An Auto-ethnographic Analysis of Power in a Behavior Analytic Informed Approach to Teaching Dance to Children
Behavior analysis is a scientific discipline that utilizes evidence-based teaching strategies to facilitate improvement in behavior, such as, the proficiency of a dance movement. The application of behavior analysis by dance educators has led to promising outcomes for dancers. However, it is important to critically analyze this emerging approach to dance education to understand the underlying implications. This auto-ethnographical research drew on a Foucauldian analysis of power in the behavior analytic informed teaching practices described by a recreational dance instructor. Elements of disciplinary power were embedded within this behavior analytic approach to dance education and productively managed the bodies of the child dancers across time, space, and movement. Dancers attaining performance outcomes was the focus of this pedagogy, which may have minimized the opportunity to recognize variation among the interests and needs of the children as dancers. Suggestions for dance educators to consider adopting in their teaching practices are discussed.
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