ERIC Number: EJ1093870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Reference Count: 25
Dance Pedagogy: Backup Plan or Branch into the Future?
Journal of Dance Education, v16 n1 p20-26 2016
This article focuses on Lisa Wilson's recent teaching experiences at the School of Dance, University of Cape Town (UCT), where dance pedagogy courses are established curricular components of its two undergraduate programs, the three-year Diploma in Dance Education (DipEd) and the four-year Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree in dance. The DipEd prepares the student as a teacher of dance in two dance disciplines (contemporary and either classical ballet or African dance). The BMus degree, on the other hand, aims to prepare the performer, choreographer, researcher, or teacher through intensive studies in one of three focus streams: performance, research, or pedagogy. Ideally, students with significant interest in dance teaching would enroll in the DipEd program or the BMus pedagogy stream, and those with substantial interest in dance performance would enroll in the BMus performance stream. A recurring reality, however, at the School of Dance is that significant numbers of the annual student intake ultimately enroll in the DipEd program despite expressing dreams and aspirations of establishing a performance career during their audition process. This occurs primarily for two reasons. The first is that some students lack the minimum requirements for entry into the undergraduate degree program, and the other is that the longer degree study is simply unaffordable. Consequently, many students settle for enrollment in the DipEd program to have access to tertiary education. Despite program differences, all dance students experience the same number of daily technique classes, and all nonpedagogy students take at least one year-long dance pedagogy course. Students in the DipEd and BMus pedagogy programs undertake year-long dance pedagogy courses in each year of their studies. Each pedagogy course is a series of modules that not only explore dance teaching methodologies, but also theoretical and practical content related to educational theories about learning, curriculum, and child development, critical pedagogies that address larger social and cultural issues in dance education, and professional teacher development. As teacher and convener of several pedagogy courses, Wilson writes that she can posit anecdotally that some student artists settle well into the course content, whereas others struggle to fully immerse themselves in the learning experience. With their dreams and ambitions fixated on the concert stage, some student artists deeply resent having to take a mandatory dance pedagogy course. Wilson aims to demonstrate that dance pedagogy course content can be as vital to the construction of student artists as it is to student teachers. She also aims to make explicit several strategies she uses in practice to challenge this notion of artist-educator binary and to shift students' thinking from teaching as a decoy or default career plan to dance teaching as one of many branches to becoming an artist.
Descriptors: Dance Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Methods Courses, Undergraduate Study, Foreign Countries, Course Content, Teaching Methods, Artists, Student Teaching
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Cape Town)