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How Dance Might Increase Learning

How Dance Might Increase Learning

Researchers have long recognized the direct impact emotions have on teaching and learning for children. Both art making and dance movement have successfully been used to help children identify their emotions and promote abstract thinking, learning and problem solving. However, there is little research on the effects of using dance movement with art to create a visual image.

Hillery Gernhauser Jones, a graduate student in art and design, is exploring how using dance movement and art making together can affect children’s moods and be used as a multifaceted way of learning and problem solving.

Aided by a 2015 SIUE Research Grant for Graduate Students and under the guidance of Shelly Goebl-Parker, professor of art and design, Jones explored dance movements used to create visual art involving approximately 60 children ages 9-12 at a Creative Arts Summer Camp hosted by the Metro Theater Company. Children were given the opportunity to positively contain their energy by moving and mark-making with loose charcoal on a canvas located on the floor. Jones will analyze the effects in mood evoked by the project. According to Jones, the study could inform how similar movement and mark-making coincide with emotions, moods and feelings.

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