Investigating learning through developmental dance movement as a kinaesthetic tool in the Early Years Foundation Stage
2016 (English)In: Research in Dance Education, ISSN 1464-7893, E-ISSN 1470-1111, Vol. 17, no 3, 235-267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The understanding of the significance of movement to learning benefits from advances in neuroscience. This study considered a neurophysiological perspective in relation to the educational theory of Accelerated Learning (AL) for which little empirical evidence exists. Childhood development themes and learning strategies from a neurophysical-psychological viewpoint were investigated through the use of developmental dance movement (DDM) as a kinaesthetic tool over an eight-session programme with three early years practitioners and two reception classes in two UK primary schools. The research strategy included both qualitative and quantitative methods to capture examples of accelerated learning and transfer. Qualitative data from three semi-structured interviews with early years practitioners was based on their observations of intervention sessions on a whole-group level and selected case studies of children in their class. The data were analysed with the aim of addressing their views on the children’s learning, which influenced and elucidated the practitioners own learning outcomes. Quantitative methods utilised the Goodenough–Harris draw-a-person test with participating children to explore change in visual-motor integration and developmental maturity as a measure of accelerated learning and transfer. Findings supported neuroscientific research and highlighted useful and contradictory aspects of AL theory. Practitioners were able to identify benefits for pupils with specific learning needs. Case studies demonstrated accelerated learning through observed changed behaviour. T-test results from Aston index pre-post scored drawings showed significant differences (p = 0.005) in visual-motor integration and developmental maturity. It is concluded that DDM can provide opportunity for physical/cognitive advancement for young children.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 17, no 3, 235-267 p.
Research subject Social Sciences/Humanities
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4523DOI: 10.1080/14647893.2016.1204282ISI: 000387482300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-4523DiVA: diva2:951523