Construction of a Choreographic Work in Middle School and Emergence of a School Dance Company

I. Research Papers
By Marie-Cecile Crance, Jean Trohel, Jacques Saury

The study investigated the collective dynamics of student activity through a long term creative process in physical education: the setting up of a collective dance show during one school year. Our empirical questioning was related to the design of innovative scholar models able to develop skills to do (build) something together. It was carried out referring to Theureau’s “course of action” theoretical and methodological framework (2006). Data were collected every week through ethnographic observations, audio-video recordings, student logbooks, and self-confrontation interviews. Data analysis mobilized the three dimensions of practice “joint enterprise – mutual engagement – shared repertoire” in reference to the community of practice theory (Wenger, 2005). Results present: (a) the collective dynamic from the students’ point of view through the transformation of the three dimensions of practice, (b) the dynamic of construction of the artistic work, in terms of effects of this collective activity throughout the creative process. This study contributes to provide some educational principles in order to encourage the development of relatively similar pedagogical models which offer an opportunity to live an authentic artistic experience in school.


  • course of action
  • physical education
  • creation
  • community of practice
  • situated learning
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