Transformational Teaching in Dance

Transformational Teaching in Dance

Article by  Julianna Gaillard Hane  (MFA, CLMA), January 2015    Our society is now experiencing the affects of information overload. Notifications and blinking lights bombard us 24/7. Anyone with a smart phone can find out just about anything they could ever want to know via the Internet.   If our students can access information anytime, then why even have school? What does a teacher offer that no other system can?   The answer is meaning or purpose (Rosebrough and Leverett, 2011).   Only a teacher can show students how to think for themselves and use information for a greater purpose. Only mentorship can inspire meaning in life.   Mentorship contains a very important ingredient that no form of technology will ever reach – the human element.   The education process is not a dumping of information into an empty vessel, but the nurturing of transformation, as in peeling away the layers of an onion to reach its core. This process is also known as transformational teaching.   What is transformational teaching?   It is a holistic model of teaching where goals for student learning are academic, social, and spiritual in nature. The teacher acts as part scholar, part relater, and part practitioner modeling ways of thinking, feeling, and discerning a life purpose (Rosebrough and Leverett, 2011).   In the dance studio, transformational teaching involves two primary processes: Solving a problem (thinking), and Reflecting on its meaning (feeling).   Take a look at this dance choreography unit on gossip and bullying.   Gossip and bullying stem from the human desire to belong. Each dancer will create a still tableau of...