The art of learning: empowerment through performing arts

Steven Miles

in Young people and contradictions of inclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9781861345547
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304357 | DOI:
The art of learning: empowerment through performing arts

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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This chapter takes a closer look at learning processes and empowering experiences in the more informal setting of projects for young people located in the arena of the performing arts. Based on the intercultural evaluation of three case studies (from Portugal, Germany, and the UK), it shows that participation in the performing arts is a highly successful means to aid the development of young people's self-confidence and social skills. However, the biographical effects of such experiences depend on how informal learning and education are recognised by respective national transition systems. They demand from policy makers an investment in programmes for which the outcomes are less predictable and measurable than those of formal education and training are normally assumed to be.

Keywords: performing arts; Portugal; Germany; UK; social skills; informal learning; informal education; national transition

Chapter.  8134 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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