In 1977 Skellefteå municipality started their work with dance as art in the primary school. By this time, education in the art of dance was an unusual activity in Swedish schools. Commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Swedish Arts Council begun a development work 20 years ago. In april 2005 The Swedish National Agency for School Improvement, Swedish Arts Council, NCFF (a national centra for work with health, ÖrebroUniversity) and the Pupil´s organization signed an agreement. The purpose is to support and develop dance education practice in schools.
The aim of this study is to increase knowledge about the tradition and development in dance delimited to dance education in the compulsory school in Skellefteå municipality. Another aim is to describe and analyze how dance contributes to learning in the school setting.
Data was collected through interviews mainly with dance teachers and administrators, and through a variety of documentary information, questionnaires and observations. Concerning obser-vations of dance education, ten different classes in primary school were selected.
The results of the study indicate that dance in school started as a pioneer work, initiated by the dance teacher Eva Dahlgren, thereafter together with her daughter, Cecilia Björklund Dahlgren. Several significant factors were however crucial for the continued work and the establishment of dance in school in Skellefteå municipality. Cooperation between different participants and an evident definition of dance as an intrinsic value, was important for the further development of dance education. Regarding the tradition of dance implemented by Dahlgren, attention was paid to joy and expression. The prime ideas about dance are still represented in the working plan for dance in school in Skellefteå municipality. In conclusion, there have been few organizational changes during the years.
Regarding learning in dance and dance teachers´ approach, a sociocultural perspective indicates the emphasis on interaction between the teacher and pupils. It also brings into focus the communication with body and movements. From a behavioristic perspective, reinforcement /feed-back is common in teaching dance. In summary the dance teacher is in many different aspects an important model for the pupils. By using metaphorical language, and a playful and imaginative educational situation, pupils´ ideas, thoughts and feelings are stimulated.
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2007. , 154 p.