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Henrik Kovács : Assessment and evaluation in folk dance education

Assessment and evaluation methods, long established in the field of education in general, have not yet penetrated education in different forms of artistic expression. For example, there is no literature on assessment and evaluation in folk dance education. This paper presents results form a longitudinal study with the common objective to compare the abilities of 8, 12 and 16-year old dancers and non-dancers regarding their motor coordination and physical abilities. The research questions included the following: (1) Are there differences between the age groups? (2) What changes occur between assessment points? (3) What differences can be identified between dancers and non-dancers? (4) What abilities develop at a faster pace as a consequence of engagement in folk dance? In motor coordination tasks, subjects had to learn movement sequences that are possible in an ordinary movement system, i.e. do not require a specific dance repertoire. The tasks were created around five movement types and were assessed by basic abilities necessary for motor coordinatio (the abilities to control, apply, and learn movements) and basic skills (balancing, spatial orientation, rhythm, reaction, kinesthesis, as well as speed and stamina coordination). The assessment of physical abilities was based on widely used tasks in P. E. in elementary and lower secondary education. The exercises were videotaped and explained by the teachers, who administered the tasks. They were allowed to provide only minimal assistance as subjects were performing the tasks. They had subjects repeat tasks until it was possible to assess readiness to react. The recordings were scored and the data statistically processed. The results reveal that children who dance exceed their peers greatly regarding motor coordination, but only modestly in the other physical aspects examined. Only small changes were observed for motor coordination over time, but obvious development was found on the P. E. tasks for both dancers and non-dancers. As the constraints of the present studies are rather tight, further assessment and larger samples seem necessary to increase the reliability and generalisabiltiy of the findings.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 107. Number 2. 111-122. (2007)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Kovács Henrik, Magyar Táncművészeti Főiskola H–2440 Százhalombatta, Bláthy Ottó u. 15.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia