Capacity Building

Part of Caravan’s mission is professionalising pedagogic, social, artistic and administrative skills in the sector. To that end, many of our projects are focussed on improving the capacity of our members to deliver their youth and social circus programmes.

Circus ++

Circus ++

Youth and social circus is a measure of intervention based on the combination of circus arts, sports and social-pedagogy. It targets the young but also various at-risk groups in order to support the empowerment and emancipation of individuals and assist with participants’ personal and social development by nurturing their self-esteem and trust in others, as well as by helping them to acquire social skills, express their creativity and realize their potential and become active citizens. Various studies indicate that the sociopedagogical and welfare impacts of social circus are undeniable. The surveys also show that there is a growing need of formally educated youth and social circus professionals having not only knowledge in circus arts but also possessing a deep knowledge of pedagogy to work with the young and with people with fewer opportunities in the society.

This project bases is based on research and cooperation between European universities and circus schools. The following four universities and five youth and social circus schools are involved and build together national teams for developing the main curriculum and national adaptations of it:  National University of Ireland Galway and Galway Community Circus (Ireland); Stockholms Konstnärliga HögskolaandCirkus Cirkör (Sweden) ; Tampere University and Sorin Sirkus (Finland), Université Paris-Sud and Le Plus Petit Cirque de Monde, PPCM (France). The Zahrada o.p.s., Cirqueon (Czech Republic) cooperates with all universities.  A central partner is the European youth and social circus network Caravan. 

The project produces the very first research based European full-degree curriculum of 180 ECTS in EQF level 6 of Youth and Social Circus Pedagogy with five national implementation plans to respond both to the shortage of the professionals and qualitative needs. It is possible for the future students either to carry out the studies in one European country or construct the whole study programme by choosing the suitable modules from the European offer. The programme includes a model for validation of prior formal, non formal and informal learning and a model for a personal study plan that supports both employability and mobility in Europe. The programme is free of charge and available for all those universities and social circus schools who would like expand and deepen their work into  youth and social circus or take advantage of it in their social or educational activities. 


1 European main curriculum and 5 national implementation plans of:

Ø  Higher education, EQF level 6 curriculum of 180 ECTS Youth and Social Circus Pedagogy. The duration of the study programme is 3 years.

Ø  Model for recognition and validation of prior knowledge in youth and social circus pedagogy that entails formal, non-formal and informal learning.

Ø  Model for a personal study plan in social circus pedagogy.

Ø  After the project the study programme is available by mobility at least in the partner countries by combining single modules from the offer of the partner countries. The qualification will be granted by a university.

Ø   The educational sector in Europe is aware of the new study programme incl. recognition and validation of prior learning and personal study plan model

The primary target group: Social circus trainers and managers in partner countries and around Europe

Key upcoming events : 

–      Kick-off in Tampere on 12-13 December, 2019-      Training session in Galway 20-24 April 2020

Extending Circus Trans Formation

Extending Circus Trans Formation

Extending CTF was a project enabling new circus schools and circus trainers to deliver CTF in Action, thus participating in its development all over Europe. Therefore, the Caravan board decided to evaluate former CTF in Action training programmes and implementations in order to continue delivering a training of quality and improving its benefits for social circus trainers.


1: Evaluating and ensuring the quality of CTF: In the framework of the guidebook, this training gave opportunity for all partners involved in the implementation of CTF to reflect and evaluate the quality of the training.  

2: Fostering exchange of good practice among Caravan members: the experienced Caravan members who have been hosting CTF in Action shared their good practice and expertise in the implementation of the training with other Caravan members. 

3: Developing training capacity of Caravan members to host and organise Circus Transformation in Action in the legacy of the research that was conducted from 2009 to 2013. 

The project took place during two modules

Module 1 : 15-19 January 2018 hosted by Zaltimbanq’ in Luxembourg : The aim of  Module 1 was to evaluate and ensure the quality of CTF in Action and to foster exchange of good practice among Caravan members (Objective 1 and 2)

Module 2 : 6-10 March 2018 hosted by Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles in Belgium focused on developing the training capacity of Caravan members (Objective 3) and implementing the recommendations formulated during Module 1 for future CTF in Action implementations. 

Partners: Sorin Sirkus, Ecole De Cirque De Bruxelles, Skala, Zaltimbanq, Le Plus Petit Cirque du Monde, CIRQUEON, Galway Community Circus, Belfast Community Circus School 

Participants: 22 participants from 11 different circus schools in Europe took part in this project. 

Two collaborators also participated in the activities that took place during Module 1. They contributed in the design and conducted the methodology of the evaluation of CTF in Action: 

Bernard Mercier, a Doctor in Educational Sciences and originally a primary school teacher, has been designing and delivering training for school teachers for over 20 years. He recently finalised his PhD from Sherbrooke University (Canada) during which he studied the learning processes of primary school headmasters. Starting from people’s knowledge and know-how, he supports his trainees in analyzing their practice in order to identify elements where they can improve and develop. He helped in designing the methodology of the CTF in Action evaluation and participated in Module 1 by proposing and conducting evaluation activities. 

Léana Valentini, intern for Caravan, who is pursuing a master’s degree in « Life-long Education » in Paris 8 University. Through her studies she has acquired the qualities and skills needed to evaluate and analyse the circumstances and impact of educational projects taking into consideration the target groups and social contexts. In the framework of her studies, she was looking for a placement in a social education centre or association. Her interest in educational phenomenon outside of school establishments led her to discover Caravan. While working with Caravan she put into practice her acquired competences, specifically working on the evaluation of the two first CTF in Action projects. 

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