Please Wait a Moment

Introduction to Dance Education Research

Poster presentation at an NDEO conference with female presenter and a male attendee looking at a poster of research

Professor:  Dr. Doug Risner

Tuition: $550 member / $625 non-member

12 Weeks; 3 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

This course provides a survey of current research paradigms in dance education inquiry with particular emphasis on research process, design, methodology, and pedagogical implications for dance teaching and curriculum. In addition, an overview of empirical and exploratory research drawn from historical, philosophical, descriptive, ethnographic, case study, survey, action research, interpretive, and critical approaches is explored. Student learning outcomes include the ability to read research in informed and critical ways, analyze research findings, and formulate their own research question(s) and appropriate methodologies. This 3-unit course is appropriate for dance educators interested in developing their knowledge about research, using research to enhance teaching, seeing their studios and classrooms as research labs, and constructing their own research studies for improving student learning and teaching practices.

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"Helped me understand the wide variety of research opportunities and filled in some gaps in my knowledge. The Professor offered timely feedback and reminders about assignments. All material was relevant and helped move the course forward. "

" While I understand this course is geared towards teachers, I am currently in my master's program and found it absolutely essential. "

"As an instructor in higher education, the expectation of conducting academic research has caused unease. This course has allowed me to better understand scholarly research and change my attitude towards it. Dr. Risner provided a space to learn and grow by beginning with the fundamentals of research, critically reflecting on articles, brainstorming individual ideas for research, and creating a fictional study. In this process, academic research has become less "scary." I have enjoyed the challenge and look forward to putting the information learned in motion."

"I learned a great deal and I'm still trying to wrap my head around many of the concepts, particularly related to research design and methodology. My favorite things within the course were the podcasts by other researchers. They felt very real and personable. I learned the uniqueness of each individual and how they conduct dance education research in their own way."

"Dr. Risner provided excellent insight and feedback for all assignments. This has helped tremendously in creating the confidence to push forward in conducting future research."

Professor Bio

Doug Risner, PhD, MFA, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan is Professor of Dance and Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Director of the MA program in Dance Teaching Artistry and Director of the BS in Dance program. Dr. Risner teaches undergraduate courses in dance history, dance pedagogy, dance professions, and senior capstone. At the graduate level he teaches social and cultural foundations of dance pedagogy, research methods in dance education, artistic praxis, and principles of teaching artistry. Dr. Risner conducts extensive research on the sociology of dance training and education, gender in dance, curriculum theory and policy, and humanizing dance pedagogies.

He has published over 200 journal articles, book chapters, case studies, and conference papers. Dr. Risner’s six books include Stigma & Perseverance in the Lives of Boys Who Dance (2009); Hybrid Lives of Teaching Artists in Dance and Theatre Arts: A Critical Reader (2014); Gender, Sexualit y and Identity: Critical Issues in Dance Education (2015): Dance & Gender: An Evidence-Based Approach (2017); Dance, Professional Practice, and the Workplace (2020); and Ethical Dilemmas in Dance Education: Case Studies on Humanizing Dance Pedagogy (2020) which received the Susan W. Stinson Book Award for Dance Education in 2021 and the NDEO | Ruth Lovell Murray Book Award in 2021.

Dr. Risner is the recipient of numerous awards including the Board of Governors Distinguished Faculty Fellowship and the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Wayne State, as well as the Outstanding Dance Education Researcher Award and Dance Education Visionary Award from the National Dance Education Organization. The Doug Risner Prize for Emerging Dance Education Researchers was established in 2016 by the National Dance Education Organization to honor Dr. Risner’s commitment to excellence in dance education research. His recent books published in 2022 include: Dancing Across the Lifespan: Negotiating Age, Place & Purpose (Springer Palgrave, 2022) and Masculinity, Intersectionality & Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance (Palgrave McMillan, 2022). Dr. Risner is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Journal of Dance Education and Associate Editor of Research in Dance Education. His next book, Dancing Mind, Minding Dance: Socially Relevant and Personally Resonant Dance Education is published by Routledge in 2023.

How Courses Work