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K-State Today

April 5, 2023

Tap To Togetherness Across Populations presents at International Symposium on Education

Submitted by Julie L. Pentz


The Tap To Togetherness Across Populations program recently presented at the International Symposium on Education in Puerto Rico.

Julie L. Pentz, program director, her partner Janice Schroeder and students Lauren Bruna and Mariah Uden were lead presenters at the 14th annual International Symposium on Education March 9-12. Their presentation explored "Diverse and Inclusive Classroom Experiences That Support All Learning Styles and Abilities, Using Tap Dance and Community Partners Across Sectors."

The International Symposium on Education's desire is to exchange knowledge between academics, educationalists, study abroad-university groups, and all disciplines and educational personnel. Participants of the symposium provide encouragement, information, materials, resources, service learning and training by volunteering in schools and organizations working with young children and youth.

Bruna, a senior in life sciences with a secondary major in integrated health studies and a minor in leadership studies, will go to KU Medical School to pursue her degree in occupational therapy. Bruna's presentation explores tap dance and physical literacy and their relationships.

Uden, a senior in social work with a secondary major in dance and the human experience will be completing her internship this summer with the Department of Children and Family Services. Uden's presentation, "Examining How Movement Affects Active Participation with Emotion," explored body movement with behavior-based participation.

Tap To Togetherness Across Populations describes how all populations can learn positive adult, family and child development skills using tap dance for engagement. These sessions encourage interaction, challenge body movement and coordination, facilitate adult and child listening skills and discipline, and encourage positive relationships. Lesson plans have been developed with the following concepts as the primary focus; the program enhances adult-child engagement, increases positive family and adult development, assesses and improves body movement and coordination, identifies sensory needs and collaborates on ways to meet sensory needs through tap dance sessions and strengthening relationships. All these developmental processes have been measured using both qualitative and quantitative methods. These research studies will be shared, and the findings will be discussed. The program is currently involved in an active physical literacy research study with many of these partners and will be completed in May 2023. 

Undergraduate and graduate research experiences are offered through this program. If you are interested in the program, contact Pentz at jpentz@k-state.edu

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