Möguleikar dansins í kennslu

Danskennsla í grunnskólum landsins

What possibilities does dance have in Iceland‘s elementary schools for pupils ages 6 to 16?
A search for answers to that wery question is the subject of this twofold study.
On one hand, it is a qualitative study where focus group interviews were conducted with art dance teachers to examine their outlook, experiences and values about the possibilities of dance in public schools.
On the other hand, a quantitative study was carried out where a survey was sent out to all the public schools in Iceland and the status of dance teaching within the schools today was analyzed.
The study revealed that the art dance teachers have great faith in the importance and possibilities of dance as a full-fledged subject for all kids.
Expression, literacy, creativity, social skills and health were the topics listed among the most crucial ones dance had to offer. Their assessment is completely in line with the country's new education policy as well as the educational vision that has been presented in some western countries.
The focus groups discussions shed light on the urgent need and importance of developing a clear educational vision for dance in Iceland´s public schools.
The results of the study also revealed that dance is not taught as a full-fledged subject in public schools to a large extent. Nation wide, dance is only taught in 56% of them.
The study also indicates that only about half of the schools that do teach dance, teach it according to government learning standards and guided number of hours indicated in the National Curriculum Guide for public schools. It is therefore quite clear that a lot of work needs to be carried out concerning the shaping and strengthening of dance teaching in the country's public schools.
First of all, attracting more dance teachers to come work in public schools is necessary, increased support for those who begin working for those schools and ensuring an acceptable working environment. Understanding of the importance of dance as a subject needs to be strengthened amongst school principal's, professional collaboration between dance teachers needs to be promoted and continue to develop more learning materials for dance.
Last but not least, a change of mindset is needed within the public school system. It is quite clear that dance needs to be given an opportunity to grow and prosper in the country's schools on its own terms as a creative subject with an emphasis on organic thinking, perception and emotion.


Sandra Ómarsdóttir
fjardarsel11 [at] gmail.com
Advisor: Irma Gunnarsdóttir
Department of Arts Education