10 SES 16 C, Research on Values, Beliefs & Understandings in Teacher Education
The aim of the paper is to explore the contribution of classroom-based enquiries in teacher training to legitimate new methodologies that promote relational health in schools.
The discussion arises from a Routledge publication in preparation ‘Addressing issues of mental health in schools through music and the arts’. This text reflects activities within a continuing strategic partnership (2015-2019) funded by ERASMUS + . The current project ‘Sustaining Teachers and Learners with the Arts; Relational Health in Schools’ (STALWARTS: 2017-1-UK01-KA203-036723) follows the project ’Learning in a New Key: Engaging Vulnerable Young People in School Education’ (LINK: 2015-1-UK01-KA201- 013752) rated 90% on completion. These projects have enhanced school based provisions for vulnerable young people who face exclusion from education due to personal conditions resulting from their trauma histories. The partnerships have engaged teachers and music/arts-based therapists in sharing knowledge and skills in the context of 6 schools in 6 European countries. This new professional field is characterised as ‘therapeutically adapted teaching practice’. The Routledge text draws on data from UK and Portuguese settings and includes further commentaries from Italy and Poland.
The inter-professional development approach described in this paper draws on earlier classroom enquiries about the impact of music making in enhancing the wellbeing of vulnerable young people during classroom sessions (Tarr & Addessi, 2017). Data were gathered using an innovative observation schedule drawing on Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of FLOW to identify and measure young people’s sensory and relational engagement Other related enquiries have focussed on the impact on the participating teachers’ view of their roles and competences as they incorporate these new activities within their professional practices (Clough et. al, 2017).
This new enquiry addresses the problem of allocating space for such music / arts-based activities within the assessment focussed curricula of European schools, despite public concern about the well being of young people in schools in the region. The challenge of grafting therapeutic teaching approaches within existing curricula and school timetables cannot be underestimated - even within schools where the emotional and social needs of young people are recognised. Opportunities in the UK arise from recommendations for further evidence‐based joint training opportunities and closer collaborative work between teachers and mental health staff including music therapists (Day et al, 2017) which coincide with the reformulation of new OFSTED criteria that value 'broad and rich curricula’ that ‘address disadvantage and provide equality of opportunity’ (HMCI, 2018). This paper is relevant to the implementation of such recommendations. The declining experience of music in schools noted by OFSTED contextualise the classroom enquiry that draws on learning from ‘creative attachment therapy’ based on non verbal music / arts activities (after Malchiodi & Crenshaw 2015, Golding & Hughes 2012, Hendry & Hasler, 2017). Creative attachment therapy approaches provide opportunities for non verbal communication / collaboration between professionals and young people which can contribute to repairing attachment patterns. They involve the modalities of visual art, music, dance, drama and movement of a kind not recently valued by inspection processes in the region.
Justification for routine collaborative music making within classrooms requires the identification of approved educational rationales that resonate with conceptual frames that underpin these therapeutically adapted teaching practices. The enquiry focusses on how to provide legitimation through invoking educational perspectives related to ‘dialogic teaching’ as an example of high quality curriculum provision.
Thus this paper explores the the extent to which tailored classroom enquiries based on the use of music as a dialogic and socially interactive tool - i.e. ‘communicative musicality’ (Trevarthen and Malloch 2000) - can develop teachers’ capacities to address risks faced by this target group and to justify such classroom approaches within the curriculum.
The overall method comprises a replicable enquiry/reflective process that supports critical teacher development in this new field through 1) Establishing appropriate ethical protocols 2) Observation of the impact of collaborative music making using FLOW variables 3) Preparation of narrative reports about the classroom experiences 4) Representation of the experiences through six summarising drawings with associated recordings of the music played 5) Shared reflection with the teachers across the partnership 6) Identification of enhanced teacher competences evidenced using the LINK Project Framework of Professional Competences 7) Qualitative structured interviews with the teachers 8) Analysis of data across the partnership In this paper the main discussion will focus on the collaborative analysis of a narrative reports and relevant music recordings. The interludes under discussion are musical activities in which a teacher and young people have a non verbal ‘conversations’ played on musical instruments chosen by the participants. Their musical interactions are described in detail. One analysis is implemented through an innovative evaluation tool based on criteria used by Mercer (2008) to evaluate verbal interactions between teachers and young people. The criteria and related questions include Recapitulation: In what ways does the teacher establish through example the rules of engagement (turn taking) and the range of sounds that can possibly be played on the instruments? Elicitation: In what ways does the teacher prompt new responses from the young person through the examples of music making? Repetition: To what extent were the teacher and young person happy to repeat similar musical statements? In what ways did these repetitions prolong moments of closeness and communication between them? Reformulation: In what ways were the teacher and young person playful with the patterns that they were sharing? Exhortation: In what ways did the teacher encourage the young person to be expansive and inventive throughout the collaborative music making. Were the young person’s communicative repertoires extended? Further criteria identifying essential facets of dialogic exchange are drawn from the work of Alexander (2008). A second analysis is implemented with education and psychology students following the STALWARTS project module Relational Health In Schools. In response to mixed media representation of data from the classroom activity their reflections focus on the social and emotional aspects related to the experience of both the teachers and the young people. A meta-analysis is conducted with reference to the above and includes related data from interviews with teachers.
There are a range of points that emerge from the inter professional / inter European discussions about this enquiry-based teacher training activity. The teachers have developed confidence as music makers with the effect that they participate alongside the young people. Teachers engaged in these activities have commented on the changed relationship between themselves and the young people during these activities. They are providing a safe framework which enables them to engage in authentic exploratory music making as partners with young people. There is evidence in the case described here that young people are prepared to take risks within the framework of the conversation activity. This is partly because of the increased confidence of the teachers to be experimental and partly because the activities are familiar and form a routine as a safe and pleasurable experience. Teachers and young people build on their own and each others’ ideas and chain them to coherent lines of expression. This principle is evidenced during exploratory and relational music making experiences, especially within the collaborative musical conversation. The idea of linking the young people’s expressive musical outputs within a coherent and socialised process is exemplified. There is recognition that chains of coherent meaning making are supported well within such routinised and open ended experiences. The discussions in the paper include reference to a repertoire of skills that teachers can employ to ensure that these dialogic music making experiences are purposeful. There is a contribution to the goals to promote sensory and importantly relational engagement that improve young people’s capacity for self regulation, relational health and readiness for learning. While there is overall agreement that the evidence for legitimating the music making activity as high quality curriculum provision, the responses from the teachers indicate their shifting perspective of themselves as gatekeepers to diverse high quality classroom experiences.
Alexander, R. (2008) Towards Dialogic Teaching: Rethinking Classroom Talk, Dialogos: York Carr, W. & Kemmis, S. (1986) Becoming Critical, Lewes: The Falmer Press Clough N., Tarr J., Stachyra K., Addessi A. R. & Maliszewska, K. (2017) Exploring Teacher Competences for Relational Health in Schools, IN Engaging Vulnerable Young People in Education through the Arts, University of Porto: Education, Society and Culture, 15-32 Clough, N., Macedo E. & Tarr J. (forthcoming) Addressing Mental Health Issues in Schools though Music and the Arts, London: Routledge Csikzsentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper‐Collins Publishers. Day, L., Blades, R., Spence, C. & Ronicle, J. (2017). Mental health services and schools link pilot evaluation. London: Department of Education, Government Social Research Elliott, J. (1991) Action Research for Educational Change, Milton Keynes: Open University Press Golding, K. S. & Hughes, D. A. (2012) Creating Loving Attachments, London: Jessica Kingsley Hendry, A. & Hasler, J. (2017).Creative Therapies for Complex Trauma.Helping Children and Families in Foster Care, Kinship Care or Adoption.London: Jessica Kingsley Malchiodi, C. & Crenshaw, D. (2015) Creative Interventions with Traumatised Children London: Guilford Press Malloch, S. & Trevarthen, C. (2009). Communicative musicality: Exploring the basis of human companionship. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mercer, N. (2000)Words and Minds: how we use language to think together.London: Routledge OFSTED & Spielman, A. (2018), HMCI commentary: curriculum and the new education inspection framework / Commentary on curriculum research Phase 3 www.gov.uk Perry, B. D. & Hambrick, E. (2008) The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics IN Reclaiming Children and Youth, 17 (3) 38-43 Tarr, J. & Addessi, A. R. (2017) Preparing to observe the impact of therapeutic teaching practices: From Flow to self-regulation and learning IN Engaging Vulnerable Young People in Education through the Arts, University of Porto: Education, Society and Culture, 95-116
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