How did the students respond to the experience of learning history through dance, and what knowledge was retained?
Project or Program Summary
Please provide a summary of the project/program as demonstrated in the case study:
Looking at how three students absorbed and interpreted the learning presented in this residency with special attention to their understanding of what dance is and what dance teaches them about history.
Portfolio Purpose and Rational
Portfolio Purpose and Rationale: Why has this case study been submitted?:
We saw that these three students had a wide range of perspectives that helped paint a broad picture of the residency.
What are your overall conclusions regarding the documentation gathered for this case study?:
We gathered written responses, video and photos of the classes and video interviews. Although a wide range of documentation was gathered, there was only one written response, which was not suffienct to truly understand the scope of what the students were learning.
What conclusions have you drawn from the responses to the assessment tools you have developed?:
We realized that interviewing on video for this age group does not give us a complete picture of what they were thinking. We noticed that there was a level of self censorship and self doubt which is common for this age. When the interviewer was not a part of the learning process, the students' responses were influenced by their perspectives on authority. One student was simply looking to please and give responses that were "right," another student who has a history of challenging authority was mostly interested in giving responses that would shock the interviewer.
Answering the Inquiry Question
Back to the initial inquiry question, can it be answered?:
Yes. After viewing the interviews, it prompted us to go deeper and have every student write a response to the residency. Every student wrote, and we realized that most students, even those who were not as articulate in the video interviews, were making connections and were understanding the goals of the residency.
Conclusions: What Was Learned
What was learned?:
All three students were able to articulate the meaning of dance as a communicative tool using body and the elements to express meaning, but when asked about the connection to history, there were differing levels of understanding. Parker was very clear about how people dance can tell us about their beliefs and way of life, and also made personal connections to his experience. Avi made the connections, but didn't necessarily view them as valuable to his learning. Frida made a lot of specific connections, but didn't articulate the overall goal, which is developing a compassion and understanding for other cultures.
Conclusions: What Can Be Done Differently In The Future
What can be done differently in the future?:
We realized that when students experienced dances that were very culturally different from them, that it not only posed a physically challenge, but also the psychological challenge of accepting the dance as a legitimate art form. It challenges us as educators to figure out how to develop a framework that builds an apprecation for other cultures.
Conclusions: How Will This Inform The Work Moving Forward
How will this inform the work moving forward?:
We propose to do a weekly brief written reflection in addition to the interviews. In which students can express their thoughts, and keep track of the understandings they reach on a weekly basis.
Core Content Standards
Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
21st Century Learning Skills
Learning and Innovation / Creativity and Innovation:
Work Creatively with Others
National Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards: