Macquarie University
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The 'how' of primary dance education: approaches to dance pedagogy

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posted on 2022-03-28, 20:15 authored by Katelyn Thorn
This thesis aims to uncover the past, present and future of dance pedagogy in New South Wales (NSW) Public Primary Schools, Australia. The goal is to understand how dance education was and is being conducted in the Primary K-6 education context, to then reveal its potential for the future. Firstly, this thesis explores the current approaches taken to dance pedagogy within the NSW primary education system. It identifies what pedagogical models teachers are currently employing for teaching dance, as part of the Creative Arts (Board of Studies 2006) and Personal Development, Health and Education (PDHPE) (Board of Studies 2014) Syllabi. Four teachers across the primary sector have provided qualitative data, via interviews and programming samples to determine current pedagogical approaches. The data identifies how teachers are implementing dance education, and if they are having difficulties why this may be the case. Secondly, this research develops a pedagogical model that provides teachers with the tools to effectively implement dance in the primary school context. An experiential analysis-through a phenomenological self-case study of the implementation of this model in my current workplace, a primary school in the South Western region of Sydney, NSW-has been conducted to determine the suitability of this model. The model is supported by current research in dance models, with a collaborative focus on the Education Model of Rudolf Laban (1948) and the Creative Dance Model of Anne Green Gilbert (2015). It has been customised to support the Australian Primary Syllabus requirements, of both the Creative Arts (Board of Studies 2006) and PDHPE (Board of Studies 2014) Syllabi. The pedagogical model includes a step by step lesson structure that can be easily adapted to the teaching of a multitude of dance concepts. This research offers an accessible pedagogical model for future implementation of dance curriculum in NSW primary schools. By providing teachers with a more user-friendly model, it supports and encourages greater understanding and confidence for teachers, and ultimately students, to engage with dance content. Thus, potentially the perception of dance in the primary education context can chnge -- abstract.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. 'The 'Was' of dance pedagogy': literature review -- Chapter 2. 'The 'Now' of dance pedagogy': qualitative data and analysis -- Chapter 3. 'The 'Future' of dance pedagogy': model creation and experiential analysis -- Conclusion -- Bibliography -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 58-61

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award



Copyright Katelyn Thorn 2019.




1 online resource (vii, 106 pages)

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