Thesis

Understanding reinforcements among students in a high school dance class and its relation to their confidence and creativity

The study of dance and its teaching styles in high school classrooms have not been explored in great depth to date, the results did not show a significant difference or change since there had been no prior data to support or reject the hypothesis. In this study, on average, the students slightly increased their attitudes toward the process of learning dance and produced visible levels of creativity during the eight week dance course. Students attended class daily, five days a week. As a note, the levels of creativity were measured based on students’ attitudes toward their experience in the classroom, which carries bias and inaccurate information. For example, students that experienced having experienced working with a student not in their circle of friends can sometimes generalize that single experience to the class as a whole. Previous measurements of creativity were found to be measured through the act of engagement and emotional output of the students, which is difficult to measure. The data also indicated that there was a slight increase in students’ confidence among twenty-one participants. Again, also recorded through students’ responses. The creative output remained visibly constant throughout the program where most of the students responded to feeling at least a little comfortable choreographing. Conclusion The results of the study show that specific instructional reinforcements can be an effective way to instruct students in a dance class. The instructor’s high use of specific and general classroom instruction could be an indicator for the increased attitudes toward dance and could be a factor in promotion of creativity levels. However, the study did not isolate factors that could have also been responsible for the changes that took place further adding to neither accepting the correlation nor rejecting it. The null hypothesis that positive reinforcements would not affect confidence and creativity levels can be further explored and observed hopefully lending more concrete evidence enriching the field of dance and the teaching methodologies that can support the students and their learning processes. There simply was not enough data to support it.

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