Questions for WDA and the World Alliance for Arts Education

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    Scott Martin
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    Hello my friends and fellow dance artists, educators, and researchers.  Below is a message from co-chair of Education and Training Network, World Dance Alliance-Asian Pacific region, Ralph Buck (New Zealand).  Ralph attended the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) executive forum meeting in Paris. He and his co-chair Jeff are active dance researchers and educators and they are extremely passionate in building and strengthening our organization (WDA). In this message, Ralph poses a series of questions regarding dance advocacy, networks, and research, particularly to North American readers.  We have posted these questions to our Education and Training’s Network Group Forum and ask that you take a moment to provide your insight and responses to help us being gaining ideas around these questions for the future of our organization!

    – Dr. Zihao Li
    Co-chair, Education and Training Network
    WDA-America

    Questions for WDA and the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE)
    May 2013

    I’m in a cafe in Paris. I’ve had my first espresso and considering a second. As I sit here watching the passing parade, I am reading the World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) Strategic Plan in readiness for the WAAE Executive Forum meeting with Maria Kypriotou (UNESCO Youth Coordination Unit) and Mauro Rosi (UNESCO, Sector of Museums and Creativity Unit). As you know the WDA is a core member of the WAAE, and our aim is to build an international arts education alliance that has a collective voice in advocating for arts education, inclusive of dance education.

    I’m having my second espresso. I’m excited by the role the WDA has in energizing world debate and exchange of ideas in arts education. I’m also very conscious that much of this work and planning may seem a million miles away from your local context in the Americas region. Jeff Meiners and I as the co-chairs of the WDA-AP Education and Training Network are active dance educators and researchers in our respective home towns, and we recognize that there are many equally active dance educators undertaking excellent practice, research, advocacy and networking in diverse contexts across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. In this report I want to try and join some dots, help make some connections between what we are all doing in our local contexts with some of the strategic planning questions posed in the current WAAE Strategic Planning document. The WAAE Strategic Planning document draft in Rovaniemi, Finland, 2012 may be accessed at http://www.waae.info.

    As with past WAAE documents our focus remains with networking, advocacy and research within arts education. Key ideas and questions are outlined under these headings. Here I re-orientate some of our key questions and objectives towards you the reader in the Americas region. I ask that you review some or all of the following questions and then post with examples of what you are doing in your home town with respect to these objectives and questions. Sharing each others’ practice and research activity and or more questions will reveal to ourselves and  relevant networks a sense of the richness or paucity of activity which in turn may inform future collaborations, conferences and support.

    I’m considering a third espresso. Irrespective of my growing involuntary tremor and racing heart I pose the following questions and ask that you give your feedback. Some of this feedback will hopefully be shared at the next WDA-AP AGM in Taiwan Nov. 2013 and in the next Global Summit.

    Please consider the following questions and post your responses:

    Advocacy

    • How have you successfully advocated for dance education in your community?
    • Have you found useful advocacy websites or ‘tools’? If so could you share them?
    • Who is/are the main audiences for your advocacy? That is who do you most need to convince to engage with dance education?
    • Did you use the UNESCO International Week for Arts Education (4th week in May) as a focus for dance activity?
    • Have you used the UNESCO Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education document as an aid in advocacy?

    Networks

    • Who do you most network (communicate, share, work) with?
    • How do you network: face to face, email, skype, socially?
    • What makes good networking for you?
    • Who in your region do you think needs to be targeted in future networking?
    • How can WDA Americas help your networking activity?

    Research

    • Do you know of the UNESCO Seoul Agenda: Goals for the Development of Arts Education, and use some of these objectives/ideas for initiating research?
    • In reading the Seoul Agenda, what would be your priority research topics or questions?
    • Do you have examples of good practice and or research that you would like to share?
    • If you could research or ask someone to research anything in dance education, what would you want to research?

    I have finished my third espresso and now need to walk off my caffeine. I invite you to sit down with a coffee or tea or chai latte or moccachino on trim and ponder some of the questions (and others) above. Please let us know your thoughts, such that we can profile our own successes and needs. I look forward to reading your ideas and in turn sharing them with our colleagues in the Americas region in the next Channels newsletter. Till then enjoy your hot drinks where ever you are.

    Ralph Buck
    r.buck@auckland.ac.nz
    Co chair Education and Training Network, WDA-AP,
    WDA representative for WAAE Executive

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