03 SES 06 A, Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design
The research project “The music experimented vertically” is an analysis of instrumental music teaching practices in primary and secondary schools, supported by the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Psychology & Communication, University of Bari Aldo Moro, in cooperation with the “Niccolo Piccinni” Music Conservatory of Bari, with local organizations and associations (the “Aulos” Cultural Music Association of Noci and “Radio Classica Pugliese” of Lecce) and a six school network in Bari and its district.
The relevance of music education appears in almost all educational systems and in different national contexts (Colwell, Richardson 2002; Colwell, Webster 2011; Barrett, Webster 2014).
The Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research (MIUR) with Ministerial Decree 60 of April 13, 2017 has highlighted the promotion of humanistic culture, the enhancement of heritage and cultural competences and the support of creativity among the priorities of school education. The document represents an institutional framework reference for defines priorities of the "Plan of the Arts", outlining a coherent system of interventions for the enhancement of practical and historical skills, related to music, arts, cultural heritage, cinema, techniques and media production and dissemination of images and sounds.
"Making music all" is the slogan-document of the Italian "Committee for Practical Learning of Music" (CNAPM, 2009), which reiterates the need for music education to be part of the training of all citizens: music must be taught, lived and learned in the school since childhood. The musical and artistic experience is a collective experience of knowledge construction, so that "practical" know how of music can not be the prerogative of a few people: it must be guaranteed for all children as a right, recognised as a universal cultural form.
As Eisner (2003) notes, the primary mission of education is the preparation of artists, concept not limited to the fine arts, but to everything made well. Arts and artistry are considered like sourses of improved educational practice. As John Dewey wrote in Art as Experience, music and the other arts “were enhancements of the processes of everyday life”; the arts of drama, music, painting, and architecture “had no peculiar connection with theatres, galleries, museums. They were part of the significant life of an organized community. (…) Music and song were intimate parts of the rites and ceremonies in which the meaning of group life was consummated” (Dewey, 1934).
The distinctive forms of thinking, needed to create artistically crafted work, are relevant not only to what students do, they are relevant to virtually all aspects of what we do, from the design of curricula, to the practice of teaching, to the features of the environment in which students and teachers live. Eisner focuses on the creation of a new culture of schooling that has as much to do with the cultivation of dispositions as with the acquisition of skills (2003).
We are aware that educational practices and curricula that define life in classrooms depend very much on the beliefs and values of teachers: beliefs, curricula and educational practices are interrelated fields where beliefs are ‘expressed and developed through the processes of acculturation and professional socialization’ (Eisner, 1992, p. 304; 1996). Since the implementation of music curriculum in formal education depends on teachers, therefore the manifestation, outcome or effectiveness of music education is greatly determined by teachers. Marina Wong (2005) notes that teachers’ beliefs are closely related to their classroom practices.
The project “The music experimented vertically” aimed at focusing on the central role of mediation processes (Damiano, 2013) in instrumental music learningand on the curricular actions implied by these mediation processes.
The methodological protocol has been articulated according to the practical analysis framework (Altet, Vinatier, 2008; Maubant, Martineau 2011) and the student-voice perspective (Fielding, 2004; 2012; Flutter & Rudduck, 2004; Cook-Sather, 2009; Czerniawski & Kidd, 2011). The research-training approach is collaborative (Perla, 2011; Desgagné, 1997). This research-training project has several aims. Here are the most relevant ones: to explain teachers' and students implicit knowledge, beliefs and representations dealing with the process of Musical teaching and learning; to understand "how music is taught at school", with which aims, methods and processes is put into practice; to deduce some elements that could build a vertical curriculum for the practical teaching of music to be used in the primary and secondary education level. The methodological protocol considers some specific actions to be carried out. In the first stage, a qualitative analysis of practices and representations of 25 teachers of musical instruments has been carried out. An interview was conducted to investigate the elementary and secondary teachers’ expressed beliefs about music education and musical curriculum design. All the interviews were recorded. The data were coded according to different categories: (1) personal profiles of teachers, training or experience in playing musical instruments; (2) beliefs about the “musical imaginary” (beliefs about music and musician; mental associations, images, metaphors concerning music; purpose of music education); (3) beliefs about the essentials of music education, planning and evaluation practices in the field of musical training and curriculum design; (4) reflections about the teacher-learning musical processes and the central role of auditive mediation processes (Damiano, 2013) in musical teaching and in the curricular actions implied by these mediation processes; (5) the music student learning: facilitating factors and barriers. The textual corpus obtained was subjected to Qualitative Data Analysis procedures (Richards & Morse, 2009), through identification of semantic Nodes. In the second stage, a questionnaire consisting of different parts was prepared. The first part consisted of questions related to sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, completed secondary school education, attending music school). The other parts included music preferences, beliefs about the “musical imaginary” and musical strategies of learning; musical self-assessment; factors that influence students' future choices and orientation to music. A total of 196 students took part in this study. The data were tabulated and analyzed by means of the program Statistical Package for Social Service.
The results of the research helped us understanding how do teachers and students perceive music, its main channels of distribution and production, the methods used for musical and instrumental teaching, the determining factors in the choise and the orientation towards secondary school and carrier in the music area both inside and outside formal education contexts, such as schools and Music Conservatories. In particular, analysis of data brought to light some key concepts: 1) The central role of the body in the process of musical teaching and learning, in which develops a deep knowledge which arises from the action; 2) The role of “playing music together” and the need to enhance collective musical practice (duo, orchestra, choir) based on cooperative ways of learning. 3) The interdisciplinary nature of music teaching and the importance of granting continuity in different school levels. These aspects should be specifically enhanced both in curricular choices and in assessment tools and criteria. 4) The necessity to invest in training of music teachers and in organisational models of didactic capable to enhance elaboration of projects based on the exchange between networks of schools. This project of research-training allowed the development of a model of a vertical curriculum for music practical teaching skills, usable from primary school to high school, starting from the results arising from the research and from the collaborative comparison among handlers of the partner institutions (researchers, musicians, teachers, school leaders, students).
Altet, M., Vinatier, I. (2008). Analyser et comprendre la pratique enseignante. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes. Barrett, J.R., Webster, P.R. (2014). The Musical Experience: Rethinking Music Teaching and Learning. New York: Oxford University Press. Casas-Mas, A., Pozo, J.I., Montero, I. (2014). The influence of music learning cultures on the construction of teaching-learning conceptions. Cambridge University Press, 31(3), 319-342. Colwell, R., Richardson, C. (2002). The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning. A project of the Music Educators National Conference. New York: Oxford University Press. Colwell, R., Webster, P. (2011). MENC Handbook of Research on Music Learning. New York: Oxford University Press. Cook-Sather, A. (2009). Learning from the Student’s Perspective. A Sourcebook for Effective Teaching. Boulder, CO: Paradigm. Czerniawski, G., & Kidd, W. (Eds.) (2011). The Student Voice Handbook – Bridging the Academic/Practitioner Divide. London, UK: Emerald. Damiano, E. (2013). La mediazione didattica. Per una teoria dell’insegnamento. Milano: FrancoAngeli. Desgagné, S. (1997). Le concept de recherche collaborative: l’idée d’un rapprochement entre chercheurs universitaires et praticiens enseignants. Revue des sciences de l’éducation. 23(2), 371-393. Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience. New York, NY: The Berkley Publishing Group. Eisner, E. W. (1992) Curriculum ideologies, in: P. W. Jackson (Ed.) Handbook of research on curriculum (New York, Macmillan). Eisner, E. W. (1996) Qualitative research in music education: past, present, perils, promise, Bulletin of Council for Research in Music Education, 130, 8–16. Eisner E.W. (2003). Artistry in Education. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 47(3). Fielding, M. (2004). ‘New Wave’ Student Voice and the Renewal of Civic Society. Review of Education, 2(3), 197-217. Fielding, M. (2012). Beyond Student Voice: Patterns of Partnership and the Demands of Deep Democracy. Revista de Educación, 359, 45-65. Flutter, J., & Rudduck, J. (2004). Consulting Pupils. What’s in it for schools?. London, UK: Routledge. Maubant, P. & Martineau, S. (2011). Fondements des pratiques professionnelles des enseignants. Ottawa: Les Presses de l’Université d’Ottawa. Perla, L. (Eds.) (2011). La formazione dell'insegnante attraverso la ricerca. Un modello interpretativo a partire dal "Teachers's Thought". In G. Elia (Ed.). Percorsi e scenari della formazione (157-179). Progedit: Bari. Wong, M. (2005). A cross‐cultural comparison of teachers’ expressed beliefs about music education and their observed practices in classroom music teaching. Teachers and Teaching, 11(4), 397-418.
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