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Title: A creative ethos : teaching and learning at the Cloud Gate Dance School in Taiwan
Author: Mead, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 3072
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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This study analyses the complex construction of creativity at the Cloud Gate Dance School in Taiwan by its leaders and specialist dance teachers, for its teachers and students. It focuses on the School’s Life Pulse and Pre-professional classes for 6 to 8 and 10 to 11 year-olds. The School was established in 1998 to provide dance education opportunities for all ages. Its leaders stress the importance of creativity and personal exploration. Yet, there is a paradox in that the high level of prescription in its highly structured and detailed curricula and pedagogy might be thought to be detrimental to creativity. This interpretative and qualitative study is concerned with understanding creativity as grounded in the perceptions of the School’s leaders and teachers. Data was gathered using a range of techniques including observations of lessons and interviews. This is critically analysed with reference to the School’s formal curricula and other printed documentation, the history of dance education in Taiwan, dance education theory and practice, and creativity theory. The study reveals that creativity at the School, a multifaceted and complex phenomenon, influences all aspects of dance teaching and learning, but that creativity and constraint can exist in tandem. For both teachers and students, creativity is founded on the acquisition of knowledge and skills and the development of positive affect and intrinsic motivation. Although often regarded as an individual construct, creativity at the School also has a significant collective dimension. Underpinning everything is the School’s ethos, which has at its core a concern with, and respect for, the worth and creativity of each individual, and a belief that dance education can be a means of developing the whole self. This ethos, shared by leaders, teachers, students, even parents, is visible in curricula; teaching and learning strategies; formal lesson planning and teacher improvisation; publicity and literature; personal attitudes, dispositions, and relationships; and the sense of community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available