An Examination of Children’s Creativity and Learning in Dance Sample Essay

The intent of this paper is to look at the influences of societal interaction and larning environment on children’s creativeness in dance. Datas from two separate surveies are examined in which a sum of 37 fifth grade pupils created nine dances. This scrutiny aims to ( 1 ) place important elements of the schoolroom environment. which aided the students’ productiveness and cognitive activity ; and ( 2 ) expression at how on the job as a equal group affected the participants’ originative procedure. Theoretical Model

The designs of the two surveies under scrutiny are inspired by the doctrine of phenomenological hermeneutics. This tradition relies on a close textual analysis of survey participants’ experiences as expressed through their interviews and brooding authorship. In utilizing this attack to research children’s experiences in dance. I rely on the illustration of Bond and Deans ( 1997 ) . Bond ( 2001 ) . Bond and Richard ( 2005 ) . and Cone ( 2005 ) . My peculiar involvement in stand foring the child’s point of position besides links my work with the philosophical underpinnings of women’s rightist. inclusionary research in dance such as Stinson ( 1998 ) or Shapiro ( 1998 ) . These writers conduct research that acknowledges the child’s perceptual experiences of her ain actions as valid informations for analysis. Rather than sing the originative procedure entirely from the position of the outside research worker. this manner of research accepts the point of view of the kids who are topics of the research. Methodologically. my surveies relate closely to the work of Ference Marton ( 1984 ) .

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Marton’s work examines phenomena from educational pattern. an outgrowth of the parent methodological analysis phenomenology he has termed phenomenography. Research in this tradition looks at larning in a undertaking set by the research worker under a realistic state of affairs. Methodology ; The scenes for these phenomenographic surveies were two simple schools outside of Philadelphia where the writer was carry oning Artist in Residence undertakings in the schools. Artist in Residence plans allow professional creative persons in a assortment of artistic subjects in the ocular and executing humanistic disciplines to incorporate with school course of study. The intent of such plans is double. First. they give pupils an chance to interact with a working professional creative person. Second. most creative person in abode plans are strategically planned to augment a peculiar country of course of study of involvement to a collaborating instructor from a host school. For illustration. in my personal experience. I have legion times been brought to a school to heighten the linguistic communication arts course of study with dance and poesy undertakings. These residence plans have been popular tools for course of study integrating since the mid-1960s. Data was collected from the “core group” of each residence. 16 5th graders at one school and 21 at another.

These pupils attended a choreographic session with the research worker one time day-to-day for the 10 yearss of the Artist in Residence undertaking. Students self-selected to take part in the survey. supplying they returned the appropriate Institutional Review Board acquiescence signifiers with parent signature. Group makeup was surprisingly diverse. sing the serendipity involved in piecing its members. In school one. twelve misss and four male childs participated. Twelve of the pupils were Caucasic and four were African American. Two Giguere: Social Influences were having resource room support for hapless academic public presentation and three were enrolled in the talented instruction plan. Five pupils reported that they had dance studio experience ; one had participated in cultural dance lessons. and another in musical theater. In school two. 13 misss and eight male childs participated. Of these pupils one was Asiatic. one Hispanic. and 19 Caucasian. No information was available in school two for academic arrangements of the take parting kids

Over half self-reported that they had dance experience. although the makings for this experience varied from formal dance preparation to making dances on the resort area. No forms in the findings of the survey correlative specifically to gender or ethnicity. The pupils in the nucleus group were instructed by the research worker. who was besides the learning Artist in Residence. to make a dance based on a subject. There were no illustrations or modeling of the procedure given.

This was a calculated skip to guarantee that the originative procedure of the survey participants was every bit reliable as possible and to extinguish the potency that the pupils would follow the originative procedure suggested by the instructor and thereby pollute the findings of the survey. The lone aid given the kids was to supply them with a big sheet of paper and markers to enter their brainstorming procedure as they searched for a subject or subject for their dance. Core group members created dances in little groups for public presentations at their several schools. Four dances were created at school one. five dances were created at school two. Subjects ( or subjects ) created by the kids include Seasons. Mystery. Dragons. Music. Growth. Stars. Basketball. Fire and Monsters. Data collected came from four beginnings:

1. Videotapes of the choreographic Sessionss
2. Interviews with survey participants
3. Children’s day-to-day diary entries
4. Brainstorming sheets created on yearss one and two of each survey.


After written text. the informations were examined for “moments of significance. ” or phenomenological cases that illuminated the phenomenon of dance creative activity. General classs were defined from the specific minutes of significance collected. A class is defined as a nucleus property or indispensable quality of the phenomenon that emerges through hermeneutic reading ( McNamara. 1999 ) . The procedure of looking for minutes of significance and classs was repeated three times. bracketing old analysis each recursion. As a consequence of this procedure. several subcategories were discovered every bit good. A profile developed through this analysis. which describes the elaborate procedure of stage dancing for each of the nine survey groups. Once the children’s procedure was detailed. a concluding degree of analysis focused on the interaction of larning and dance creative activity by seeking for grounds of cognitive activity during dance creative activity. This concluding phase resulted in a elaborate numbering of specific cognitive schemes used by the kids. In entire. 391 minutes of intending were identified from survey one alone. These condensed down ab initio into 85 subcategories. which emerged as 7 major classs. These Numberss are presented here to demo the rich sum of informations that was gathered from the children’s experiences.

Recurrence of a minute of significance. or the frequence of a subcategory. nevertheless. in this qualitative research survey is non an indicant of importance. The fact that a behavior was present during the activity. instead than its comparative prevalence. was the focal point of this survey. I was interested in detecting what behaviours occur through this activity. non which were the most popular. It might be valuable. through farther research. to find what behaviors are most normally exhibited during originative dance activity. particularly when age. gender. experience and pedagogical factors are taken into consideration. Data and Findings ; Seven classs of intending were identified from the informations. each depicting a portion of the originative procedure as experienced by the kids in these surveies. In maintaining with the phenomenographic tradition. each class is titled by linguistic communication used by the survey participants. These seven classs are:

1. Making Movement
2. Forming the Motion
3. Knowing It’s Good
4. The Group
5. How It Feels
6. Awareness of Audience
7. New Experiences





Each of these seven classs contains several subcategories. The classs. briefly described are as follows: Making Movement describes the inside informations of how the pupils created the vocabulary of stairss and motions that were used in their dances. Some of the subcategories include improvisation. imitation. drama and the usage of props or imagination. The subcategory. imagination. for illustration. can be seen in the followers where the kids used the image of an dismay clock being put on “doze” as an illustration of how to jump freeze and moving: Milligram: The portion where you tapped each other and one individual went. and so another individual went – how did that come about? Giguere: Social Influences

G5: Oh – we figured it would sort of expression eldritch if we merely un-froze. so possibly we could wish. you know like an dismay. you can wish turn it on and it goes and so you turn it off and it stops. we sort of similar idea of that. ( G5-p2 ) . The class Forming the Motion shows how the kids structured the motion stuff they had created for their dances. Subcategories included outside sentiment. alteration and attending to construction. and several others. Attention to construction ( of the formations and sequences of the dances ) . which took topographic point throughout the choreographic procedure. can be seen in the illustration below. The kids decided who would dance and where they would travel before they decided on the existent motions: Milligram: Go in front. State me about your dance. What have you figured out so far? G5: We are all traveling to get down together and so we are traveling to turn over off- everybody but G7. She’s fall- she’s like the first. And she’ll axial rotation away and so G8 will travel following and do her thing.

And so me. I’ll do my thing and axial rotation and so G4. And so we do a portion with everyone together. ( 2. 0 ) Category three. cognizing it’s good. depict the aesthetic penchants of the dancer/ choreographers in each group. Frequently happening subcategories include comparing to an ideal. freshness or connexion to music. One common aesthetic penchant was for freshness. For illustration: G10: We were traveling to make something like cool and jazzy. and we came up with enigma and no 1 else was making it. ( Mystery-p1 ) . Another often happening subcategory was comparing to an ideal. Students judged their dances in comparing to an ideal absorbed from the wider civilization. This was a strong incentive. particularly for the Music group. who really much wanted their dance to look like hip-hop. Mystery and Seasons wanted their dances to look “cool” or in other ways fit in with the aesthetic values of the wider socio-cultural context. Some of the penchant for suiting in with the broad civilization may hold had to make with desiring to make a dance that would be popular with the audience. G1 noted:

G1: Most of the people that said they liked our dance because they liked hip-hop. ( Music-p1 ) Sometimes the ideal pupils were prosecuting was non that of society at big. but a personal ideal shared by the single choreographic group. All but the Music group noted that motion was good if it was approved or agreed upon by the full group.

The 4th class. The Group. inside informations group kineticss. Four functions. Facilitator/organizer. Critic. Loner. Compliant Follower emerged repeatedly. These were unstable functions that a terpsichorean would take on for a part of clip. Several pupils who wanted to force frontward a specific thought for the dance often assumed the function of Facilitator/Organizer. This country will be examined in more deepness in the treatment subdivision that appears subsequently in this paper.

Category five titled How it Feels. represents the students’ emotional responses to the choreographic experience. Emotional responses fell into four subcategories: Enjoyment ( merriment. satisfaction. pride ) . Fear. Embarrassment. Bing challenged. An Awareness of Audience emerged as the 6th class of significance. Students were witting of the audience’s reaction to what they were be aftering to execute. Responses fell into two subcategories: Desiring the audience to retrieve the dance. and Audience is the justice of what is good.

The concluding class. new experiences. lighted contrasts with the students’ old experiences of stage dancing. New experiences includes six sub-categories: Creating publically. More than one choreographer. Self-selected group. Variety of dance manners. Motion before music. No instructor intervention. Several pupils commented that they had ne’er earlier been in a dance that had more than one choreographer. This new experience highlighted two phenomena: the demand to compromise and the single dancer’s sense of bureau in their piece. As G10 explains:

G10: Um. I have been dancing for a long clip now. but. um. this was non precisely anything like what I did earlier now because. um. I was with my friends. figure one. And. um we made up the dance ourselves. So that was really different and really cool. I enjoyed it really. really much and I would wish to make it once more. ( G10-p2 ) While the seven classs uncovered in the informations analysis create a elaborate image of the dance creative activity procedure for the kids involved in these surveies. farther analysis gives us even more information on how this procedure relates to larning in the humanistic disciplines. and specifically the function of knowledge in the originative procedure. It is the author’s hope that foregrounding knowledge will light connexions between art creative activity and other sorts of acquisition.

With this purpose. the writer re-examined the seven classs. and the 60 six sub classs associated with them. for presence of cognitive activity. defined by Howard Gardner ( 1983 ) to be “thinking and larning that involves perceptual experience and conceptualisation. particularly that which involves symbolic cognition and the usage of notational systems” ( p. ten ) . When evaluated by this standard. four of the classs of intending bring to illume the phenomenon of knowledge during the originative procedure in dance. These four classs include Making Movement. Forming the Movement. Knowing It’s Good and The Group. The subcategories within these four classs that involve knowledge are included in the chart found under consequences below. Consequences

Complete informations analysis of school two is still underway at the clip of entry of this paper. but preliminary consequences indicate three primary decisions from the surveies: 1. Twenty seven of the subcategories found in the larger classs Making Movement. Forming the Movement and Knowing It’s Good include grounds of knowledge during the originative procedure in dance. and a elaborate description of the features of that cognitive activity. 2. Some of the cognitive schemes involved in the originative procedure in dance. as seen in these surveies. needed a group to put to death. and could non be done merely by an person. as exhibited by the chart below. 3. Students engaged in non merely verbal and gestural communicating. but besides a hybridized verbal and non-verbal signifier of communicating termed in the survey “active treatment. ” This appeared as a subcategory in multiple classs. Discussion

The most important deduction of these consequences is that to do maximum usage of knowledge during dance creation–that is. to do available to the kids all of the above listed strategies–dance creative activity should take topographic point in a little group environment. The really fact that the kids were working in a group puting. as opposed to working entirely. as with many originative undertakings assigned in a school scene. enhanced the cognitive value of the activity. All nine groups in the survey employed cognitive strategizing that would hold been impossible working entirely. The societal nature of the survey undertaking was a important influence on its effectivity for cognitive development. This societal facet of dance creative activity may supply chances for cognitive development because it is collaborative. Harmonizing to creativeness research workers Moran and John-Steiner ( 2003 ) coaction is “shared creative activity and find of two or more persons with complementary accomplishments interacting to make a shared apprehension that none had antecedently possessed or could hold known on their own” ( p 82 ) . True non all group undertakings are collaborative.

Harmonizing to Moran and John-Steiner ( 2003 ) the trademark of coaction are long-run battle. voluntary connexion. trust. dialogue. and a jointly chosen undertaking. This has deduction for course of study design ; non all group undertakings in dance would suit the above demands. Students placed into groups by the teacher and given specific required assignments may non go collaborative. For maximal cognitive benefit. the learning environment should include an open-ended originative assignment. which allows for the elements of true coaction to develop. Open-ended group dance undertakings can supply chances within the school course of study for cognitive development through coaction. The benefits of working collaboratively have besides been evidenced in the literature on concerted acquisition. Harmonizing to Robert Slavin ( 1996 ) cooperative larning refers to learning methods in which pupils work together in little groups to assist one another learn academic content.

While the assignment for this survey did non necessitate the pupils to larn content. it did incorporate many of the elements of concerted larning. such as positive mutuality. single answerability. face-to-face promotive interaction ( including trusting on a group for feedback. challenges and support ) . appropriate usage of group accomplishments and group processing ( Johnson. Johnson & A ; Smith. 1991 ) . These activities have shown positive correlativity to student accomplishment and attitudes about larning. peculiarly when compared to competitory or individualistic attempts ( Johnson. Johnson & A ; Roseth. 2010 ; Tsay & A ; Brady. 2010 ) . Possibly a stronger relationship can be drawn between the survey assignment given here and active acquisition teaching methods. which include both concerted acquisition and team-based paradigms. This broader class includes activities which can be described as a societal and informal procedure where thoughts are casually exchanged through pupil engagement and rational and interpersonal activities ( Menges & A ; Weimer. 1996 ) .

Most significantly. these activities require the participants to non merely do things. but besides analyze what they are making ( Bonwell & A ; Eison. 1991 ) . If the lone benefit to the pupils take parting in this survey were IJEA Vol. 12 Particular Issue 1. 5 – hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ijea. org/v12si1/ 10 those gleaned from group work. so it might be possible to reason that dance creative activity is another sphere in which concerted acquisition promotes academic success. While it seems the group consequence is powerful here. it is non the lone benefit seen from dance creative activity. Enhanced communicating accomplishments. societal accomplishments and the ability to job solve in a group—as opposed to get the hanging content in a group—were besides in grounds. as will be explained in the wining treatment points. A 2nd treatment point. and an country for farther probe. is the find of the phenomenon of “active treatment. ” While both verbal and non-verbal communicating would be expected in a group puting in which dance is being created. all nine groups in the surveies engaged in a hybridized signifier of communicating that involved traveling and talking to exemplify points of treatment.

While it could be argued that most verbal communicating includes non-verbal cuing and organic structure linguistic communication. the cases that fell under this class did non utilize prosaic motion or gesture. Examples of active treatment included times when pupils were dancing and traveling in absent ways as illustration of their verbal statement. Students demonstrated thoughts that they wanted to include in the dance. suggested formation alterations and experimented with constructs while both verbalising and traveling. This phenomenon suggests that embodied originative assignments have the potency for spread outing a students’ expressive capacity. Students synthesized multiple signifiers of communicating in an attempt to make significance and communicate to a equal group. It can be extrapolated that this heightened signifier of communicating is a societal phenomenon. In all cases in these surveies the usage of active treatment was facilitated by the necessity to pass on to a group. A 3rd treatment point centres on looking closely at the class The Group. and the societal functions contained at that place. Four distinguishable personalities emerged from the survey informations: Facilitator/organizer. Critic. Loner. Compliant Follower.

What is important about this find in footings of societal interactions and their consequence on acquisition. is that all four of these functions were necessary for the procedure to be productive. The idealised image of kids working harmoniously in little groups. would non be maximally productive. from the illustrations in these surveies. Much cognitively exciting activity took topographic point around the children’s treatments of aesthetic penchants and the ability of motion to convey significance. The function of critic was necessary to convey about this articulation in many cases. The presence of a “nay sayer” forced facilitator /organizers. and sometimes compliant followings. to support and analyse their picks. Another cardinal societal role—that of the loner—could hold brought about a important chance for learning kids about acquisition manners.

A few kids in each school puting preferred to improvize entirely and the semen back to their little group with motion stuff to lend. The most productive groups ( in footings of pupil satisfaction with the result ) tolerated this activity. giving the lone wolfs leeway to divide from the group. The least productive groups saw the loner’s desire to believe. detect or make in private as a desertion from the group and made repeated attempts to convey the “offender” back to the crease. In most instances this meant that the loner’s procedure was aborted and his/her part to the group was lost. Because of the nature of the methodological analysis in this survey. the author’s function as perceiver did non let for invasion into the procedure. A skilled instructor in this case. nevertheless. would hold had a clear docile minute to indicate out to the take parting kids the differences in individuals’ thought schemes and originative manners. thereby developing tolerance and possibly some meta-cognitive consciousness. Significance of Work

The consequences and decisions from this survey can be important for pedagogues by lighting important elements of the schoolroom environment related to group activity. which aid students’ productiveness and knowledge. Specifically. the fact that pupils were working in little groups. alternatively of by themselves. enhanced the assortment of cognitive strategizing that the kids used. This implies that embodied group originative work. if it is genuinely collaborative. can be of value in developing cognitive accomplishments in kids. Second. heightened communicating accomplishments were besides in grounds through the phenomenon of active treatment. which was besides merely possible by virtuousness of the collaborative group nature of the acquisition undertaking. Last. the continual function switching that took topographic point during the originative procedure maximized non merely cognitive ability but besides the chance for showing the value of differing believing manners to kids.

Deeper apprehension of the cognitive phenomena utilized by kids during dance creative activity could help our apprehension of how dance and other embodied larning paradigms can be used to heighten instruction and acquisition. Our farther apprehension of the group originative procedure and its collaborative nature has deductions for course of study design. The more we look closely at children’s embodied group originative procedure. the more we are able to craft assignments that enhance the acquisition environments for the participants. peculiarly with regard to the value of group undertakings.

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