Guest Blog: Guidelines for A Final Project

This semester in our Seminar in Dance Education course, we’ve been working toward our final culminating project for the NYU/ABT program. We’ve all chosen topics related to dance education and have written literature reviews. (My research has focused on a holistic approach to classical ballet instruction.) Now, some of us may choose to turn our projects into a curriculum proposal.

Dr. Susan Koff, our instructor and the director of the dance education department at NYU Steinhardt, gave us some direction on curriculum design: She suggests first focusing on what you hope your students will accomplish by the time they have completed the curriculum. Then you work backward to develop specific objectives, learning experiences, and ways of assessment to help students achieve the overall goal.

Sections and content of the proposal should include:

1. Introduction: Cover why you have written the curriculum, who the population is, and where the curriculum would take place.
2. Philosophy: State the educational belief system the curriculum is based upon. (For example, John Dewey, Margaret D’Houbler, Lev Vygotsky, etc.)
3. Rationale: Explain why the curriculum is needed, and what prior knowledge supports it.

4. Objectives: Outline your aims, goals, and objectives along with a sample lesson plan to illustrate proposed learning experiences.
5. Assessment: Describe the type and frequency of assessment and insert at least one rubric (a tool that describes what the instructor expects of her students, usually with ratings--Excellent, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, Needs Work, etc.).
6. Materials required: List all the materials (for example, Marley floors, piano, stereo system, wall-mounted barres) you need to make the curriculum successful.
7. References: Provide a list of your sources, preferably in APA (American Psychological Association) style.

Hannah Guruianu is a master's degree candidate in dance education at New York University. She is a freelance writer and editor, flamenco student, and someday hopes to own her own studio. Before returning to school, she was the features editor at the newspaper in Binghamton, New York, and taught ballet classes at a local studio and community college.

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