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The challenges of providing a quality certificated dance education within secondary schools - findings from a comparative study exploring the experiences of eight English and Scottish dance teachers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalResearch In Dance Education
Early online date6 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2020


Whilst the fight for the inclusion of dance in schools has been an ongoing struggle, current government directives and educational policies present an even greater threat to the future of quality dance education in schools and this needs to be addressed. This paper begins to explore the certificated dance education currently on offer in the United Kingdom (UK) through teachers’ experiences of delivering the newly adapted GCSE (England) and National 5 (Scotland) dance curricula. Eight semi-structured interviews with dance teachers in England (n-4) and Scotland (n-4) were undertaken alongside documentary analysis in order to provide an initial understanding of the challenges and motivations for delivering these curricula. Smith-Autard’s Midway Model (2002) is often considered to be the exemplar of quality dance education and therefore the content, structure, and assessment approaches used in these teachers’ delivery of the curricula werecompared with those advocated in this model. The findings suggest the challenges faced by teachers may differ between the two contexts and revolve around level of prescription. Regarding structure specifically, this research recommends that policy-makers might consider increasing course length for certificated dance courses and establish better dialogue with practitioners prior to introducing new course designs and during inception.

    Research areas

  • dance education, National Curriculum, teachers, curriculum for excellence

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