Brenda McCutchen—Guest Teacher at University of Northern Colorado

Brenda McCutchen—Guest Teacher at University of Northern Colorado

“Brenda McCutchen—Guest Teacher at University of Northern Colorado” August 29, 2016 Brenda McCutchen spent part of July in Greeley, Colorado as guest professor at the University of Northern Colorado.  She was invited by Dr. Sandra Minton and Ms. Christy McConnell-Black who co-direct the graduate program which offers a master’s degree in dance education.  McCutchen spent time with both cohorts of graduate students to investigate the art and the science of dance pedagogy.   Because the McCutchen textbook–Teaching Dance as Art in Education—is the main text for both cohorts in the degree program, she provided insights on how varied components from the text strategically interact to reinforce each other and how they overlay to accomplish multiple goals at once.  The cohorts learned how to combine these different aspects to accomplish more in less time than if addressed separately.  Experiential sessions demonstrated methods that also turned pedagogical dance theory into dynamic practice and informed our process.   The advanced students absorbed the 6DC model as a descriptive model of best practice (instead of being a prescriptive model).  Thus they were empowered to make their own contribution to dance education in a way that suits their student population, within the parameters of these defining characteristics and the standards guidelines.   Both cohorts examined the 6DC model of educational dance presented in TDAE  to determine how all six defining characteristic impact the educational value of dance in a K-12 curriculum.  The six defining characteristics then became the basis for a three-dimensional matrix. This pedagogical matrix sets out to overlay the four artistic processes of dance’s cornerstone disciplines, the four areas of student development in dance, and...
The 6 Defining Characteristics of Holistic Dance Education

The 6 Defining Characteristics of Holistic Dance Education

“The 6 Defining Characteristics of Holistic Dance Education” By Julianna Hane, Guest Blogger Feb. 15, 2015   We live in a society where is it not uncommon for people to blame others for their problems. Dumping responsibility onto other people and playing the victim are all the new gimmicks for getting out of Dodge. Unfortunately, these quick-fix solutions not only harm others, but they eventually harm the individual. People who play the victim are susceptible to brainwashing, because they do not value thinking for themselves and making their own choices. So what’s a dance educator to do?   How do we solve this problem?   We as teachers can value students’ voices and show them how to think for themselves. We can demand that students take responsibility for their own thoughts and actions through democratic teaching.   What is democratic pedagogy?   It is a teaching philosophy that empowers students to think and speak for themselves while also being considerate of others. John Dewey believed in treating every student as morally equal, capable of forming intelligent opinions, and most effective when collaborating with others (MacMath, 2008).*   But won’t the kids get out of control?   While some might argue that allowing students to make choices for themselves is a passive approach to education, this philosophy is everything but. The teacher needs to structure the lesson so students get a say in aspects of their learning, but in way that is productive for everyone.   By guiding students to make choices relevant to the class context, students take responsibility. In other words, they own it.   What will the...