Monday 6 April 2015

Article - Education in spiritual values through Bharatanatyam: Part VII Art of teaching: Some methods and approaches - Chandra Anand

Dance is an art wherein through ‘language of gestures’ it communicates the thought processes and emotional bearings of the ‘spirit.’ Dance is the medium of spiritual expression, to communicate the joys and sorrows of life, where the instrument is the human body and mind. The teacher trains the student and helps the student to integrate body and mind through cadences of body movements set to rhythm and express ideas, emotions or emotional experiences of the inner self.
A teacher trains the students in an art form by giving instructions on the practical aspects of the art i.e., performance of the art, duly supported by theoretical knowledge of the subject matter. Various means and measures are devised to provide the technology of the art which can be called the methods of teaching.  These methods vary from teacher to teacher.

Teaching of foreign language and language of gestures
The researcher is trying to access the methods and approaches of teaching a foreign language for teaching gesture language of dance since both are skills of communicating acquired through study, practice and habit formation.

The essentials for a method of teaching of a language, according to W.F. Mackey is, “A method determines ‘what and how’ much is taught, the ‘order’ in which it is taught, ‘how the meaning and form’ are conveyed, and what is done to make the ‘use of the language unconscious.’ Thus a method deals with four things: viz. selection, gradation, presentation and repetition.” [1] The lessons are selected to suit the level of education of the learner; it is graded according to the maxims of teaching and with the understanding of the psychological makeup of the student. It is presented in a manner so that the concepts and techniques are conveyed with sensitivity and are made habituated through repeated practice or repetition and drill.

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