A case study of effective dance instruction for the deaf
Park, Young Ha
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The purpose of this study was to analyze a case of effective dance instruction for the individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. A great deal of research has examined instructional methods for dance students as a whole; however, little has addressed specific instruction to dancers who are hearing impaired. This research focused on instructional methods used when teaching dance to students with hearing impairments and identified effective dance instruction for students with hearing impairments. Through a qualitative case study, hearing impaired students and the instructors from the AIT/Royal Dance Company (pseudonym) participated. The study used multiple qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews; observations; and document analysis. In order to identify and interpret patterns and themes, all students were interviewed and their classes observed. Data from all sources were analyzed inductively. Four main themes emerged from data analysis of this study: sequential presentation leads to sequential learning; repetition is powerful; judiciously active instruction is beneficial; and friendly environment is essential. The teacher’s sequential presentation -- showing a physical demonstration and visual count, giving extra time, explaining detail skills, and the quality of the movement -- led to effective sequential learning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing dancers. When the teacher presented a physical demonstration and visual count, it effectively led deaf and hard-of-hearing dancers to perceive movement and rhythm; when the teacher provided extra time, it effectively led deaf and hard-of-hearing dancers to find solutions to their problem such as communicating with others or practicing; when the teacher provided rhythm cues such as loud music, pre-counting, and manual count, this effectively helped the deaf and hard-of-hearing dancers keep their inner count; when the teacher provided the explanation of detail skills or the quality of the movement, this helped the deaf and hard-of-hearing dancers understand the movement effectively and develop the skills and the quality of movement successfully. Maximizing the number of times of repetition allowed hearing impaired dancers to improve in movement skills and memorization and to increase movement confidence. Judiciously active instruction includes visual instruction, kinesthetic instruction, linguistic instruction, encouragement, music choice and usage, and various instructional styles. These instructions are effective to both hearing and hearing impaired dancers. However, judiciously active instruction requires prerequisite when using these instruction effectively for the deaf. Judiciously active instruction with prerequisite built an effective learning environment for hearing impaired dancers that led dancers to effectively learn dance while reducing the obstacles in their learning process. Moreover, Friendly environment of the class is essential not only leading students to a comfortable setting to participate in their learning, but also to enhance of teaching and learning experience. This study found effective factors that can used to build friendly environment in the dance class especially for the deaf; emotional environment and physical environment. These four themes illustrate ways in which the hearing impaired learned dance and thus provide a clearer picture of teaching strategies which might meet their particular need.