Being a professional dancer is not a prerequisite to “Dance with Data” at Temple’s new Center for Research in Dance Education (CRDE).
This central research database for arts education will soon be available to educators, students and schools across the country. The center, the first of its kind in the country, is a collaborative effort between Temple’s Department of Dance and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), an organization dedicated to dance education centered in the arts.
Programs Coordinator Elizabeth Seyler explained that the NDEO chose to collaborate with Temple “because it is one of a few schools in the nation with a doctoral program in dance and a strong dance research focus. All Temple graduate degree programs (EdM, MFA, PhD) emphasize the development of skills in curriculum, pedagogy and advocacy, and many Temple faculty, students and alumni are members of the NDEO.”
For the past two years Temple’s Dance Department and the NDEO have been preparing for the opening of the center and its main attraction, the Research in Dance Education database (RDEdb).
Members from the NDEO, as well as other educators, researchers and graduate students, celebrated the opening with a seminar and workshop entitled “Dancing with Data,” Jan. 16 and 17.
Dr. Robert Stroker, Dean of the Esther Boyer College of Music and Department of Dance, welcomed the group Friday evening, highlighting the historic significance of the event to the field of dance education. Participants gained hands-on experience with the new database and engaged in discussions about the future of dance education research and the CRDE.
“The center will support research in the department, the university, the local community and beyond,” said Acting Director Dr. Karen Bond. “Center projects, classes and conferences will aim to generate and disseminate new knowledge on dance across the range of educational contexts.”
Seyler added the center will “offer professional development programs, commission publications on dance education, and spread dance awareness not only to dance educators but to legislators, administrators and other policy-makers about the impacts of arts education on people of all ages.”
The Research in Dance Education database was funded by a $673,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. It contains more than 2,700 studies in dance education, including dance journals, theses and unpublished dissertations written since 1926, the year when the first dance degree program began at the University of Wisconsin.
It also allows users to analyze strengths, trends and gaps in dance education research and to identify future directions at a much higher level than ever before.
Information within the database is organized by issues, areas of service and populations served. Issues include topics such as brain research, children at risk, health, learning styles and standards.
Areas of service include advocacy, assessment, child development, history and technology. Studies in early childhood, K-12, higher education, policy makers, artists, seniors and world cultures all fall under populations served.
The database will continue to grow as new research is uncovered and produced. The center, which is still under construction, is located in room 413 of Vivacqua Hall on Temple’s Main Campus.
For more information about the NDEO/Temple University Center for Research in Dance Education, contact Seyler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-204-7613.
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