The benefits of a STEAM-based curriculum are well documented, and so is the need for teachers to be supported by quality arts education with additional specialist resourcing — which is where The Australian Ballet leaps in.
TAB’s innovative STEAMDANCE program supports students learning through the arts by taking a dance-education STEAM approach to learning about STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).
Katy McKeown Head of Education at TAB said, ‘Dance is one of the five performing arts disciplines in the national curriculum, and our new STEAMDANCE program offers students a fun experience of dance, whilst enhancing the delivery of key STEM subjects and encouraging physical and social skills to students of all ages, abilities and language backgrounds’.
The STEAMDANCE program is led by TAB’s dance education team who are specialist educators and professional dancers. The program works in partnership with teachers to support the curriculum through a series of workshops in schools to foster critical and creative thinking, literacy, numeracy, individual and cooperative learning and problem solving in students. Teachers choose the curricular themes that their class will work on with TAB’s Education Team.
Each lesson has themes that range across STEAM subjects as they relate to ballet productions (anatomy, production, degree of an arabesque). Students are inspired to wonder how you might use movement as a fraction, choreography to create patterns or what the angle of an arabesque is and how you might balance weight when you lift a partner.
The lessons also support key performing arts subjects and the personal and social development of each child, and involve every student in an accessible and inspiring way. The 2018 STEAMDANCE performance ofCoppélia has been created especially for school students and designed for participants of all abilities and experience levels. The 30-minute performance brings a professional ballet performance to students and teachers while highlighting the value of dance and performance. It is also created to expand student knowledge of a range of dance forms while increasing knowledge of arts careers.
The Australian Ballet’s midyear report on the education programs demonstrates relevant curriculum outcomes for the STEAMDANCE program:
·73.5% of teachers believed the programs supported STEAM learning.
·84% of teachers thought the content challenged their students.
·70% of teachers noted that the workshops linked learning to real-world situations and careers.
·62% of teachers thought the workshops encouraged students to excel in or pursue STEAM subjects.
·100% of teachers valued having access to TAB’s expertise to support learning in their school.