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Home > About > News and Events > News > Field News > Why Dance and Math Deserve Equal Footing in Education

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Why Dance and Math Deserve Equal Footing in Education

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Apr 02, 2018

In a recent article for TED, Sir Ken Robinson, author and global leader in education reform, argues that dance education should receive equal attention in schools when compared to other core subjects, such as math. As he puts it, this is not an argument against the importance of math, but rather “an argument for equity in educating the whole child.”

To help support his argument, Robinson cites the work of National Guild member Dancing Classrooms. This organization, according to the article, “brings ballroom dancing into elementary and middle schools in some of the most challenging districts in the country. Using dance, the organization aims to improve social relationships especially among genders and to enrich the culture of the schools by cultivating collaboration, respect and compassion. Founded in 1994 by the dancer Pierre Dulaine, the program now offers each school twenty sessions over ten weeks, culminating in a showcase.”

The data backs up Robinson’s claims. As he notes, research continually shows that dance education improves students’ interpersonal relationships, makes them more likely to accept others, and correlates strongly with improved math and reading scores. Still, dance education, and arts education more broadly, is absent from the school experience of millions of young people around the country.

Bob Morrison, the founder and director of Quadrant Research, asks, “Would it be okay to have millions of students without access to math or language arts? Of course not, and it should not be tolerated in the arts. There is a persistent myth that arts education is for the gifted and talented, but we know that the arts benefit everyone regardless of their vocational pathways,” he says.

Read the full article.

Photo credit: New Ballet Ensemble, Memphis, TN

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.