Dance, drama and music : a foundation for education : a study on implementing the performing arts in the early years of education

Crowe, S 2006, Dance, drama and music : a foundation for education : a study on implementing the performing arts in the early years of education, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Dance, drama and music : a foundation for education : a study on implementing the performing arts in the early years of education
Author(s) Crowe, S
Year 2006
Abstract In the early years of education, the Performing Arts assume a particular significance as learning is both in and through the Arts. When appropriately managed, they are enjoyed in their own right, but also permeate other areas of the curriculum enabling greater relevance and meaning. The Performing Arts are an excellent means through which children, in their early years of schooling explore and express their feelings. Dance, drama and music are Arts disciplines through which children investigate ideas and exhibit opinions about their known and unknown world. The Performing Arts make an effective contribution to the personal and social development of children. The Performing Arts provide an interesting way for teaching young children the values which many adults believe are vital in today's society. Through the Arts children are able to develop social competencies. Participation in the Arts motivates and enhances young children's desire to learn. The Arts have an important role in inspiring and improving the w hole school environment.

This research investigated the teaching of the Performing Arts in primary schools in Catholic Education in the Northern Zone of the Diocese of Ballarat. Literature on curriculum development, education in early schooling, and delivery of the arts and education is examined, as well as the impact of the implementation of the Performing Arts stream of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards. Education of pre-service teachers and the continued professional development of experienced teachers is discussed as is the role of education systems in providing this teacher education.

Generalist (non-specialist) teachers from primary schools in the Northern Zone were surveyed and interviewed to establish the current situation regarding the Performing Arts in schools. Based on the literature and the data collected and analysed from the survey and interviews, a number of teaching for learning models were proposed. These models placed the child at the centre of the educational experience, linking the school to the community. The models were informed by current Government and Catholic Education policy. The various components included the current curriculum the Victorian Essential Learning Standards, the important roles played by the school, the teacher and parents. The importance of teacher education and further professional development to ensure the teacher has the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to implement a quality program was also an important aspect of the models.

Findings from the research established that many teachers had basic skills in teaching the different areas of Performing Arts, but lacked confidence in their ability to do so. Therefore, in a number of schools, programs in Performing Arts were either based around the annual school concert or were non-existent. Many teachers used simple Performing Arts activities as a means to teaching knowledge and skills in other curriculum areas.

As a result of the research findings and the model development, a resource to enable and assist in the teaching of the Performing Arts was developed for the teachers to implement an appropriate Performing Arts program in the early years of education.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Performing arts -- Study and teaching -- Victoria
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