29 SES 07, Disrupting knowledge through arts education practices
This text focuses on a research process carried out together with a project of collective musical creativity in the initial training of primary school teachers. The research arises from the personal need as university teachers to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of our teaching work and of the impact on students' learning of potentially disruptive practices. Thus, the objective of the study has been to understand from a deep and reflective perspective how the learning processes of 142 future teachers are shaped through a collective and creative musical experience that was carried out during a semester in the course of Music Education of the Degree of Primary Education at the University of Granada (Andalusia, Spain). The research questions that have guided the process have been: 1) How does the student describe his or her passing through this disruptive pedagogical experience? 2) What and how do the students and teachers learn when developing this educational practice? and 3) What role does musical creativity play throughout the project?
For this research, we start from the idea that the school of the 21st century is embedded in a society of vertiginous changes and incessant innovation processes. A liquid society (Bauman, 2007) characterized by fragmentation, uncertainty, the unstable, and accelerated social and cultural transformations as a result of the development of ICT. It is in this context, where society poses a challenge to the school to become a disruptive pedagogical space (Acaso and Manzaneda, 2015). A space where students investigate, reflect, apply and share knowledge, putting into play forms of interactive, personalized, collaborative, creative and innovative learning that keep them involved (Dede, 2007); and that in turn enables teachers and students to be co-learners and co-educators, forgetting and leaving behind the duality of teaching-learning and teacher-apprentice more typical of the school of past centuries (Moravec, 2011).
This research understands the disruption from positions closer to the creativity than to the technology. Because in the eminently vertical and directive Spanish Higher Education, the process of collaborative construction of knowledge through creative practices works as something disruptive. These creative and shared processes require students to negotiate what they include and what they leave out, as well as to decide how they can better represent their ideas in multiple formats and formats, beyond textual and technical. We see how creative processes lead students to develop their problem-solving abilities by having to make continuous decisions combining different modes of representation, according to their intentionality and collective purpose (Kozma and Russell, 2005).
On that basis, in this study focused on the initial training in Music Education of Primary Education teachers, we understand that the processes of collective musical creativity function as a disruptive element in Higher Education, since they fulfil a large part of the characteristics of an educational practice disruptive (Vratulis, Clarke, Hoban and Erickson, 2011). And they also allow students to learn by inductive discovery, based on open solution aesthetic problems in which divergent thinking is activated (Rusinek, 2005), in the capacity for critical and reflexive self-dialogue (Barnett, 1992) , and where different knowledge is put into consideration in a kind of ecology of knowledge (Sousa Santos, 2010) in which experiential and disciplinary knowledge is constantly being discussed thanks to the creative process itself (Contreras, 2013).
The research design for this study uses a qualitative methodological approach. We conducted a case study (Yin, 1994, Stake, 1998, Bassey, 1999, Simons, 2011) that allowed us to reflect, understand and analyze in depth, from an interpretative perspective, the complex processes of educational innovation. The research was carried out in two Music Education courses of the Primary Education Degree of the University of Granada with a total of 142 students (79 women and 63 men) with little or no musical training. Less than 15% of the participants indicate having musical knowledge beyond the classes received during their passage through compulsory education. The object of study (the pedagogical proposal) consists in making different collective musical creations using movement and sound as basic elements. Starting from the idea of the “automaton”, as a machine/robot that imitates the figure and movements of an animated being using a closed mechanism of gears, it is suggested that they create a sequence of interrelated movements that are progressively accompanied by sounds produced by the voice or corporal percussion. Sound objects first, and musical instruments of small percussion, melodic, harmonic and/or of own construction later. This musical creation allows them to develop the understanding and exploration of different sound parameters and musical elements, and causes a change of perception about their creative possibilities in relation to musical composition, understanding music, as a communicative element and educational mediation. For the collection of information, different techniques have been used such as participant observation, teachers' diaries, students' research reports and student musical productions. The qualitative analysis of the data (content analysis and discourse analysis) has been characterized by being interactive and iterative operating in a deepening spiral (Strauss and Corbin, 2002) throughout the investigation. It has always been accompanied by the triangulation between sources as well as internal triangulation through the debate between the research team and participants through the negotiation of the reports in progress. In addition, throughout the process have involved the two teachers of the courses and an external researcher who has made a process of contrast and external validity of the category system, by comparison, sharing, debate and agreement. To carry out this work, the software NVivo 11 Plus has been used as technological support.
The findings show how working in a creative way allows us to approach the construction of knowledge from discovery, exploration, dialogue and reflection. These processes, fundamental to reduce the problems suffered by modern society, place musical creativity as the central axis from which we can find other ways of learning in the context of Higher Education. Music, understood as a mediation, generates dynamics of real group work where there are shared responsibilities that activate processes of social, emotional and intellectual maturation (Lapidaky et al., 2012). In the same way, we observe how, in this experience, elements have been put into play that allow us to break with the established, both in structural, relational and personal terms. The spatial and temporal relocation, the workshop of the space, a certain dissolution of the teaching/student roles or the use of artistic processes as pedagogical elements are key to consider that in Higher Education practices like the one analyzed here can generate new disruptive spaces of training, placing creativity as the backbone of learning. These creative techniques allow students to better manage their uncertainties and fears, facilitate autonomous and responsible learning, enhance group dynamics and shared decision making and recognize that all these elements bring back in students’ higher levels of motivation than other more conventional practices. Also, the fact of having joined the formative practice to the critical and research reflection during the whole process, both in a collaborative and individual way, has facilitated to the agents involved a greater self-knowledge of their own cognitive realities in relation to the creativity or the music as a pedagogical mediation and the use of research as a formative process.
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