Developing units of work: Water study


Image by Laszlo Ilyes

The development of our first unit of work integrating dance practices has begun!

In our first unit of work specifically developed for the Australian Arts curriculum, we will use a thematic idea to effectively integrate dance practices. This is one of many approaches to programming that you can take, and we will look at other approaches as we develop more dance activities.

Go to Dancing Capital where you will find the developing unit of work. So far we have done a curriculum mapping of content that will be addressed for Years 5/6, Years 7/8 and Years 9/10; and have developed the first dance activity on the theme of ‘water’.


Integrating dance practices in the classroom


Photo by Bill Gantz (License: Attribution, No Derivative Works)

Still no final Australian arts curriculum! It is due ‘late 2013’ for voluntary implementation in 2014—that’s cutting it very fine for schools that do hope to use it next year!

Anyway, I can’t wait any longer. So I thought I would tackle a few of the big picture implementation issues while I wait for the finished package.

Here, on Violet’s blog, I’ll provide some short bites of questions, ideas and thoughts around possible implementation issues. On Dancing Capital, we’ll flesh those ideas out into teaching strategies and units of work.

Integrating practices

The practices (or applied skills and knowledge learnt through dance) are called ‘choreographing‘, ‘performing‘ and ‘appreciating‘ in the current curriculum draft. Teachers are advised in the draft that dance skills are best developed when the techniques and processes inherent in these practices are ‘integrated’ (p.33).

Easier said than done

In my experience, this is easier said than done. There are lots of reasons why you should do it, and hard slog to integrate practices effectively and appropriately.

We’ll begin with some questions to open the field around the issue:

Curly questions

What is difficult about integrating practices?
What is easy about integrating practices?
What does it look like in a classroom?
Is it OK to teach and learn in only one practice sometimes?
Can different teacher and learner approaches exist?
What is to be gained by integration, or conversely, lost by not integrating?

Let’s take those questions one by one. Next blog post will deal with what is difficult about integrating practices in teaching and learning.

See you then!