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Visual Culture in Schools

Building responsive cultures in the dance class is an approach to curriculum used by dance educators and classroom teachers which promotes the personal and social integration of knowledge through the organization of curriculum around significant ideas and issues, collaboratively identified by educators and young people.  The underlying assumption to this approach is that collaboratively planned themes carried out by research teams of teachers, student and community members together, support students development of skills related to reflective practice, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and social action (Beane, 1995; Paul & Elder, 2002; Kushner, 2006; 2009, Zubizarreta).  


Building responsive cultures locate issues at the center of curricula. The curriculum model applies principles of responsive teaching, which are (a) collaboration in the structure of learning situation, (b) construction of shared meaning and the (c) utilization of various methods of teaching ranging from non-directive to directive.  (Nosich, 2009). Typical dance classroom praise student’s athletic prowess yet provide little opportunity for students to share ideas, voice opinions and articulate what they think and what they believe (Bracey, 2004; Bond & Stinson 2007).  Responsive collaborative instruction focuses on layered, complex ideas and taking the time to delve in to the student’s personal and emotional connections, ideas and beliefs, and needs and desires for achieving change.

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