe - New trajectories between youth and adulthood. In: CYRCE (Ed.): European Yearbook for Youth Policy and Research, Vol. 2. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter. Walther, A., Stauber, B. (Eds.) 1998: Lifelong Learning in Europe I: Options for the Integration of Living, Learning and Working? Tübingen: Neuling. Walther, A., Stauber, B. (Eds.) 1999: Lifelong Learning in Europe II: Differences and Divisions. Tübingen: Neuling. Walther, A. 2000: Spielräume im Übergang in die Arbeit. Eine Untersuchung über junge Erwachsene im Wandel der Arbeitsgesellschaft in Deutschland, Italien und Großbritannien. University of Tübingen, Phd Thesis. Axel Pohl Born Diploma in Educational Science, University of Tübingen
11 Professional and research activities Since 1994 Development, advice and scientific evaluation of projects in youth work and youth policy for young people from ethnic minorities Evaluation of a pilot project in intercultural youth work in Mannheim/Germany financed by the German Federal Ministry for Family, the Elderly, Women and Youth. Research collaborator in the multinational study on education and school drop-out Dropping out in secondary education Since 1997 Research project on Secondary learning effects of performing arts for disadvantaged youth Research collaborator in the transnational project Houses & Colours Coordination of the project Development and Dissemination of Best Practice in School to Work Transitions funded by the EU, DG V Relevant publications Pohl, Axel: The Housing Situation of Immigrants in Germany - Current Issues, Perceptions and Interventions, in: LIBRA (ed.): Houses&Colours. Housing Policies for Immigrants - Confronting Models in Europe. Ravenna Stadt Mannheim (ed.): JUST-Modellprojekt für interkulturelle Jugendarbeit. Mannheim Pohl, Axel/Walther, Andreas: Dropping Out in Secondary Education in Germany, in: IARD (ed.): Dropping Out in Secondary Education, Milano Pohl, Axel et. al.: 'Catching the Trapeze in a Life-long Learning Society': A Comparative Discussion of Unconventional Educational Strategies for 'Disadvantaged' Young People, in: Stauber/Walther (eds.): Lifelong Learning in Europe. Volume 2. Neuling: Tübingen Pohl, Axel/Schneider, Sabine (eds.): Sackgassen - Umleitungen - Überholspuren? Ausgrenzungsrisiken und neue Perspektiven im Übergang in die Arbeit. Tübingen: Neuling Steven Miles Born 19 November, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA. Publications Miles, S. ( forthcoming) Social Theory in the Real World, London: Sage. Miles, S. (2000 forthcoming) Young people, social change and the cultural manifestation of identity, Chapter 3 in M. Cieslik and G. Pollock (eds.)young People in a Risk Society: The Restructuring of Youth Identities and Transitions in Late Modernity, Aldershot: Ashgate. Miles, S. and Ettorre, E. ( forthcoming) Consuming risk: Young people's lifestyles and the pleasures of uncertainty, chapter in R. Bunton, E. Green and W. Mitchell (Eds) Youth, Risk and Leisure: Constructing Identities in Everyday Life, Buckingham: Open University Press. Miles, S. (2000 forthcoming) Consuming lifestyles, in S. Miles, A. Anderson and K. Meethan (Eds.), The Changing Consumer, London: Routledge. Miles, S. and Paddison, R. ( forthcoming) (Eds.) International Perspectives in Urban Studies, London: Kingsley. Miles, S. ( March) Youth Lifestyles in a Changing World, Buckingham: Open University Press.