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Dance Dance Revolution and Education Evolution


Dance Dance Education Games Learning Society 2008 DubbelsThis presentation was shared at the Games Learning and Society Conference in 2008. The slides themselves offer the interview data, as well as the themes for coding. This study was conducted to explore what happens when people are given opportunities to choose how and what they learn and especially, what happens when they create the why to learn themselves and as a result are self-governed in that learning. By gaining some insight inot these questions, we may begin to understand what motivates young people and get them to choose to engage in learning in directed activities, and better yet, learn about what sustains their interest to continue and then create this opportunity in directive instructional contexts; perhaps through an awareness of this, teachers and schools can become a positive and powerful part of the identities of tall of their learners through  insight into how to support them as they participate and play in the world. As adults, we may begin understand and remember the rigor and effort young people put into activities that are chosen– young people work hard at their play.
In his work, The Ambiguity of Play, Brian Sutton-Smith creates a dichotomy between work and play as an ethos that culturally situates activity within the purview of values that constrain and define activity and the purpose in participating. This study was intended to explore the elements that inform the lived experience of a chosen play activity and the possible social learning theories that might inform it. The three theories include Communities of Practice (Lave and Wenger, 1996), Affinity Groups (Gee, 2001), and Self-Determination theory (Ryan and Deci, 1999). All of these theories seek to explain the motivation behind learning and why people participate in activities; one of the central features of these theories, once operationalized through analysis of construct description, is identity; but identity may best be thought of as an organizing principal that is informed by these theories.

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