Dancing towards belonging: the use of a dance intervention to influence migrant pupils’ sense of belonging in school

Ashleigh Ritchie*, Amanda Gaulter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

With emerging debate regarding the place of migrants in the UK, it is ever more important for schools to promote belonging and wellbeing amongst their diverse pupils. Research has shown the influence of dance interventions on positive psychological and physical wellbeing. The aim of this study was to examine whether dance might influence the wellbeing of migrant pupils, in particular their sense of belonging (SOB), given evidence linking this basic human need to positive educational outcomes. Thirteen female migrant secondary school pupils took part in a dance intervention and qualitative methods were used to explore their experiences. Findings indicated that participation in the dance intervention fostered opportunities for pupils to connect with one another, to feel safe to build confidence and engage meaningfully, all factors that have been linked with SOB. The study gives strength to the use of dance to support the psychological wellbeing of newly arrived migrant pupils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-380
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online date20 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020

Structured keywords

  • SPS Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies

Keywords

  • belonging
  • dance
  • migrant
  • school
  • Sense of belonging
  • wellbeing

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