Pax Dettoni Serrano. CEO and founder, creator of ''In Their Shoes''
In Their Shoes. A space for Active Empathy
Why did you create this innovation?
To create a culture of peace at schools. Bullying is indeed the top of the iceberg of a much larger problem that affects many school centers and families. Therefore, with “In their shoes” we went at the root of the problem involving all actors: teachers, families and students. The programme uses theater as a main resource since it allows easily to be more empathetic with others and teambuilding.
How does your innovation work in practice?
The learning method of is based on a peer-to-peer cascade methodology:
1. Teachers are trained as facilitators of the method “In their shoes” in an annual course.
2. The accredited facilitators train other teachers, families and non-teaching staff of their own schools, or those schools interested in implementing the programme.
3. The teachers trained by the facilitators implement the method in their classrooms. They use a socio-emotional skills manual specially developed for that purpose by the programme.
4. Finally, the students, as a final outcome of the implementation of the method, develop and perform a theater play based on their own coexistence challenges and proposed solutions. This theater play is performed in front of other students from lower grades in which they teach them about the socio-emotional skills and resources they have learned through the programme.
The programme reaches the entire school community and its formative experience has been proven as impactful.
How has it been spreading?
In 2010 Pax Dettoni created the Theater of Awareness learning methodology for SEL. In 2017 she created and pilot ‘’In Their Shoes’’. Then, with the support of the Ministry of Education of Spain and Porticus Foundation, the Asociación Teatro de Conciencia extended it to five schools, which allowed to generate a replicable and scalable cross-sectional model for different contexts. Since then, it has grown thanks to its evaluated impact and its innovative methodology designed to have a multiplier effect.
The collaborations and synergies with public administrations have been key to scale social impact. The program is offered institutionally in the regions of Madrid and the Balearic Islands. In addition, through the online version we have reached hundreds of teachers in four other regions.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
You have two options:
1. If you are a teacher or an educator you can be trained as a facilitator of In Their Shoes methodology and bring the programme to your own and other schools.
2. If you are a school or an education center and you want your teachers, students, families and non-teaching staff to benefit from ''In their Shoes'' you need a facilitator that would bring your In Their Shoes
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