Please Wait a Moment

Using Dance Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK) to Drive Programmatic and Self Growth

Male and female college age dance students wearing black and white outfits performing improvisation dance style

Professors: Dr. Elizabeth McPherson and Dr. Dale Schmid

Tuition: $365 member / $440 non-member

8 Weeks; 2 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

This course provides students with a useful conceptual framework to inspire thoughtful and informed curricular decisions about the allocation of instructional time and focus in K-16 dance education (elementary school to college) and to reflect on and renew one’s personal teaching practice. The conceptual framework explored is the 10 Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK) Skills Clusters that comprise the DELTA (Dance Entry Level Teacher Assessment) stemming from the National Core Arts Standards for Dance.

These PCK Skills Clusters include:

  • Performing Dance as an Intentional, Expressive Art Form (guiding principles)
  • Choreography (exploring, planning, revising)
  • Integrated Approaches to Historical, Cultural & Contemporary Dance Studies
  • Dance Language, Literacy & Critical Analysis
  • Pedagogical Theory & Practice
  • Knowledge of the Learner
  • Assessment Literacy
  • Evaluation & Reflective Practice
  • School-based Policies
  • Dance Classroom
  • Technical Production

Anyone with an interest in dance education and dance teacher preparation would benefit from this course, from new teachers to seasoned dance education professionals from any teaching environment. It is designed to support and extend dance education content knowledge while expanding personal and professional expertise. At the end of the course, students will be offered the opportunity to take the DELTA exam.

Book required: None

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials

"The course truly made me think - I love that! There were many times during the readings that I had "a-ha" moments that made me evaluate my teaching and what I can do better."

"This course was beneficial to me as a teacher and a program head. I hope to implement many of the aspects learned in this course into the program and to also support myself and my dance faculty's growth as educators of dance."

"I plan to transition from teaching in the studio/classroom to teaching teacher candidates in a teacher preparation program. I loved learning about pedagogical content knowledge and how I can create a course for young teachers with this in mind. This course has opened my eyes to the programmatic changes that need to occur in our current program and course offerings."

"I really liked the course, since what was covered in several areas was very new to me. It also encouraged me to think about what I have done and currently do while teaching my students - self reflection time that I had not spent on myself before."

"This course helped me broaden my ideas and understandings. I feel I am taking away some great tools to implement in my teaching and future programs. Every reading and assignment was helpful and something that I know I will use or come back to in my career."

"The professors gave me very descriptive and detailed feedback on each of my submitted essays and I am very grateful that they were able to respond to me so in depth."

"The self reflection was incredibly helpful and has allowed me to tweak my teaching. The plethora of resources are invaluable and as they continue to change, I hope to stay current with best practices for the classroom, administration and beyond."

Professor Bio

Elizabeth McPherson, PhD is an associate professor at Montclair State University, and coordinator of the BA and MFA in Dance. Editor of The Bennington School of the Dance: A History in Writings and Interviews and author of The Contributions of Martha Hill to American Dance and Dance Education, she has written numerous articles for various publications such as Ballet Review, Dance Teacher Magazine, and The Journal of Dance Education and is the Executive Editor of the journal Dance Education in Practice. Elizabeth has been an educational consultant for the National Dance Education Organization, the New York City Department of Education, and the New Jersey Department of Education. She has staged numerous dance works from Labanotation including Doris Humphrey's Partita V and Antony Tudor's Continuo. Performance credits include: Avodah Dance Ensemble, Ernesta Corvino’s Dance Circle Company, and the Louis Johnson Dance Theatre Ensemble. She holds degrees from Juilliard, The City College of New York, and New York University. Elizabeth co-teaches OPDI-M22: Using Dance Pedagogic Content Knowledge to Drive Programmatic and Self Growth.

Dale Schmid, Ed.D. is an independent consultant/researcher and former Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the New Jersey Department of Education (1999 to 2021). He is a recognized authority on student learning standards, standards-based assessment, programmatic evaluation, and educational policy. As one of approximately 55 state arts education directors throughout the nation, he helped shape state and national standards-based arts education policy and practice; and oversaw the review and revision of every set of New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the Visual and Performing Arts since their inception. Dr. Schmid has held numerous state and national leadership roles including President and three-term Past-President of the National Dance Education Organization; and President of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE). Additionally, Dr. Schmid is co-facilitator of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) and senior advisor to Dance Entry Level Teacher Assessment (DELTA) initiative; a national endeavor to codify dance teacher training and support pedagogic content knowledge in dance education. Schmid holds a Doctorate in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation in the field of psychometrics; a Master’s Degree in Education from Temple University; and undergraduate degrees in Speech and Theatre, and Health & Physical Education from Bemidji State University. He also spent several decades on the national touring circuit as a dancer, actor, and sometime musician. Dale co-teaches OPDI-M22: Using Dance Pedagogic Content Knowledge to Drive Programmatic and Self Growth.

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