Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Song And Dance To Raise Student Achievement?

Is there a place for square dancing in the teaching curriculum of this post-NCLB world? Or is this Arizona Pennsylvania story just another example taxpayer-dollars being wasted in the guise of professional development?
Area teachers are putting on their dancing shoes to encourage improved physical fitness and listening skills for their students.

As part of Mon Valley Learns' eighth annual Regional Professional Education Experience for the People Who Make Public Schools Work, teachers participated in a square-dancing workshop at McKeesport Area School District's Centennial Elementary.

The program was geared toward elementary-level teachers - showing them America's national dance of more than 200 years can provide students with a unique learning experience.

"I've been dancing in my music classes forever," Centennial music teacher Amy Urban said. "Not necessarily square dancing, but all kinds of folk dancing."

During Friday's workshop, co-hosted by Centennial physical education teacher Paul Bezeck, Urban told fellow teachers that children can learn how to apply everyday terms and basic skills while square dancing. The differences between circles and squares, left and right, clockwise and counterclockwise, and in and out are reinforced.

"Square dancing helps with their listening skills because they have to listen to the caller," Urban said.
Now... If only somebody in authority would pass legislation requiring parents to come to parent-teacher conferences when we need do discuss their children's academic needs, then I'll do a song-and-dance...
See our latest EduPosts and this date's Extra Credit Reading.