An investigation and critical analysis of a dance specialist’s contribution to dance education in an English primary school
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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This research study was designed to investigate the roles and contributions a dance specialist has within dance education in English primary schools. In light of the current educational developments this study explored a hypothesis that the contributions a dance specialist can have were not being fully utilised, which was derived from informal researcher observation. Data was collected through eight semi-structured interviews with dance specialists, school headteachers and a 'social impact company' to discover whether the representation within the literature was valid in reality whilst providing practical and personal insights into the experiences of the professionals relating to this study. The collected data was critically analysed and observations made about the current situation. Eight key areas of dance specialist contributions were identified by the participants and corroborated by the literature, which included subject knowledge, enthusiasm and class teacher professional development opportunities. However factors were acknowledged and discussed which limited the utilisation of these contributions by dictating the structure and timescale of dance specialist employment, such as teaching knowledge, legal frameworks and resource availability. In order for the contributions of dance specialists to be maximised for pupils to gain full benefit, these factors must be reduced; future research should address the possibilities of doing so.
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