Creativity within late primary age dance education : unlocking expert specialist dance teachers' conceptions and approaches
This study is a qualitative interpretive investigation of three expert specialist dance teachers' conceptions of and approaches to creativity with late primary age children in England carried out using a multi-case case study approach. These specialists were working in a variety of educational settings and had extensive experience as dance educators with some degree of experience, past or present, of creating and/or performing as dance artists. The study was carried out in order to increase understanding of expert specialist dance teachers' conceptions of and approaches to creativity, and how these relate to theories of creativity and teacher knowledge from within dance education and wider relevant education literature, particularly in light of the creativity agenda in England stemming from the NACCCE Report (1999). The purpose of this study was firstly exploratory and illustrative with the exploration of Foundations for Creativity; Creativity as Individual, Collaborative and Communal; and Creating the Dance underpinning the explanation of Teaching for Creativity: Spectra of Approaches and Shaping Influences. These findings were compared with existing literature and contribute to the field In a number of ways. Firstly, they provide: an 'image of the possible' from these experts of an embodied socially constructed way of knowing and accompanying pedagogy as foundational to creativity in primary age dance education, which is also potentially pertinent to wider primary education; an argument for moving beyond individualised conceptions of creativity to embrace deeper understanding of the dynamics of creativity as collaborative and communal within dance and wider education; and a teacher-derived image of the creative process which reinforces arguments against 'over-assuming'the commonalities of creativity across domains. Secondly, the findings offer a possible pedagogical toolkit for teaching for creativity in primary age dance education including three pedagogical spectra, images of their possible use in action, and details of the dilemmas faced and overcome using professional practical knowledge, which may also be applicable in wider educational settings. And, thirdly, the findings contribute to understanding how the dance teachers' practical knowledge in relation to creativity developed through reframing, leading to an argument for wellsupported reflective practice within specialist dance teacher training and CPD as a key way of contributing to the professionalisation of their work.