The National Advocates for Arts Education is lobbying the Government to provide additional resources to support the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. Dance now has equal status with other art forms in the curriculum and needs resources to match the more traditional art forms like visual arts and music.
What does the curriculum need?
The dance curriculum will need primary school teachers who understand the principles of dance and who can introduce young people to creative expression through dance. Teachers will need basic training in movement skills, safe dance practice and appreciation.
We know that not many primary school teachers have these skills and that delivering dance to every child will be challenging for teachers and schools. Dance in secondary schools is more specialised, and more high-level teacher training will be needed if dance is to be a widely accessible art form in all secondary schools. To make this work, we need:
- Dance education included in primary teacher training courses.
- More secondary dance specialists trained by our tertiary institutions.
- Artists trained to work alongside teachers in schools
- Ongoing professional development for all teachers, but particularly for those in regional and remote communities.
- Research into the potential of the National Broadband Network (NBN) to deliver professional development.
- Dance companies funded to develop more education programs.
- Better access for teachers to artists-in-schools programs.
What can you do?
Write to the Minister for Education and Training (Hon Simon Birmingham MP) at Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600. Encourage the Minister to provide more support for teacher training in each of the five art forms (including dance). Tell them that as dance is now a valued part of every person’s education that offers creative, healthy and stimulating experiences for all Australians throughout their lives, dance education needs to properly resourced.
Visit your school principal and offer to support a dance program.
- Offer to work with teachers to develop their own programs (if you are suitably qualified).
- Identify a dance artist to work with teachers in the school.
- If there is a qualified dance educator in a local high school, suggest that a cluster of primary schools work with him or her on a primary school dance program.
- If you are an artist who wants to work in schools, complete the Ausdance skill set for Teaching Dance.
- Suggest that the school offer the Active After-school Communities dance module.
- Identify local dance schools in your area that may want to offer additional specialised training for gifted and talented students.
We want to hear from you! Keep us informed about your activities—sharing successes and ideas can only strengthen the voice for dance.