CREATING A DANCING CLASSROOM: UNDERSTANDING IN WHAT WAYS INTEGRATING DANCE INTO THE CLASSROOM CREATES OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION, IMPACTS CLASSROOM CULTURE, AND ENHANCES STUDENT OUTCOMES
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Ross Campsey, Maria. Creating A Dancing Classroom: Understanding in What Ways Integrating Dance into the Classroom Creates Opportunities for Differentiated Instruction, Impacts Classroom Culture, and Enhances Student Outcomes. Unpublished Master of Arts thesis, University of Northern Colorado, 2019. The aim of this thesis project was to explore the effects of and response to an integrated arts approach that utilized movement and dance to teach a non-dance curriculum. The focus of this descriptive study was to understand the educational benefits of an arts integrated approach to education using movement and dance. The researcher employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze data from twenty-two first-grade students, two classroom teachers, and the researcher’s observations. The researcher posed the following three research questions in this thesis: Q1 Did the movement and dance integrated arts approach help students understand academic concepts? Q2 Did the movement and dance integrated arts approach promote differentiated instruction by delivering content that appeals to students with different learning styles? Q3 What effect or outcome did the integrated arts teaching approach using movement and dance seem to have on classroom culture in terms of morale, attendance, and discipline? In addition, the researcher hoped to inform educators and administrators of the potential benefits of using an arts integrated approach in the classroom that included movement and dance and to advocate for dance education in schools. It is important to note the limitations associated with this study which may have impacted the findings. First, the researcher also served as the teaching artist. Second, the research instruments used in this study were created by the researcher and were not validated. Additionally, the short duration of the study posed another limitation as did the fact that several student participants were absent for a large portion of the study due to illness, thus limiting the number of participants. Only responses from participants who were present for the entire study were evaluated in this study. Additional research is needed to better understand the impact arts integration using movement and dance has on the classroom as well as to explore its effects on student learning outcomes, opportunities for differentiated instruction, and impact on classroom culture.