Research & Development

Prepared by: Luminesce Consulting, LLC
August, 2012
The goal of Grow Up Great! ™-Magic in Motion Pilot Program (MIM) was to improve kindergarten readiness for 3-5 year olds enrolled in Head Start programs in Columbus, Ohio through the development and implementation of a culturally relevant, adaptable, early childhood dance education curriculum. To this end, a three year project was designed to examine several goals and objectives related to the school readiness of the youth that participated in the program. This report delineates the progress toward these goals and objectives for the second of the three years of this examination.

During the second year of this project, approximately 100 children from six Head Start programs throughout the city participated in the Grow Up Great! ™-Magic in Motion program. As would be expected for children of this age, not all were present on every day of the assessment; hence the total number of children being evaluated was often times less than 100%. In instances where the child was present for all data collection points (baseline, midpoint, final), the efficacy of the program is quite optimistic. More specifically, on average, students improved their competency within each dimension (physical, social and emotional, language, and cognitive development), with the most dramatic gains being between the fall and winter assessments.

Teachers’ attitudes regarding the use of dance/movement in the classroom and its utility and impact on student behavior and school readiness was also examined for this evaluation. Results were largely positive at pretest and posttest, with teachers being quite willing to use dance/movement in their classrooms and using dance/movememnt, and being very positive about the potential and real role of dance/movement. Given the overall high rates of positivity at baseline and at follow up, there should not be too much concern regarding teacher attitudes about the role of dance/movement---they are very open to its use and view it as a useful tool.

Finally, parents of the youth participating in Grow Up Great! ™-Magic in Motion, also participated in the evaluation. Parents were asked about their own personal experience with dance/movement, their attitudes about its use in the classroom, and whether they believed dance/movement was helpful in keeping their child engaged in the classroom and school. At both pretest and posttest, parent attitudes towards the use of dance/movement in the classroom was perceived as beneficial to their child’s academic, social, behavioral, and physical development as well as keeping the child interested in school.