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Ribbon SPOTLIGHT 2022
SEL trough Theater of Awareness in public schools to improve coexistence and prevent violence.

In Their Shoes. A space for Active Empathy

location_on Madrid, Spain
It is a programme of emotional literacy to improve school coexistence based on the theater of awareness method, that stages emotions and makes them visible to everybody. It aims at the entire school community with the objectives of preventing violence and bullying, as well as promoting coexistence through training sessions on emotional literacy for students (aged 4-14),their teachers and families.
Children learn to put themselves in other people’s shoes when their adults of reference put themselves In Their Shoes. Theater and play make the journey easier.

Pax Dettoni Serrano. CEO and founder, creator of ''In Their Shoes''


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
20 000
Updated on August 8th, 2022
about the innovation

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


HundrED Academy Review

The resources and methodology are very practical and easy to apply in schools. It has a lot of potential to spread, and so far they are reaching 57 schools; so it would be interesting to expand the innovation to other cities.

- HundrED Academy Member

Combining drama + play to tackle social issues like bullying is admirable and needed. This program is already making an impact in its communities and it will only grow. When learners have a possibility to immerse in drama beautiful things happen.

- HundrED Academy Member
In Their Shoes fosters social and emotional learning through arts and theater. In this program children improve their emotional literacy and active empathy by understanding their emotions and making them visible to their classmates. This innovation helps the wellbeing of the school community and supports anti-bullying efforts.
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

See this innovation in action


Achievements & Awards

May 2022
Nomination to the Falling Walls Summit Science 2022 under the category "Future Learning"
November 2021
Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
August 2021
Latin American Development Bank Award 2017
May 2021
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

If you are willing to implement ''In Their Shoes'' in your region, please let us know :
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