Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Helen Maniates

Third Advisor

Mathew Mitchell


Creativity is a fundamental aim of art education. Because classroom teachers are responsible for teaching the arts at the elementary-school level, how they perceive and recognize creativity effects the quality of art education their students receive. This study investigated California teachers' beliefs about creativity in dance and the relationship of their beliefs to their ratings of student dance compositions. It also investigated the extent of agreement in creativity ratings across teachers and between teachers and dance experts. Classroom teachers’ beliefs were collected through a research-constructed questionnaire, and classroom teachers (n=74) and dance experts (n=35) rated students’ creative-dance products using a variation of Amabile’s (1982) Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT). The findings show that classroom teachers value creativity and adhere to the belief that all children can be creative. They do not believe that creativity disrupts learning. Classroom teachers identified high, medium, and low levels of creativity with good interrater agreement (ICC=.84), and no statistically significant differences were found when compared with dance experts' ratings. Statistically significant positive associations were found between teachers' creativity ratings and their beliefs about creativity (r=.26), and medium-to-large associations were found between their creativity ratings and three individual belief items: It is important that students have free expression assignments in dance (ƞ2=.15), All children can express themselves creatively in dance (ƞ2=.19), and Improvisation is vital in school dance programs (ƞ2=.11). Stepwise multiple regression was used to examine teacher characteristics as possible explanations for differences in ratings. The amount of dance offered at the teachers' schools was the only variable with a statistically significant correlation. Teachers answered three open-response questions defining creativity and describing their embodied experiences in dance. The majority of responses were psychosocial. The results of this study show that teachers’ beliefs are related to their recognition of creativity and to the extent that they witness their students participating in dance, they increase that recognition. The study reveals a need for increased dance programs at the elementary-school level and professional development for teachers in dance education. This study is the first known application of CAT to dance.