"Out the box: Flamenco dance as educational." A Living Theory study of dance in primary education


This study arises out of my experiences of conducting flamenco dance workshops in a number of schools. During my visits I became concerned by what I observed happening in dance education at these schools. In discussion with the teachers I began to identify various challenges and constraints that had the effect of "boxing" dance in the formal education curriculum. I became concerned with the effect these "boxes" were having on dance education and I felt compelled to try and address some of the issues and challenges I observed. The diversity of cultures found in many urban schools that I visited, presents a tremendous challenge for educators wishing to include dance into their learning programmes. As a result dance is either not being offered at these schools or is approached in a tokenistic way. In many instances the teachers I spoke to were inadequately trained or ignorant of the requirements for dance in the formal curriculum. This study seeks to offer a way to address these issues.

In my research, I have reflected on some of the educational and social factors that I believe are challenging dance education in these schools. I have conducted a Qualitative Action Research with an Auto Ethnographic, Self Study approach using the Living Theory Methodology as a point of departure. I have used my knowledge of flamenco and dance education to open the "flamenco box" in order to introduce it to mainstream dance education in South Africa. I have come to term my approach "flamenco as educational". In accordance with the Living Theory Methodology I include personal and educational aims and values and through rhythm and flamenco dance reflect on the interconnectedness of existence. I use critical reflection to engage with the issues I observed influencing dance education in a multicultural learning environment.


You can download the Dissertation in the different chapters

Frontispiece, Abstract, List of Figures, Acknowledgement, Dedication. page 1

Introduction 11-24

Chapter 1 : Methodology : the "why" "what" and "how" of things 25

1.1 Methodology : The "why" 25-34
What is my epistemology/ontology and action plan? 35
How do I relate Self Study and Social Action? 36-37
How do I improve my learning as I use my knowledge and experience To design a course of flamenco dance that is educational? 37-39
1.2 Methodology : The "what" and "how" 39-41
The Flamenco "box" 41-43
Dance "boxes" in Education 44-50
Cultural and gender "boxes" 51
Assessment "boxes" 52-53
Unpacking the "box" 53-54
My learning moments during the pilot study 55-59
More "boxes" 59-63
Flamenco as educational 63-67

Chapter 2 : Data Analysis 68
2.1 Introduction 68-72
2.2 Respect Trust 72-80
2.3 Respect, Trust, Critique 80-86
2.4 Self Respect, Praise, Humour 86-89
2.5 Respect, Trust, Individual Ability 89-92
2.6 Trust, Group Work 92-93
2.7 Respect, Trust, Private Performance 93-95

Chapter 3 : Teaching Techniques 96

3.1 Warm-up, Circle 96-98
3.2 Inspiration 98-102
3.3 Reflection and Critique 103-104
3.4 Body Language 105-105
3.5 Repetition, Enjoyment 105-110
3.6 Assessment 111-113

Chapter 4 : The Group/Individual 114

4.1 Group Solidarity 114-116
4.2 Organic Relationships and Resonance 116-119
4.3 Integrated Individual Experience and Self Esteem 119-120
4.4 The Group as Sensitive Participant Observer 120-129
4.5 Individual Authenticity in the Group 129-134

Chapter 5 : Development of Individual Ability 135
5.1 Individual Affirmation, Body Language 135-141
The Individual in the Empathetic Group 141-146
The Non-participant 146-148
5.2 Authenticity in the Group 148-151
Leading and Following in the Group 151-155
5.3 Observation, Reflection, Progressive Learning in the Group 155-159
Empathetic Group, Suspended Teacher Intervention 159-162
5.4 Learning through Reflection in the Empathetic Group 162-165
5.5 The Group as Community of Truth 165-167

Chapter 6 : The Childrens Journals 168-205

Conclusion 206-210

Appendix 1 : Reflections of Drama Teacher 211-214

Appendix 2 : My journal of learning moments and reflections while watching class videos
: Class 1 215-227
Class 2 227-238
Class 3 238-246
Class 4 246-256
Class 5 256-263
Class 6 263-271
Class 7 271-278
Class 8 278-293
http://www.actionresearch.net/living/vargasmed/25-67.pdf: Week 1 294
Week 2 295
Week 3 296
Week 4 297

Appendix 4 : Personal Interview with Ramon Fernandez 298

Appendix 5 : Video Clips 1-77 298

Bibliography 299-304