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Clowning for Inclusion - How to develop Empathy through the Art of the Clown

Type of tool: 
Activity
Duration: 
90-120 min
Topics addressed: 
Migrants
Personal development
Social inclusion

It allows participants to create a new mind-set - being more open, being more playfull - quite easily. It helps participants to relate to diferent aspects of empathy from a very practical, personal and emotional standpoint

Aim: 

The aim of this tool is to allow participants to understand and explore empathy in inclusion contexts.

Methodology: 

The Art of Clowning

Step by step process: 

1 - Briefing & Warm Up (15min)

  • Brief introduction of the trainer and the group
  • Brief description of the workshop structure
  • Warm up excercise to explore: Curiosity

  2 - Discovering Clowning (30 min)

  • Short explanation about the Art of Clowning
  • Flow of Excercises to explore: Authenticity, No-Defense, Communication

3 - Discovering Others (45 min)

  • Flow of Excercises to explore: Mirroring, Compassion, Connection

4 - De-Briefing and Self-Evaluation (30 min)

  • Group Debriefing on the process
  • Flash Imput about the Dimensions of Empathy
  • Group Debriefing on the Tool
Materials and resources: 
  • Clown noses (one per participant);
  • 10 random objects (can be a toy, an unbrella, a shoe, etc.)
Outcomes: 

This Tool is developed to allow participants to:

  • Get to know and experience diferent aspects of Empathy, namely: Emotional and Cognitive Empathy, Compassion, Mirroring and Curiosity;
  • Observe their own emotional and mental states in relation to others behaviours and actions;
  • Explore (possibly) new emotional states related to human connection trough humour and fragility;
  • Relate their Clowning experience in the workshop with their personal empathic/non-empathic relationships in reality.
Evaluation: 

Advantages: It allows participants to create a new mind-set - being more open, being more playfull - quite easily. It helps participants to relate to diferent aspects of empathy from a very practical, personal and emotional standpoint.Disadvantages: For a few, the constant state of playfulness characteristic of clowning might be more of an obstacle then a catalisor. These participants might go through the proposed excercises in a defensive manner that, in the end, might put off empathy.Potentialities: Humour is an universal language, this tool can be adapted for many diferent types groups regarding age and background. It doesn't require many materials.Limits:  With groups that have less experience with active methods, theatre, body work... the tool should be implemented with more time in order to allow participants to get aquainted with this type of methods 

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DISCLAIMER: SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO-YOUTH EuroMed should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

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