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Photo: Lars Andersson
Ninnie Andersson Photo: Lars Andersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Communication important for dance assessment

Published: 5 July 2016

Assessment of dance at secondary schools benefit from good communication with students and collegial conversations in the teacher group. The governing documents that form the basis for the assessments will however open the door to interpretation.

– Assessment of dance education is regulated by the control documents where what should be evaluated are presented. But not how this should be done. Despite this, teachers are expected to inform students about their effectiveness and the basis for grading, said Ninnie Andersson, a doctoral student at Luleå University of Technology. Her research was recently presented in the doctoral thesis Communication and Shared Understanding of Assessment: A phenomenological study of assessment in Swedish upper secondary dance education.

Important factor

The study showed that collegial conversation was considered very important for teachers as part of their efforts to overcome the difficulties with ranking in an artistic fields such as dance.

– It gives teachers the opportunity to get a consistency of concepts, progression and to become aware of their own perceptions of quality, says Ninnie Andersson.
In addition to that the thesis showed that the understanding between students and teachers is a very important factor for a good learning process.

– But for the communication of the assessment to be meaningful for the students it is required that there is an understanding of the importance of the communicated evaluation, says Ninnie Andersson and emphasizes the challenge of transferring aesthetic expression in dance to writing

– That is an individual challenge for each teacher, because the assessing situations are so different, and therefore there is not a finished recipe to follow.