1 results for Ashley, Linda

  • Teaching Dance from Contextual Perspectives in the New Zealand Curriculum: Concerns, Dilemmas and Opportunities in Theory and Practice.

    Ashley, Linda (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    This thesis investigates the concerns, dilemmas and opportunities that teachers associated with teaching culturally diverse dances from contextual perspectives. This topic was identified as timely because of the inclusion of a separate Understanding Dance in Context Strand in The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2000). Issues surrounding how to teach, which dances to teach, and who is teaching dance from contextual perspectives, are examined throughout this investigation. Building on previous research into dance education, this inquiry aims to inform and support the development of pedagogy in the teaching of dance in schools in New Zealand. Drawing on relevant literature from dance education, historical background, theories and pedagogies are examined. Literature from a range of other fields is also reviewed, including anthropology, ethnography, educational philosophy and cultural theory. Attention is drawn to how theories from these fields impact on teaching of dance contextually, in terms of ethical treatment of the traditions of others and how theory and practice interface. An ethnographic investigation in New Zealand was designed from within an interpretive paradigm to collect data from teachers, dance educators and dance specialists. These voices are at the heart of this inquiry. The methods used to collect data were: as participant observer on an in-service dance education course; questionnaires; and focus groups. The data collected from the dance specialists and tertiary dance educators produced some contrasting perspectives to those of the teachers. Grounded theory provided a systematic process of analysing data using constant comparison. It became apparent that the theoretical and practical expectations associated with teaching dance contextually differed from teaching creative dance or teaching for skill acquisition. However, the latter teaching strategies were also associated with teaching dance contextually, in what was found to be a complex nexus of concerns, dilemmas and opportunities. Moreover, the difficulties encountered by teachers in this study, as they engaged with this nexus, resulted in some teachers not teaching dance contextually and this does not meet expectations of the Curriculum. A key finding of this inquiry is how creative discovery learning can operate in the teaching of culturally diverse dances from contextual perspectives.

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