The experiences of a high school dance curriculum on student engagement
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This qualitative study explored six post high school students' experiences within one high school Dance Academy program, over a four-year period, to learn if their dance experiences promoted student engagement. Student engagement occurs when students are invested in their learning, is the product of motivation and active learning, and is linked to student success. Semi-structured individual and group interviews were used as instruments of data collection and the data was transcribed and analyzed. Four main themes emerged from this study in relation to the students' experiences within the Dance Academy in relation to student engagement: 1) increased self-confidence, 2) healthy relationships amongst peers and with their teacher, 3) a sense of belonging, and 4) increased feelings if self-worth. The outcomes from this study indicate that dance, as part of a high school curriculum, was advantageous in providing these students with a unique learning experience that increased their relationship with the curriculum and fostered student engagement. Further research on the implications of teaching the arts, and in particular dance, in high school could benefit curricular programming and pedagogical practice.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
CommitteePushor, Debbie; Wilson, Jay; Claypool, Tim
Copyright DateJune 2014
Key words: high school
sense of belonging