MY UN-EDITTED VERSION
I aim to reflect on my dance-science teaching and experiences using learning models of Schon, 1984; Gibb, 1988 and Kolb, 1984. By observing, discussing and listening to colleagues’ feedback during online and weekend sessions, I gained valuable insight that enhanced critical educational thinking. My dance experiences and observations raised the question ‘how would I refine my dance artistry to develop lifelong learning of male dancers.’ Continuing reflection on my practice will stimulate my performance and inspire student engagement. This led me to question, ‘could I identify and measure key technical aspects of dance, reflect on warm-up protocols, identify teaching styles and devise active research to optimise male dance training?’ By looking back, I will challenge and transform areas of pedagogy and curriculum by theorising based on literature and experimentation in my practice and planned research. Literature supports my enquiry. Curricular reform addressed Scotland’s male attainment gap (Education Scotland, 2015a). CfE-dance was introduced to support vocational and lifeskills (SQA, 2012) but boys remain underrepresented in dance and resist the create-refine-appreciate nature of the curriculum and pedagogy (Gray, 2007). Novel initiatives for teaching boys focus on dance-fitness (Moss, 2009). The limited dance-fitness research is contradictory, particularly warm-up stretching (Peck, et al, 2014). Student and teacher enquiry could address literature gaps and empower dancers, teachers and institutions. I plan a mixed-methods approach in line with RCS Ethics Committee, Child Protection Legislation and BERA, 2011. Qualitative research will evaluate themes in idiographic responses of male/female students, teachers and educational bodies based on observations, surveys and semi-structured interviews before/after quantitative recordings. Stratified probability sampling will reduce bias. Quantitative research involves male dance students in investigation of stretch type and active involvement by measuring jump pattern and range of motion in controlled conditions. Random non-probability sampling will reduce variability. Interviews with stakeholders are likely to suggest application of teaching styles and active-learning methods and show dance-science enquiry develops understanding. Dynamic and combined stretches are likely to improve power and range-of-motion using guided-discovery teaching styles and engage males through enquiry or performance. Findings have potential to fill the educational gap by supporting student fitness, enjoyment and attainment and assist teachers and institutions to monitor physical conditioning. Multi-stage dissemination expands dance-science enquiry beyond my lessons. Demonstrations and workshops delivered by male students encourage peer participation. Professional discourse, observation and faculty meetings stimulate reflection and feedback. Trialling enquiry strategies at dance workshops, networks and CPD conferences will engage cluster schools. KA Leisure alliances foster dance-fitness links. My enquiry supports my interests, policy and practice and provides autonomy to drive professional progression and educational change.
British Educational Research Association [BERA] (2011) Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. 1-11, BERA London IBSN: 978-0946671-32-8 URL: https://www.bera.ac.uk/researchers-resources
Education Scotland (2015a) How Good Is Our School-4. 1-70 URL:http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/Images/HGIOS4_tcm4-870533.pdf
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.
Gray C (2007) Boys Don’t Dance: An examination of attitudes towards dance in Irish primary schools. MA Thesis. 1-79. URL: http://homepage.eircom.net/~dance/Boys_Dont_Dance.pdf
Kolb, D.A. 1984. Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Described within Healey, M. & Jenkins, A. (2000) Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and Its Application in Geography in Higher Education, Journal of Geography, 99,185-195.
Moss, S (2009) Dance: Incorporating Sports Movements Will get Boys Involved in Your Dance Unit. Physical Education Update. URL: http://www.physicaleducationupdate.com/public/534.cfm
Peck, E; Chomko, G; Gaz, DV and Farrell, AM (2014) The Effects of Stretching on Performance. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 13 (3) 179-185
Schon, DA. (1984). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Basic Books Inc, USA. IBSN: 0-475-06878-2.
Scottish Qualifications Authority-SQA (2014) Higher Dance Course Support Notes. URL:http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/CfE_CourseUnitSupportNotes_Higher_ExpressiveArts_Dance.pdf