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Dance Education

Department of Arts & Humanities

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Program Description

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program in Dance Education at Teachers College affirms dance as an essential form of embodied experience that shapes learning across diverse global contexts. Through dance education, people of all ages imagine, create, think critically, collaborate, understand culture, shape identity, and communicate meaning about human experiences. Our doctoral community welcomes dance educators who celebrate diverse  dance traditions, and who are deeply committed to transforming dance education through innovating educational opportunities for a wide variety of adult stakeholders, such as teachers, artists, administrators, and policymakers. In preparing teacher educators, researchers, and leaders, the doctoral program’s core mission is to cultivate educational experts that forge new pathways in dance education that are accessible, inclusive, equitable, and excellent for all learners.

The doctoral students in our community are interested in researching a wide range of educational issues impacting critically underrepresented sectors of the field. These include PK-12 dance education, pre-professional university learning, high-school to post-secondary transition, university dance teacher preparation, communitycollege dance learners, teacher advancement, dance teacher certification, and educational policy. Our work with doctoral students aims to forge new paths in dance education through critically examining historical assumptions, reflecting on contemporary contexts, engaging in collaborative dialogue, enacting socially just practices, and forging new pathways.

Nested in the arts mecca of the world, the doctoral program brings together renowned faculty from across the college with the vibrant dance community of New York City. Teachers College is recognized by scholars as a primary incubator for the development of dance education as a field in PK-12 schools and universities. It has played a principal role in cultivating and empowering dance education leaders for over 100 years.  As the nation’s premier institution in the teaching of teachers in all fields, Teachers College is the ideal place to earn a doctorate in dance education and to join the legacy of dance education leadership.

The EdD in Dance Education program offers coursework to prepare doctoral students as teacher educators and researchers with leadership roles. Our courses in Embodied Learning, Dance and Human Development, and Historical Foundations develop content knowledge while facilitating opportunities to examine critical gaps in the field, where innovations have the potential to rapidly advance how we prepare future dance educators, classroom teachers, educational administrators, and policymakers. Charged with responsibilities to inform and educate adults who make critical decisions about dance education, a series of courses prepare students to develop effective leadership strategies in a chosen sector, such as PK-12 schools, private studio settings, university contexts, consultancies, and cultural organizations. These courses, including Adult Learning, Advanced Curriculum Design, Teaching and Leadership, Seminar, and Studio Seminar, enhance content knowledge while providing students with the opportunity to design their own related inquiries and engage with the vibrant dance and arts communities in NYC and beyond as they refine their research ideas.

Students also select a specialization area and select up to 15 credits of out-of-program courses to deepen a chosen area of inquiry further:

  • Teacher Education – Delves into shaping pedagogical content knowledge, supervising student teachers, and coaching educators.

  • Leadership and Policy – Delves into leadership skills, program management, cultural policy, or educational administration.

  • Movement Sciences – Delves into the pedagogical application of motor learning, anatomy, physiology and biomechanics.

  • Interdisciplinary – A self-designed track combining aspects of the the various specialization areas or delving deeper into one or more specific areas of inquiry, such as neuroscience, Afro-centric education, instructional technology, spirituality, creativity, peace education, visual art, music, literature, philosophy, human development, or cognition, for example.

As a primary aim of the Dance Education program is to develop experienced dance educators as tomorrow’s dance education researchers, the degree program culminates with a written dissertation and oral defense of an original, student-designed, empirical research study. We believe that the multiple ways of knowing that are embedded in dance practices can serve as the bedrock for developing a research identity and for conducting multi-modal research that is convincing and transformative. Given that individualized research is at the core of the Ed.D. degree experience, students are provided with persistent support in designing and implementing a research study. Through a series of collaborative doctoral and dissertation seminars, students are guided through the research process while developing critical inquiry, reflection, dialogic and argumentative practices that underpin research. As results of the seminars, students develop the critical components of their doctoral exam and dissertation research study, including a review of literature, a pilot study, a research proposal, and an IRB ethics review. Students also select from a wide variety of research methods courses offered at the College to tailor their research visions. A culminating course, Writing for Journal Publication, prepares students to disseminate their discoveries in refereed publications. After passing written certification exams, certified doctoral students work closely with program faculty members who serve as the dissertation advisors. The culminating dissertation committee includes dance education faculty as well as College-wide faculty selected for related field expertise.

The doctoral program in Dance Education has formal partnerships with Ballet Hispánico in NYC and Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea, offering students opportunities for cross-community workshops, seminars, and research. Our state-of-the-art Arnhold Dance Education Research Studios are currently under construction, and will provide students with the opportunity for pedagogical exploration, community-based teaching, and embodied research.

The Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy and Leadership dovetails with the Ed.D. program and provides students with a dynamic research community where they engage with outstanding educational researchers and guest scholars and participate in dance education consortia, symposiums, and professional learning events.


  • Doctor of Education

    • Points/Credits: 90

      Entry Terms: Fall Only

      Degree Requirements

      Minimum point requirement: 90 

      Required Dance Education Courses: (16 points)

      • A&HD 5040  Dance and Human Development (3 points)

      • A&HD 5044  Embodied and Motor Learning for Dance (3 points)

      • A&HD 5046  Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues in Dance Education (3 points)

      • A&HD 6000  Advanced Curriculum Design in Dance Education (3 points)

      • A&HD 6001 Teaching and Leadership of Dance Education in Colleges, Cultural Institutions, and Communities (3 points)

      • A&HD 6482  Praxis Project Seminar: Teaching and Leadership in dance Education (1 point)

      Required Dissertation Seminar Sequence in Dance Education: (17 points)

      • A&HD 6049  Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry in Dance Education (3 points)

      • A&HD 6501  Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 1 (3 points)

      • A&HD 6502  Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2 (3 points)

      • A&HD 6999  Studio Seminar: Performance Presentation (2 points)

      • A&HD 7501  Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1 (3 points)

      • A&HD 7502  Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 2 (3 points)

      • A&HD 8900  Dissertation Advisement in Dance Education (0 points)*

      *Note: A&HD8900: Registration for doctoral dissertation advisement is required for all doctoral students who have either been recommended for doctoral certification (advanced to candidacy) or have an approved dissertation proposal on file. Registration is required each Autumn and Spring term unless a student is registered for a 3-point TC course. There is no course syllabus as students are completing individualized dissertation research.       

      Out of Program Courses (6 points)

      • A&H 6010  Writing for Journal Publication in The Arts (3 points)

      • One Adult Learning Course from ORLD (4050,4051,4053,4060,4844) (3 points)

      Research Methods Courses (9 points)

      • A&H 5001  Research Methods in Arts Education (3 points)

      • Two (2) additional courses in research methods chosen in consultation with the major advisor (6 points) 

      Interdisciplinary Specialization (12 points)

      Every student must complete one of the four specializations chosen in consultation with the major advisor. The four options are:

      (A) Teacher Education (Educating Teacher Educators)

      (B) Leadership and Policy

      (C) Movement Sciences

      (D) Interdisciplinary (out-of-program breadth courses)

      (A) Teacher Education Specialization (Educating Teacher Educators)

      • C&T5512 Guided Practice (Supervision) of Elementary and Secondary Teachers (3 points)

      • C&T6025 Teacher Educator as Researcher: Inquiry in Teacher Learning (3 points)

      • C&T6525 Learning to Teach and Teacher Education (3 points)

      • CCPJ5020 Racism and Racial Identity in Psychology and Education (3 points)


      • CCPJ5164  Multicultural Counseling and Psychology (3 points)

      (B) Leadership and Policy Specialization

      • A&HG4013 Cultural Policy (3 points)

      • EDPP5045 Race, Ethnicity, and U.S. Educational Policy (3 points)

      • ORLD4085 Management and Leadership Skills in Practice (3 points)

      • ORLD4091 Somatics: A Mind/Body Approach to Leadership Development (3 points)(C)  Movement Sciences SpecializationBBSR4060 Motor Learning (3 points)

      • BBSR4095 Applied Physiology I (3 points)

      • BBSR4005 Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics (3 points)

      BBSR5028 Motor Development (3 points) (D) Interdisciplinary Specialization (out-of-program breadth course)

      Sample of Possible Advised/Selective Course Topics (by advisement):

      • Cognitive Science

      • History of Education

      • Instructional Technology and Media

      • Leadership and Policy

      • Movement Sciences

      • Neuroscience and Education

      • Philosophy of Education

      • Special Education

      • Spirituality: Mind/Body

      • Teacher Education

      • Urban Education

      Foundation Electives (30 points)  

      A&H 5002 Assessment Strategies for the Arts (3 points)

      Other pre-requisites

      Transfer Credits (up to 30)**

      **Graduate level courses in dance pedagogy, dance studio, choreography, improvisation, production, music, dance history, Laban studies, Anatomy/Kinesiology, education, research, etc.                         

      Coursework or professional experience in all of the foundations areas below is required at either the undergraduate or graduate level to ensure that all students have the necessary background in dance. Graduate level courses in any of the areas below may be accepted for transfer credit to the Ed.D. degree program and will be determined upon admission transcript review.  Accepted students may continue study in the following areas listed below and/or other areas of interest while enrolled at Teachers College. Selection of elective courses is in consultation with the major advisor and at the approval of the College.

      • Studio: Technique, Repertory and/or Somatic Practices

      • Studio: Choreography, Dance Composition and/or Dance Improvisation

      • Dance Production

      • Music for Dance

      • Dance History (performance)

      • Dance in Cultural Contexts

      • Laban Movement Analysis

      • Anatomy and Physiology

      • Biomechanics            

      • Dance Pedagogy/Teaching Methods

      • Assessment in the Arts

      • Graduate Academic Writing

      Elective credits may be completed as follows in consultation with the major advisor and at the approval of Teachers College:

      • Graduate level elective credits completed at Teachers College (Ex: A&H 5002 Assessment Strategies for the Arts)

      • Graduate level elective credits not offered at Teachers College and completed during doctoral study through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) at IUDC member institutions

      • Graduate courses previously completed at other institutions that have been accepted by Teachers College and the Ed.D. degree program for transfer credit (up to 30 points total).


      Presentation Requirement (0 points)

      • Performance (adjudicated) OR

      • Publication (refereed) OR

      • Conference Presentation (refereed)

      Students are required to complete one of the above presentation formats. The presentation must directly relate to the student’s dissertation research problem and questions. The presentation must be proposed to and approved by the major advisor.


      Praxis Project  (0 points)

      • Teaching of Adults/Teachers 

      • Mentoring of Adults/Teachers

      • Leadership of Adults/Teachers

      Prerequisite: A&HD 6000 and A&HD 6001. Students are required to complete a praxis project  in which they teach, mentor or lead adult learners, the proposal for which is developed in A&HD 6001 and in advisement with, and approval by, the major advisor. The praxis project must relate directly to the student’s dissertation research problem or questions. It may be implemented in conjunction with A&HD 6482.


      Doctoral Certification (0 points)

      • Literature Review

      • Pilot Study

      • Dissertation Proposal & Hearing

      • Completion of at least 60 points

      • Composite grade decile of 6 or above in courses taken before certification

      • Recommendation for certification by the advisor and department


  • Faculty

    • Barbara Bashaw Arnhold Professor of Practice in Dance Education
    • Matthew Kenney Henley Associate Professor of Dance Education
  • Adjunct Faculty

    • Lynnette Young Overby Adjunct Professor
    • Dale Walter Schmid Adjunct Associate Professor


  • A&HD 5040 - Dance and Human Development
    This course will examine theories of human development and the implications of such for the learning, teaching and leadership of dance education.
  • A&HD 5044 - Embodied Learning in Dance Education
    Interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives from motor learning, neuroscience and somaesthetics will be introduced to examine embodied learning and to actively refine pedagogical approaches within dance education.
  • A&HD 5046 - Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues in Dance Education
    This course engages students in tracing the historical quest to establish dance as arts education in the U.S. and the relevance of this to contemporary issues, beliefs and practices in dance education.
  • A&HD 6000 - Advanced Curriculum Design in Dance Education
    This course focuses on the development of knowledge and decision-making skills for developing and evaluating personally meaningful dance program curricula that address contemporary issues in the field.
  • A&HD 6001 - Teaching and Leadership of Dance Education in Colleges, Cultural Institutions and PK-12 Contexts
    This course will examine cross-contextual leadership issues within dance education and the preparation of artist-educators in colleges, cultural institutions and PK-12 contexts.
  • A&HD 6049 - Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry in Dance Education
    The purpose of this course is to orient new students to the expectations of doctoral study and to build community among Dance Education doctoral students and faculty. Required for first-year Dance Education doctoral students.
  • A&HD 6482 - Praxis Project: Teaching & Leadership in Dance Education
    The Praxis Project seminar is designed to support individualized opportunities for doctoral dance education students to practice leadership, supervision, and teaching of adults within college, cultural institutions, and PK-12 field contexts.
  • A&HD 6501 - Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 1
    Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 1 will facilitate the development of students' dissertation research ideas with a primary focus of developing a preliminary research proposal that may serve as the basis for subsequent dissertation research.
  • A&HD 6502 - Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2
    Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2 is designed to facilitate the development of students’ Doctoral Qualifying Papers: (1) Pilot/Field Study and (2) Review of Related Literature.
  • A&HD 6999 - Studio Seminar in Dance Education
    The studio seminar will support doctoral dance education students in conceptualizing, creating, and self-producing arts-based research projects related to their doctoral research inquiry as required for Ed.D. candidacy.
  • A&HD 7501 - Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1
    Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1 is designed to facilitate the development of students’ Advanced Dissertation Proposal, based on the Qualifying Papers completed in A&HD 6502 Dance Education Doctoral Seminar 2.
  • A&HD 7502 - Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 2
    Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 2 is designed to facilitate the development of students’ dissertation writing, based on the Advanced Dissertation Proposal completed in A&HD 7501 Dance Education Dissertation Seminar 1.
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