Dancing around the edges: dance in the primary school

Torzillo, Miriam (2012) Dancing around the edges: dance in the primary school. The International Journal of Arts Education, 7 (1). pp. 25-36.

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Dance is part of mandatory primary arts curricula in Queensland, Australia. Yet despite an extensive body of literature supporting its contribution to education and its appeal to young people, the teaching of dance by generalist classroom teachers is minimal, if at all. This has been attributed to teachers’ resistance to teaching dance, possibly due to lack of experience and understanding of the value of this art form. Nonetheless, there are some schools in Queensland where teachers actively teach dance to their students. This presentation describes a case study in two Queensland primary schools where dance is taught. It explores teachers' and students' experiences of dance. Teachers in this study tended to draw upon their experiences of dance as a creative process gained during their professional development days, and their developments were strengthened by the encouragement and validation of a critical friend or mentor. Students found their expression through dance to be pleasurable and fulfilling. They commended its collaborative nature, the element of choice, and the relative freedom creating dance gave them "to be" in their bodies. Findings suggest that rather than learning more content, dance professional development for teachers should be hands-on experiences of creating dance in a collaborative setting. Research into what actually happens in dance classrooms is needed in order to "give voice" to teachers who have developed professional practice knowledge in dance, and can therefore provide images of what is possible in dance education.

Item ID: 44111
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2327-0306
Keywords: dance education, dance in primary schools, teacher change
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 4 of the following PhD thesis: Torzillo, Miriam (2016) Dancing around the edges: dance in the primary school classroom. Professional Doctorate (Research) thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 03:59
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl Maori) @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930102 Learner and Learning Processes @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 50%
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