Dance movement, attention and impluse control in a French immersion classroom
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dance movement as an intervention for students with issues with attention and focus in academic work, with the potential of supporting students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder or Autism with these needs. I used an Action Research approach to answer the question: How can I improve my support for students who have difficulties controlling impulses and sustaining attention by implementing dance instruction in my French Immersion classroom? The population of the study was 11 students from my grade 4/5 class who consented to participate in the study. The study consisted of a 5-week program, during which students were required to dance for 10 minutes after working on a subject for 40 minutes. In order to compare on- and off-task behaviors after each intervention, I recorded students’ behaviors using an observation chart. Other data instrumentations included: survey, student reflection entries and researcher journal. Findings include observed increases in attention and engagement for students who took part in the study.