Date of Award

May 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Art Education

First Advisor

Simone Conceição C.O. Conceição

Committee Members

Barbara Bales, Scott Emmons, Vicki Callahan, Ferne Bronson


Arts Education, Arts Integration, Laban Effort Qualities, Laban Movement Analysis, Participatory Action Research, Performing Arts Education


The purpose of this qualitative participatory action-research study was to explore how four elementary school teachers incorporated Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) methodology, in particular the eight Effort Qualities (Dell, 1977) (light/soft or strong/powerful, fast/quick or slow/sustained, direct or indirect/flexible, and bound/close or free/open), across their curriculum and instruction. The study took place at both an urban parochial elementary school and an urban private school. Stories were collected through interviews, journals, lesson plans, e-mails, mail, and photos using a qualitative methodology over a period of 2½ months. Teachers came up with their own research questions and answered them throughout the study. In the final collaborative analysis (both participants and researcher) findings showed that when the teachers incorporated LMA in their curriculum and instruction, they became more creative, observant, and articulate and had a better understanding of human movement and expression.

Results from the study indicated that for all four teachers, when exploring and incorporating LMA in their pedagogy, improvements occurred in pacing, movement, and expression as well as a better understanding of their behavior. In addition, teachers using LMA implemented more creativity and arts into non-arts disciplines, which enhanced and deepened their student's motivation, expression, and learning capacity.