DANSMENNT í GRUNNSKÓLA
The history of dancing in Iceland is discussed in relation to cultural heritage. As in
other areas, the evolution and development of dancing is based on its roots in the
past. Dancing and knowledge of dance traditions can become an interesting source
for teaching children wich contributes to their cultural and social development in
A brief overview is given of the main characteristics of dance-curricula in its
aims and objectivs in UK, Norway and Iceland. In the UK and Norway dance is
classified with physical education and sports. In Iceland, dance is classified within
the arts in the new curriculum without defined time at the general time table. The
author deals mainly with two ways of solving this problem. One is a very short
course wihin the subject life skills and the other is based on the statement that the
classroom teacher should take care of dance education in his class. In that case, it is
uncertain how much instruction children will receive in dancing and which
curriculum materials will be used in schools that offer dance education. Several
problems are pointed out in both cases and some solutions are suggested to deal
with this issue, and questions raised. It is possible to teach dance in accordance
with the new laws and the aims and objectives of dance education by connecting it
with some other subjects taught in compulsory schooling. For that option to be
viable, classroom teachers will need to be allocated more time for preparation so
that teaching of other subjects will not suffer.
Suggestions are made on how teacher training can be developed to meet new
demands. A series of in-service courses are suggested where participation in one
course is a prerequisite for the next course. In addition, it is suggested that dance
education will be offered as an elective in general teacher education, followed by
opportunities for higher degrees.
It is pointed out that in addition to co-operation in the teaching of different
subjects and co-ordination of teaching materials it is also necessary to stimulate
creative thought in theme-work. In this way a systematic approach and a stimul-
ating learning environment can be used to expand the creative abilities of children.
The co-operation between different subjects calls for lateral thinking of teachers as
they find ways to put into action similar goals for related subjects.
Finally the need to give children a sound foundation and an overview of the
characteristics of various dance subjects is emphasised, the role of dance in modern
society and options in this area for the final years of compulsory education are
Sigríður Þ. Valgeirsdóttir
erfyrrverandi prófessor við Kennaraháskóla íslands.