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Lafour Prima Dance

Friday, 15 January 2010

Teachers need to be effective communicators of their subject

The title contains an obvious statement and one which rings true in many an individuals' personal experience as student or teacher - or both.

As a student of dance, to be told by a teacher that a particular movement is not being performed correctly can be frustrating (even depressing) if the observation is not followed through with practical advice to enable the student to identify the problem and then work towards correction.
There are dance teachers who rely on their own proficient demonstration as a means of communicating knowledge of their subject to their students. In my experience this can only ever achieve limited success. The aim of the teacher is to assist students in the mastery of dance technique and artistic performance. The vital skill of identifying the faulty execution of a movement and then communicating methods of correction in such a way that students can understand is not always evident in the teaching practices of even the most 'qualified' dance teachers. There are teachers whose personal demonstration is of a highly commendable standard but who cannot understand or see for themselves why their students are unable to achieve a similar standard.
If teachers are either frustrated by the slow improvement or despairing of the no improvement in the students that they teach I would challenge them to look again at their own methods of communication.

  • Why aren't the students making progress as expected?
  • What don't they understand?
  • What can be done to help them understand?


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