Dance as an educational art
Considerations on how to introduce educational dance into the school curriculum, as a disciplinary and transversal tool, came from Italian Legislative Decree 60/2017, which officialised the vertical components of the curriculum called “themes of creativity”, also including the “music and dance” component as a way of spreading interest in knowledge and critical thinking, including that deriving from dance. In addition, a proposal was made for educational institutions, as part of their autonomy, to provide, in the three-year education plan, theoretical and practical activities, including laboratory methods, study, in-depth analysis, production, use and exchange, in the artistic, […] dance and music fields (art. 2); references to dance can also be found in the National Guidelines. Research on educational dance as a language to be used for educational purposes, by promoting the subject’s integration of the physical, emotional, cognitive and relational dimensions to reconcile motor development with emotional evolution, is based on Piaget’s work. Through studies into the evolutionary age and theories on psychomotor development in children, Piaget explained the motor dimension’s role in learning processes.
Educational dance differs from motor activity – which essentially concerns an activity of gymnastics, sport or movement, the purpose of which is to train the body – by presenting itself in a holistic perspective so that, in a synergistic way, the conditions are activated both for education, intended as knowledge acquisition, and education of both the body and the mind. Dance can be rightfully considered a “peculiar educational subject, an effective opportunity to converge pedagogy, science and training activities” (Siciliani De Cumis, 2005), but educational dance can also be considered an educational mediator that, applied transversally on other subjects, allows for innovation in the curriculum (Odevaine, 2005). In this context, dance becomes a learning method, in a perspective close to Papertian constructionism according to which learning by doing is more productive.
- To define a curriculum for educational dance for early learning which, in line with the National Guidelines, highlights the competency goals, the learning objectives for each school-related step.
- To define educational and didactic solutions and proposals, which use educational dance as an educational mediator.
- To define observation protocols and to document educational activities in the choreutic field.
- Can a curriculum for educational dance be defined in terms of competency goals and learning objectives for first cycle of education?
- In what way and according to what theoretical and practical assumptions can educational dance be included in early learning schools in order to meet development requirements in fields of experience and skills so as to innovate the curriculum both horizontally and vertically?
- What kind of skills should be required of teachers to initiate educational dance courses in early learning schools? And, consequently, what kind of training?
- Teachers of first cycle of education, educators.