Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Two teachers with contrasting training and teaching approaches bring rich dance experiences to students at their arts-based schools:

  • At Lusher Alternative Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, lifelong dancer and dance educator Kathy DeJean works with an auditioned troupe of second- to fifth-graders as they create a journey in dance — brainstorming where they will travel, why they are going, and what they are feeling. The group explores how to use shape, space, and time to express these ideas with their bodies. DeJean also shares her insights on some benefits of dance education.

  • At P.S. 156, The Waverly School of the Arts in Brooklyn, New York, former physical education teacher Scott Pivnik now teaches dance and movement. His class of second-graders is learning a West African dance that ties in with a schoolwide African strand unit of study. The children locate the dance’s country of origin on a map, discuss the cultural context of the dance and its rhythms, and write about what they learn. Then students explore the dance’s movement, first with their feet, then with their arms and upper bodies. Pivnik believes that learning and performing dance motivates students and promotes their self-esteem.

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