Dance in the curriculum

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    Child safe dance practices

    Children have a fundamental right to be safe while involved in dance, sport or associated activities and teachers need to be aware of their legal obligations.

    Booting the tutu: teachers and dance in the classroom

    Ralph Buck (National Institute for Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland) focuses on how we might develop sustainable dance education practice in the primary school classroom. He emphasises the importance of changing perceptions about dance in terms of the associations with femininity, ability, performance, mastery of skill and elitism.

    Dance learning in motion: global dance education

    Reports indicate that dance-learning experiences provided for young people in and outside schools impact positively upon young people’s learning in schools, as well as in pre-service and professional development programs for those who teach dance in various settings. Support of major dance organizations as well as the goals of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) affirm the importance of dance education and encourage the research and practice to provide lifelong and intergenerational learning in, about and through dance education. This paper describes the results of a survey questionnaire, which captures the narratives and contexts from lived experiences of university students and graduates in formal, informal and non-formal settings and how those are experienced. This initial study confirmed the power of dance and the significance of dance in peoples’ lives as well as deficiencies in the provision of dance for many.

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    Dance part of every young person’s education!

    Participating in dance provides creative, healthy and stimulating experiences for young Australians. Dance is now a part of the Australian Curriculm which means every young person will have the opportunity to experience dance. This offers huge potential for developing creativity and innovation across the curriculum.

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    Dance in the Australian Curriculum

    With the arts now part of the Australian Curriculum, we continue to promote dance as a key artform in alongside music, visual arts, drama and media arts.

    2011 Dance Education in Australian Schools Roundtable

    The 2011 Dance Education in Australian Schools (DEAS) roundtable focused on providing feedback to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the Draft Shape Paper: The Arts. The roundtable also heard from several speakers and organisations about their role in advocating for dance in the curriculum. The roundtable was facilitated by dance educator and author David Spurgeon.

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    Dance, young people and change

    Dance, Young People and Change brought together young people, parents, educators and others from around the world to share and consider the role of dance in young people’s lives. It provided critical evaluation and reflection on approaches to dance learning, teaching and curriculum for young people and offered opportunities to critique the relevance of dance for young people within education and community contexts.

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    National Advocates for Arts Education—November 2018 update

    The NAAE met in Sydney in September at the offices of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to have discussions with Arts Curriculum Specialist Helen Champion and Director of Curriculum, Janet Davy.

    Helen noted that ACARA was about to release Arts Learning Area advice to support the National Literacy and Numeracy progressions and that ACARA was starting to think generally about what learning progressions looked like in different learning areas; for example, what it means to progress in learning in the arts.

    Helen gave NAAE members a thorough briefing of current ACARA thinking, and requested feedback from member associations. At this point ACARA has no plans to develop an Arts Curriculum for Senior Secondary (Years 11 & 12).

    Janet Davy said that ACARA’s approved work plan from the Education Council included providing advice to ministers at the end of 2019 on options for the refinement of the Australian Curriculum. To inform that advice ACARA has established a research program that includes comparative studies with other countries.

    NAAE noted that members are looking to get something substantial and meaningful out of the research so we know what's actually going on in schools. We also need to know more about the emerging challenges, and the learnings that students are gaining. There is not a critical mass of data about student outcomes and teaching populations, which is a real missing link. Janet said that ACARA would be happy to support research led by the professions.

    After much discussion it was agreed to continue to work with ACARA on a range of issues, and to share information in support of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

    NAAE discussed the urgent need for a research project that included impact, review and evaluation of implementation of all five art forms, socio economic factors in public and independent schools etc. with particular emphasis on primary education. We need qualitative and quantitative data on the number of students and teachers, and case studies related to examples of implementation, e.g. how many of the five art forms are being implemented?

    It was agreed that such research should be considered in the context of a new strategic plan for NAAE, to be developed late in 2018 or early in 2019. This process would also include a review of the NAAE constitution.

    The rewriting of the NSW Arts curriculum was discussed, following a meeting by key NAAE members with Prof. Geoff Masters, who is leading the review of the NSW curriculum. Earlier in the year NAAE had also met with the NSW Education Minister, the Hon. Rob Stokes to express major concerns about the direction of the Arts curriculum.

    Following these meetings, each state association had been invited to bilateral meetings with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to discuss individual concerns, followed by group meetings with representatives from each of the state associations.

    The meetings were positive and productive and the state associations worked with NESA to find common ground and an agreed way forward. We understand that significant changes have been made to the Arts curriculum that reflect the consensus found during the targeted consultation meetings, and NAAE has written to Minister Stokes to thank him for his intervention.

    NAAE is also in the process of making a submission to the review of the NSW School Curriculum.

    Report by Julie Dyson, Chair

    National Advocates for Arts Education report—March 2017

    The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has had a very productive start to 2017, with the NAAE paper advocating for inclusion of the Arts in the STEM agenda being submitted to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the new economy. The paper was co-authored by John Saunders and Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), with input from all other artform members of NAAE, including dance educators Jeff Meiners (SA) and Sue Fox (Qld).

    While most people only refer to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) when discussing innovation and creativity, the Arts are considered in many countries to be an essential element of an innovative economy, hence the increasing advocacy for STEAM in Australia. We note with real concern that the arts were not included in the Federal Government’s original National Innovation & Science Agenda, nor do most submissions to the current inquiry mention the Arts.

    However, strong submissions were made for a STEAM agenda by several prominent organisations, including the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), the Australian Copyright Council, and Arts Educators, Practitioners & Researchers Australia, as well as several universities.

    NAAE wants to bring together all those advocates for STEAM and develop a new strategy for increasing the voice of the Arts in this country’s innovation agenda.

    To keep up with current NAAE agendas and discussions about future activities, go to our NAAE Facebook page and join the conversation.

    Julie Dyson – Chair

    National Advocates for Arts Education supports implementation of the Arts curriculum

    National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) met in Canberra on 19 & 20 June to discuss a range of outstanding issues affecting implementation of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. Several projects were identified that would assist classroom teachers, students, governments and other decision makers in the implementation process. NAAE plans to develop these projects in the coming months, and seek partnerships and funding to bring them to fruition. 

    I stand with the arts.Members of the National Advocates for Arts Education at the National Library Australia, 19 June 2016. Taking time out to #‎IStandWithTheArts‬ ‪#‎ArtsChangesLives‬ while talking Arts Education advocacy! L–R: John Saunders (Drama Australia), Roger Dunscombe (Australian Teachers of Media), Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), Bradley Merrick (Australian Society for Music Education), and Julie Dyson (NAAE chair).

    NAAE welcomes final endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

    The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) welcomes the endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by the Australian Education Council, and the release this week of the updated Australian Curriculum website (version 8.0).

    The NAAE, which represents the five art forms included as separate subjects in the curriculum, has been campaigning for seven years on behalf of arts educators across the country. The Arts were not initially included in the national curriculum at all, and this week therefore marks a significant occasion, when The Arts are not only in the curriculum, but they include all five art forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and the Visual Arts.

    NAAE welcomes ACARA’s response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, which had recommended a reduction of the Arts curriculum from five arts subject to two. In response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions.

    The Australian Curriculum: The Arts has already received international recognition as a leader in 21st Century curriculum. Australia is in the unique position of having an Arts curriculum that provides sequential development for each art form, achieving language cohesion without homogenisation, and using appropriately more specialised language in the secondary years. The curriculum provides teachers with information for implementation support across the five art forms.

    However, NAAE recognises that schools and teachers have flexibility to make decisions about how they teach the curriculum in accordance with the needs of their students, the requirements of their school and local curriculum authorities. We will continue to work on advocacy and implementation issues as the curriculum is rolled out across the country.

    Download the media release. (550 KB PDF)

    Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

    Today the Education Council endorsed the Australian Curriculum in eight learning areas, INCLUDING THE ARTS! Congratulations to all our NAAE colleagues, to Linda Lorenza, and to all the wonderful teachers out there who supported the consultation process and contributed their expert knowledge to the writing of the curriculum. What a fabulous outcome for the Arts and for Australian students everywhere!

    Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by Australian education Ministers is an exciting development, especially after the Pyne review recommended that five art forms in the draft curriculum be reduced to two. However, in response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject-specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions. Version 8.0 of the curriculum will be available on ACARA's website from 18 October.

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