Title Steps ahead - Professionalization of Junior Coaches in Performing Arts and Media
Project Number DE/12/LLP-LdV/TOI/147517
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
There is a growing demand for young urban performing arts and media coaches in schools and youth work institutions in the cities of North-Western Europe. There’s also a growing number of young urban performing and media artists from the culturally diverse quarters of those big cities, many of them in precarious financial situations and not sufficiently connected to the labour market.
In the previous project “The ROOTS & ROUTES Academy”, we have developed a curriculum for a Junior Coach education, providing young artists with basic educational and management skills. “Steps ahead” transferred this concept to new countries and settings, adapting it to the situation in Greece and Italy, and, in line with the needs of the young coaches, extended the curriculum towards closer cooperation with the labour market, including wider entrepreneurial competencies and “testing zones” for young coaches, providing work experiences in real-life settings.
“Steps ahead” aimed to develop concepts for the initial and advanced non-formal vocational education of young artists to become coaches in performing art and media. The project transferred a curriculum developed in The Netherlands and Germany to Italy, Greece and Hungary; methods for connecting young artists to the labour market from Italy and Greece to the other partners ; and a concept for an employment guidance network from the Netherlands to all other partners.
After having worked with young musicians, dancers and film makers in non-formal settings for some years, jfc (Cologne) and Stichting ROOTS & ROUTES (Rotterdam) found a growing demand for young coaches in performing arts and media work in all-day school and youth work contexts. Participants from our projects were increasingly hired for those jobs; quite some couldn’t cope with the requirements. So we started the project “The ROOTS & ROUTES Academy” developing and practically testing a curriculum for Junior Coaches; with a focus on the pedagogical aspects of being a coach. The project was successful, yet still the evaluation showed that the entrepreneurship aspects were underexposed in our original curriculum; and that the Junior Coaches needed follow-up training modules, chances to put their skills to the test in real-life settings and additional support to establish stronger links to the labour market.
Thus, aims of “Steps ahead” included:
• to create and transfer an updated curriculum for the professionalization of young music, dance and media coaches
• to develop Advanced Training Seminars for Junior Coaches covering entrepreneurial, technical and cross-sectoral skills
• to develop “Testing Zones” as monitored settings where young coaches can put their coaching skills and methods to the test
• to foster connections of young urban artists and media makers to the labour market
• to foster the mobility of the project participants
“Steps ahead” has started with a kick-off meeting connecting all partners and it has gained momentum with a qualitative research investigating formal and non-formal methods used for the training of junior coaches. Three international seminars with both project managers and trainers (who are involved in the education of junior coaches) from all partner countries and national roundtables have built a reflective framework for this project, allowing exchange of good practice as well as evaluation and further development of the concrete educational activities in the project.
Having had educated Junior Coaches in the previous project “The ROOTS & ROUTES Academy” already, the Dutch and German partners involved them in the development of further training modules, examining their needs and ideas as well as the requirements of the labour market; those modules have then been carried out nationally in the first project year, with 6+ participants and a total of 12+ seminar days per country.
Additionally, practical modules (“Testing Zones”) have been developed and carried out, where 6+ Junior Coaches per module could put their skills to the test, worked with young people in educational settings, monitored partly by trainers, partly via peer monitoring. Meanwhile the Hungarian, Italian and Greek partners have run their first academies for Junior Coaches (12+ seminar days, 9+ participants per country), adapting the “ROOTS & ROUTES Academy” Curriculum to their national situation.
In the second project year, the Curriculum for the Junior Coach Academies was jointly revised based on the experiences from the further trainings in Germany and the Netherlands and the 2013 Academies in Greece, Italy and Hungary. All partners ran national Junior Coach Academies in 2014 based on the updated curriculum. Plus, the further training modules were pushed to an international level: Greece, Hungary and Italy organised short international further training seminars for Junior Coaches who had successfully completed the Academy, inviting 2 participants per partner country each. Germany, the Netherlands and Italy organised international Testing Zones, inviting 1 participant per partner country each.
Through both project years, all partners jointly worked on conceptual ideas for an employment guidance network (“Junior Coach Agency”) based on the “ROOTS & ROUTES Impresariaat” (www.rnragency.eu) developed by the Dutch partners. They also worked on sustainable implementations of the ROOTS & ROUTES Peer Coach Curriculum in their countries.
The project ended with a European conference on September 26th, 2014 in Rotterdam/Netherlands, involving all project partners and selected stakeholders from the creative industries. The project results created by the consortium, especially the ROOTS & ROUTES Peer Coach Curriculum, were made available online free of charge and disseminated by the partners. The consortium members and the wider framework of the international ROOTS & ROUTES network will continue cooperating in new projects, as the recently started project “Routes to Employment” (ERASMUS+).
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Access for disadvantaged
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
Information and Communication
program or curricula
The project produced (amongst others):
- An updated and validated curriculum for the education of Junior Coaches in performing arts and media
- Entrepreneurial, educational, artistic and technical seminar modules
- a concept for Testing Zones
- A project website
- Conceptual thoughts for agencies linking junior coaches to the labour market