Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2013 Issue »

    Learning to Dance

    The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.
    Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    When I was three years old, I was enrolled in my first ballet class. I loved the tights and tutus and pink, though a future in the ballet I did not have. I learned to plié and pas de bourrée, but, due to the dramatic nature of my untimely departure from the art form at the ripe age of nine, I developed a perception of myself as ungraceful. Not one for wallowing, I soon thereafter discovered my next and lasting passion: writing.

    I continued to admire dancers through my adolescence, entirely because my beautiful, poised, best friend was one. During high school dance assemblies—our all-girls’ school’s version of a rowdy sporting event—Shaina reminded me of the power of one’s body to speak; to me, hers spoke of the wonder of angles and the grace that I lacked. While Joan Acocella (2007) was not writing about Shaina, she could have been: “On the stage, particularly when they are moving to music, [dancers] can seem to us a dream of the perfect physical life, in which the body is capable of saying all that needs to be said” (p. 186). Throughout high school, I scribbled away pages of words that often echoed without meaning, while Shaina leaped and jumped and the world grew heavy with truth. When, in college, Shaina asked me to write poetry to complement her senior dance thesis, I began a self-conscious attempt to capture in words the theme that she had taken as her subject—the shift between our mode of expression when we leave the self-abandoned freedom of being alone and enter into the company of others.

    This is an excerpt from Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education.

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    Nicole Keller, a sixth-grade English and history teacher in New York, is interested in the creative and educational intersection of art, dance, and literature. She has recently contributed several chapters to a forthcoming book about the role of educational theory in museum education practice, coauthored by fellow Bank Street College of Education alumni. In addition to writing about the arts and museum education, she is working on a collection of thematic essays about her experiences as a newcomer to New York City.
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    Spring 2013 Issue


    Foreword: Exploding Parameters and an Expanded Embrace
    A Proposal for the Arts in Education in the Twenty-First Century
    Editors’ Introduction
    Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education
    Edward P. Clapp and Laura A. Edwards
    Expanding Our “Frames” of Mind for Education and the Arts
    Expanding Our Vision of Museum Education and Perception
    An Analysis of Three Case Studies of Independent Blind Arts Learners
    Universal Design for Learning and the Arts
    Don Glass, Anne Meyer, and David H. Rose
    Comics Arts-Based Educational Research
    Why the Arts Don’t Do Anything
    Toward a New Vision for Cultural Production in Education
    Afterword: The Turning of the Leaves
    Expanding Our Vision for the Arts in Education

    Book Notes

    The Learner-Directed Classroom
    Diane B. Jaquith and Nan E. Hathaway (Editors)

    Critical Aesthetic Pedagogy
    Yolanda Medina

    Hip Hop Genius
    Sam Seidel

    Design and Thinking
    Mu-Ming Tsai (Director)

    Changing Lives
    Tricia Tunstall

    Art Education Beyond the Classroom
    Alice Wexler (Editor)

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