As part of forum theatre, learners explore solutions to their problems by acting out difficulties encountered in daily life.


Practitioners in iVET. Final beneficiaries: learners at risk of drop out and early leavers from iVET. 

Country/ies or organisation that developed the tool

EU level project.
Partners: Centro Studi Opera Don Calabria "Città del Ragazzo"; CDS; Bogazici University; Evangelische Akademy; Teatr Grodzki; Cedar
Countries: Italy, Germany, Northern Ireland, Turkey, Poland

Date of creation of toolkit and periodicity of updates

Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-13

Purpose of the toolkit

Guidance on what works (to help improve the design of policies and practices)

‘The main aim of this handbook is to describe the final version of good practices and provide operational guidance and suggestions on how to transfer good practice within different IVET systems or IVET related systems.’

Description of each of the tools

The handbook is the final outcome of a Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation project called THEATRE (Theatre as empowerment methodology for IVET).

It explains what the Theatre project is, how to identify learners at risk and how to implement the project in a different context.

Note about the context: ‘The THEATRE project aims to transfer the good practices that Centro Studi Opera Don Calabria (Italian applicant partner) has been implementing for many years to deal with drop outs and ESLs in its IVET courses. THEATRE project’s partners undertook national research studies and a renewed version of the good practices have been produced as an improved version of the former approach’.

Type of indicators used in the identification of learners at risk of early leaving

The handbook provides various indicators for the identification of learners at risk of drop out in IVET:


  • number of absences
  • daily attendance rates

Course performance:

  • failed course benchmarks
  • grade point average benchmarks
  • on-track indicators (e.g. credits earned, participation in testing and examinations, etc.)

Key and life skills:

  • key competences: communication in the mother tongue and in foreign languages, mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology, digital, learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural awareness and expression
  • life skills: self- awareness, management of emotions, management of the stress, critical sense, decision making, problem solving, being flexible in every kind of situation, creativity, communication skills, empathy, interactive skills

Type of guidance given to users

The handbook provides guidance on different topics, namely:

  • How to identify and involve students at risk of drop out in IVET: provides indicators to identify learners at risk (see information presented in the section above) and suggests some ideas of activities to involve them (e.g. compulsory workshop to work on skills and competences or voluntary extracurricular activities).
  • Theatre as empowerment methodology for students at risk of drop out - performing arts and theatrical activities in particular allow:
    • recruitment and retention of target populations with multiple risk factors
    • long-term skill development that engages youth behaviourally, emotionally, and academically rather than a drop-in culture
    • an emphasis on the critical ingredient of real-world applications through performance;
    • a strategic community-level plan for dropout prevention
    • programme content reframed towards competencies that underpin better school performance and pro-social behaviour such as communication, initiative, problem solving, motivation, and self-efficacy
  • The methodology (how to implement the various activities and engage pupils) - the activities focus on the acquisition of key competencies by beneficiaries, with special emphasis on social skills.
  • Connection with ICT and digital skills and competences - thanks to ICT, students experience and improve their communications skills, using cooperative working, testing their ability in listening and trying to find a synthesis with their classmates, the trainers, operators and third-party stakeholders.
  • How to connect THEATRE laboratory with the acquisition of educational and vocational knowledge and skills - the methodology is first of all useful to let students acquire and improve life skills and key competences. Once the methodology is established, the acquisition of vocational knowledge, skills and competences could also be introduced.
  • Evaluation and exploitation of results – the measure offers indicators for the observation of the functioning of the individual (disabled or not) that may help understand how to act on the pedagogical and educational levels, integrating and enriching other tools already in teachers’ hands.
  • The role of education and training operators – the aim here is to increase the competences of teachers/trainers in order to increase the quality of school work.
  • Networking activities – examples of who to involve in networking activities.

Source of information of the different tools

Designed by the partners of the LLP Programme. 

Link/s to the toolkit and further information




Related intervention approaches