Teachers and dance in the classroom : So, do I need my tutu?
Implicit in the inclusion of dance in the school curriculum are philosophical, educational and political arguments that this particular body of knowledge offers children a means for thinking, and a form for the expression and understanding of self, others and events. Research that seeks to understand teachers' perspectives of dance in New Zealand primary schools is made all the more pertinent by the mandated inclusion of dance within the arts curriculum as from 2003. Given this context, teachers' comments such as "I can't teach dance, I can't even dance myself', "I don't even know what dance education is" and "So, do I need my tutu?" reflect a discomfort common among primary school teachers around bringing dance into their classrooms. The questions: 'What are primary school teachers' meanings of dance in their classroom?' and 'Do these meanings create barriers or opportunities for teaching dance?' directed this research, which took the form of a constructivist study of nine primary school teachers' meanings of dance in their classrooms. The data arose from co-structured interviews, classroom observations and reflections upon a shared dance activity. An emergent analysis of data found that teachers' meanings of dance in their classrooms were predominantly informed by performative assumptions of dance. The teachers' educative roles emerged as they included and negotiated their own, the children's and curricular expectations of dance in the classroom. A key finding of the study is that when meanings of dance emerge from the classroom rather than by being imposed or directed by external expectations and assumptions, many of the supposed barriers to teaching dance fall away.
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
[x], 350 leaves :ill., maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Education. "21 July 2003"