SKH Researcher Gets Grant for Research on Feedback in Dance Teaching


Ninnie Andersson, Assistant Professor of Dance Pedagogy at Stockholm University of the Arts, is one of two researchers that share a research grant of almost 4,3 million SEK from the Swedish Institute for Educational Research, for a project that studies actual teaching situations in secondary school dance and drama classes together with working teachers.

The project På STUDS! Praktiknära återkoppling – studie av teater-, undervisning och dans-situationer is a collaborative project together with drama didactics researcher Pernilla Ahlstrand at the University of Gothenburg, and runs over three years.

The project is a continued development of the method action (re)call that Pernilla Ahlstrand has developed, which studies feedback situations in direct relation to teaching. By stopping and and asking about what’s happening in the classroom – or by stimulated recall, pausing a filmed version of the lesson – it’s possible to reach a high level of detail about motivations and ways of thinking that otherwise would remain hidden.

“So much of the knowledge in our subjects, dance and drama, is often hidden, so-called silent knowledge and needs to be articulated,” Ninnie Andersson explains. “Our intention with this research project is to put a language to how feedback to students works and how knowledge is expressed in dance and drama secondary school teaching.”

The work is conducted in very close cooperation with teachers at two schools, Schillerska Gymnasiet in Gothenburg and Fryshuset Gymnasium in Stockholm. The teachers will be part of the project and act as co-researchers, Ninnie Andersson explains:

“It is common to conduct research on teachers, studying what teachers do and then analysing it afterwards. Here, instead, the teachers are part of the research process, the analysis, the discussions and conversations. It feels reasonable to let the research be so close the teachers, so that the results can become part of their teaching practices.”

An unusual topic

The Swedish Institute for Educational Research is a public body under the Ministry of Education and Research, formed in 2015. Among several other mandates, they annually distribute project grants for scientific research project that can support working teachers and help them make sure their teaching is conducted on sound scientific grounding. This year, 13 projects shared a total funding amount of 51 million SEK.

“I believe that one reason the institute chose our project for funding was that research in our subjects, at least in a Swedish context, is very limited,” says Ninnie Andersson. “It feels like a really positive recognition of dance and drama as school subjects to have them promote dance and drama pedagogy like this. It’s fantastic!”