Link to RCS Short Proposal 02.05.16.

Practitioner Enquiry Short Proposal

I aim to reflect on my dance-science teaching and experiences using learning models of Schon, 1984; Gibb, 1988 and Kolb, 1984. My dance experiences and observations raised the question ‘how would I refine my dance artistry to develop lifelong learning of male dancers.’ Continuing reflection by observing and discussing with colleagues during online and weekend sessions, I gained valuable insight that enhanced critical educational thinking. This led me to question, ‘could I identify and measure key dance aspects and optimise warm-up protocols, teaching and content of male dance training?’ By looking back, I will challenge and transform pedagogy and curriculum by theorising based on literature and experimentation. Literature supports my enquiry. Curricular reform aimed to address Scotland’s attainment gap (Scottish Government, 2009). CfE-dance was introduced to support vocational and lifeskills (SQA, 2014) but boys remain underrepresented and resist 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 for warm-up stretching (Peck, et al, 2014). Enquiry would address literature gaps and empower stakeholders. 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 students, teachers and educational bodies based on observations, surveys and semi-structured interviews. Stratified probability sampling will reduce bias. Quantitative research involves male students in investigation of stretch type and enquiry by measuring jump pattern and range of motion. Random non-probability sampling will reduce variability. Qualitative interviews are likely to support guided-discovery teaching and dance-enquiry. Quantitative data from dynamic and combined stretches should show improved power and range-of-motion using enquiry and guided-discovery teaching. Findings could potentially fill the educational gap by supporting student fitness, enjoyment and attainment and assist teachers/institutions to monitor physical conditioning. Multi-stage dissemination expands dance-science enquiry beyond my lessons. Male student demonstrations encourage peer participation. Trialling strategies at workshops, networks and CPD conferences engages cluster schools. KA Leisure alliances foster community links. Enquiry supports my interests, policy and practice and 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:

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:

Kolb, D.A. 1984. Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Moss, S (2009) Dance: Incorporating Sports Movements Will get Boys Involved in Your Dance Unit. Physical Education Update. URL:

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 Government (2009) Curriculum for Excellence: Building the curriculum 4-Skills for learning, skills for life. Pages 1-44. Crown, Edinburgh

Scottish Qualifications Authority-SQA (2014) Higher Dance Course Support Notes. URL:

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