This study is about the interplay between identity, power, and the institution of schooling in dance. I examined educational domains to shed light on murkier aspects of dance education in K-12 school settings and higher education to better understand how power is reproduced in the classroom. In many ways, this current study illuminates my own radicalization as a dance educator committed to social justice work (Brown & Saeed, 2014). My teaching practice, as documented through written notes, memories, and my embodied knowledge, became the research site for this study. As I considered my process of analyzing data, I looked to the work of other researchers who used personal experience as data in educational research to guide me through the analysis (Britzman, 1999; Blom & Chaplin, 1982; Grumet, 1990; Haug et al., 1987; Cancienne & Snowber, 2009). My arts-based research falls under the paradigm of qualitative inquiry and draws heavily from three research traditions: autobiography, collective memory work and movement inquiry. Data analysis revealed salient examples of how dominant structures within schooling environments and the larger dance education tradition became sites not only for student resistance, but also for my own developing awareness of and dissatisfaction with current educational policy impacting dance students and my teaching practice. After examining the study results, I concluded that future K-12 educators must have the necessary means to: a) understand how schooling structures privilege or disadvantage dance students, b) identify institutional power and when it interrupts a teacher's pedagogy or curriculum, and c) analyze the dance education infrastructure to reveal exactly how mechanisms work in the community to maintain a highly functioning discourse. Paths toward licensure, from traditional models of teacher training programs to alternative avenues, should provide opportunities for preservice teachers to reflect upon grander institutional narratives that replicate the status quo in dance pedagogy and curriculum development.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2015. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Bequette James. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 164 pages.
Maloney Leaf, Betsy.
Understanding the Interplay Between Identity, Power, and the Institution of Schooling in K-12 Dance Education: One Dancer's Path Toward Change.
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