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Research on teacher characteristics

In relation to typical identified general teacher characteristics, the findings demonstrate the teacher behavior (i.e., the desire to teach, teaching focus, how to challenge students, instructional methods, and assessment strategies) vary and are positioned within and across both the two main pedagogical paradigms.


The dance teachers struggle to interconnect and balance the world of art, the world of education, and the world of arts education (Andrzejewski, 2008).

What do teachers spend most time on?

Most time is spent on planning classes (41%) and monitoring (18%), while only 1% was spent on behavior management. Also, time spent on response performance feedback (11%), presentation (9%), organization (8%) motivation feedback (2%), beginning/ending class (2%), are low.

What should they do according to research?

The teachers whose students showed a significant improvement in their performance test spend more time on giving performance feedback, motivational feedback, beginning/ending class, and in behavior management than other teachers (Minton & McGill, 1998).

Enhancing student learning and motivation

Regarding the enhancement of student learning and motivation, a review study (Chua, 2017) identified four main important evidence-based teacher characteristics:

  1. have deep content knowledge
  2. give affective support and positive, explicit feedback
  3. influence students’ mindset that their dance abilities are not entirely innate but changeable
  4. set high expectations and challenging activities for students

Andrzejewski, C. E. (2008). A holistic investigation of teacher identity, knowledge, and practice (Doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University).

Chua, J. (2017). The influences of an exemplary ballet teacher on students’ motivation:‘The Finnish Way’. Research in Dance Education, 18(1), 3-22.

Haraldsen, H. M., Abrahamsen, F. E., Solstad, B. E., & Halvari, H. (2021). Narrative Tensions in Strained Junior Elite Performers’ Experiences of Becoming Elite Performers. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1767.

Haraldsen, H. M., Halvari, H., Solstad, B. E., Abrahamsen, F. E., & Nordin-Bates, S. M. (2019). The role of perfectionism and controlling conditions in Norwegian elite junior performers’ motivational processes. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1366.

Haraldsen, H. M., Nordin-Bates, S. M., Abrahamsen, F. E., & Halvari, H. (2020). Thriving, Striving, or Just Surviving? TD Learning Conditions, Motivational Processes and Well-Being Among Norwegian Elite Performers in Music, Ballet, and Sport. Roeper Review, 42(2), 109-125.

Minton, S., & McGill, K. (1998). A study of the relationships between teacher behaviors and student performance on a spatial kinesthetic awareness test. Dance Research Journal, 30(2), 39-52.

Sims, M., & Erwin, H. (2012). A set of descriptive case studies of four dance faculty members’ pedagogical practices. Journal of Dance Education, 12(4), 131-140.



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