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The Project

The projects aim is to develop art-based schemes and concepts to reduce the number of dropouts in the participating schools. The common goal of all participating schools is to qualify students to be able to continue their education at a university or to take up a high-brow apprenticeship or an equivalent vocational qualification scheme. Due to the rather high level of schooling, attending our schools is a voluntary action carried out by our students in the hope of gaining a top-level qualification. As a result of this every participating school has tried to find ways to increase the students' identification with our institutions and to secure students' dedication to their educational goals.

The age group 15-18 years is especially prone to distractions and carries therefore a high risk of leaving school before achieving a qualification adequate to their real educational potential. All six schools taking part in this project have a strong link to different kinds of arts and share the idea of using art as a tool to prevent students from losing their motivation if developmental and adolesence-related circumstances impede their educational performance at school.

We want to design art workshops and projects aimed at affecting the general willingness of students to avoid falling short of their abilities and potential - the concepts we want to develop should help students in danger of dropping out because of motivational reasons to brigde times of indifference to ordinary schooling by being involved with and linked firmly to our schools. The arts encourage persistence by providing a safe place for students to fail and learn from mistakes in ways that might not be available to them in other subjects and support process-oriented learning and that the act of producing art causes students to reflect on the progression of their creations and not just the final result. We all know how important it is for students to develop noncognitive skills to be successful as perseverance, attention, motivation, and self-confidence in particular. As arts produce self-directed, goal-oriented learning in an environment that explicitly supports learning from mistakes, students will be able to develop the soft skills they need to help them stay in school.

Normally students at risk of leaving school early usually do not mix with ambitious and successful students. There is a high risk of a downward spiral within these peer groups of demotivated students. By mixing top students and less successful ones in our teams we hope to fight these negative forces. Art seems to be a suitable field because the level of school results does not necessarily correspond to artistic talent and abilities which means that even weaker students can be leading figures within the project teams.

The transnational character of the project requires language skills of all students. English is a key subject to secure success in upper secondary level. An international project makes it necessary to communicate in English to reach the common goal. Students will experience the value of being able to communicate in English as their mother tongues cannot be used to make communication between students and teachers from six different countries with six different languages possible. The transnational aspect will also lead to much higher attractivity of the art workshops. The different traditions and different approaches in painting, singing, filming etc. will allow us to offer workshops far more fascinating and gripping than within a national framework. Moreover, the teaching staff involved in the project will also benefit from the transnational aspect. The close contact to teachers from different countries will form the basis on which a professional exchange of concepts, experience and ideas can take place. The teachers will present their preparation schemes to each other and will develop new approaches in joint activities at each meeting.