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ERIC Number: EJ816020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
Using Folk Dance and Geography to Teach Interdisciplinary, Multicultural Subject Matter: A School-Based Study
Rovegno, Inez; Gregg, Madeleine
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v12 n3 p205-223 Nov 2007
Background: Many scholars have called for physical education to be part of interdisciplinary units at the elementary level. The study of Native American cultures is required in most North American elementary schools. Folk dance, however, has traditionally included Western European folk dances, square dance, and, more recently, line dancing. In our opinion, the omission of indigenous dance forms from the USA (Hawaiian and Native American Indian Tribal) and from other world cultures is problematic and perpetuates a curriculum that privileges White dance forms. With the call for pluralistic education and interdisciplinary units at the elementary level, it is incumbent on physical education and classroom teachers to collaborate in designing these units. Folk dance is undoubtedly a place where physical education can make a substantial contribution to the children's experience of the content. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe a research project focused on teaching a Native American folk dance unit integrated with a classroom unit called "People and the Land: Native Americans and their Environments" and to interrogate our curriculum decisions. We studied the meanings the children made in response to the subject matter we taught about Native American culture. We attempted to apply Cornelius' theoretical framework for respectfully teaching about cultures. Undergirding our instruction was our desire to honor the children's culture, Native American culture, and the children's developmental levels. Participants and setting: The unit was taught by the researchers, two White women, to a third grade class at a predominantly African American elementary school. Data collection and analysis: We followed standard qualitative research methods. We collected evidence from multiple sources, induced coding categories, and identified themes and critical incidents. Finally, we reflected on the themes and interrogated our teaching in relationship to the theoretical framework. Findings and interpretation: We describe the unit and provide evidence that the children learned the skills and information we taught. As we reflected on the unit, we came to recognize the ways in which our own cultural and subject matter ignorance limited the effectiveness of our teaching and even our ability to reflect on the quality of our unit. We discuss the roles our ignorance and our choices played in designing and teaching the unit.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; United States