SPEAKERS AT RCS
My research proposal considers how the dance curriculum could better support the development of males. Whilst researching inclusion and promotion of dance in the curriculum I found the following review which discusses how to reduce the attainment gap due to poverty.
The impact of underperforming white males, economic background, physical ability, race and gender highlights the role of teachers in supporting all individuals. I noted that the responses of individuals in my research could be modified by these factors. Any one of these factors could be explored through practitioner enquiry as it is essential to find mechanisms to support inclusion in our Secondary schools. Teachers require continual development in strategies to support all students as each individual presents a new set of learning needs.
I felt that these variables linked directly with the inclusion message behind the work of the RCS speakers today.
- Speakers from Indepen-Dance and MusicAll completed activities or a talk on supporting individuals with Additional Support Needs in the performing arts. They explained the strategies they used, the developments they made and the funding routes (see blog 74). This supported the differentiation, teaching strategies and passion needed to close the attainment gap. …………………………….. Julie McKenzie from MusicAll showed a video clip to the tune ‘Soccer Samba’ showing her students at all ability levels benefitting from musical performance. The students have ben inspired by performing in football stadiums, theatres and supermarkets. Their original Friday club developed from a lack of opportunity for a talented ASN singer and drummer. The benefits of this club have been well promoted by the benefits to participants and it now runs as two sessions on a Friday and one on a Thursday. Stunts sound enthusiastic and engaged.
- Francis Cummings from Sistema Scotland spoke about the music project which aims to support the philosophy behind the policy ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’. He contrasted examples of good and bad practice. He shared experiences and discussed how the guided discovery teaching approaches used in Scotland contrast those in other countries who focus on didactic command and practice styles. He explained how the work of Sistema Scotland provides children with a gift in strings with opportunity and lifelong experiences which will develop their creativity and musical ability. By providing avenues through classical music individuals from deprived areas gain vocational education, lifeskills, emotional, social and physical support. Providing routes for disadvantaged children with access to appropriate education will improve achievement and communication in society…………………………….. F. Cummings discussed a study by Jenevora Williams, where singers moved seamlessly between the classical study in which they had been trained, musical theatre and jazz styles. I have heard/read a similar journal report in dance. In the study the male ballet dancer taught in didactic style could only perform well in ballet where his muscle memory had developped. In contrast the student taught with a range of teaching styles and strategies they develop movement and understanding of musicality and artistry and could embody the dance movement required in all genre. Thus they became more informed appreciative and critical artists.
- Eona Craig, talked about how RCS had widened access through strategic planning inline with the Conservatoire title rather than college/University. RCS policies focus on vocational skills was to be supported by skills for learning, life and work. For example: Joseph Rowntree Research: Multi year, combined intervention focussing on People, Performance, Pace, Potential and Partners. Barriers to achievement were outlined as Disabled; Ethnic; Deprived; Young Carers; Prisoners; Access to work. She described how barriers were being addressed to promote learning for all and developments likely in the future. The focus was equality, direction and inclusion through creative pathways tailored to the needs of the individual. Further developments were to focus (SIMD) on supporting the transition from secondary to tertiary education with particular focus on deprived areas (I’m thinking North Ayrshire). Marketing method need to focus on marginalised and uninformed students including young white males who perform least well compared to their peers. The latter links with the rUK Ministerial Priority 2016.
PRACTITIONER ENQUIRY GROUPS
Linking to the PE essay (1500 words)
It was useful to hear different ideas from other groups during a brainstorming mindmap session. I was also noting the different approaches used. Some groups focussed on one point whilst others overviewed each point.