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Integrating elementary music instruction with a whole language first-grade classroom

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Title: Integrating elementary music instruction with a whole language first-grade classroom
Author(s): Miller, Beth Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Boardman, Eunice
Department / Program: Education, MusicEducation, ElementaryEducation, Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline: Education, MusicEducation, ElementaryEducation, Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ed.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Education, Music Education, Elementary Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore ways to integrate music instruction with the classroom studies of a selected whole language first grade without sacrificing the integrity of the music education agenda. The teacher-researcher used a collaborative action research model in planning units of study with the first grade teacher. Five categories of integration were identified: topical, mechanical subject, conceptual, higher level thinking, and pedagogical. Topical integration, the most common and transparent of connections, illustrates thematic commonalities for children. This study showed that the most valuable reason for providing topical connections is motivation.Mechanical subject integration connects diverse subjects through certain common or similar skills. These skills are not generalizable enough to be considered concepts, but are attendant skills necessary for succeeding in particular subject areas. The third category of integration identified in this study deals with concepts which may be common to several disciplines. A basic way to integrate, therefore, may be to help students focus attention on the manner in which underlying concepts, such as "form", unify major disciplines.A fourth category of integration concerns the strategies used in the promotion of higher level thinking skills. The researcher found that adapting the same kind of activities for music class which were used for developing higher order thinking in the general classroom was an effective way to integrate. The fifth category is based upon underlying theoretical assumptions about education. Teachers who employ this category of integration make connections through such pedagogical issues as beliefs about the roles of teachers and learners. These five types of integration, although neither sequential nor hierarchical, provided the researcher with a more differentiated mental construct of integration, making it easier to conceptualize and broaden the range of possible intersections. The research illustrated many authentic points of intersection between the music curriculum and the regular curriculum.Although this study was primarily a qualitative paradigm employing such techniques as journalizing, videotaping, and interviewing, structural corroboration was obtained through a researcher-constructed criterion test. An ANCOVA showed no significant differences among the integrated class and three other first grades. Students from the integrated class, however, demonstrated more enthusiasm during regularly-scheduled music lessons than the non-integrated classes, as judged by verbal and physical responses during instruction.In addition to questions pertaining to integration, certain other issues were discussed and illustrated with actual classroom examples. These included (1) the power of student-constructed learning to motivate learners, (2) the value of providing students the opportunity to learn through various modalities, and (3) the ability of teacher collaboration to break down the sense of isolation inherent in the job of itinerant music teacher.
Issue Date: 1995
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/23760
Rights Information: Copyright 1995 Miller, Beth Ann
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9624439
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9624439
 

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