A community of learners in an elementary school recorder collegium
Ferguson, Dennis Edward
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The purpose of this study was to explore how students learned in an elementary school Collegium that consisted of SATB recorders. Using Rogoffs Theory of Community of Learners, an examination ofthe experiences of the students, the researcher, parents, classroom teachers, and the principal ofthe school occurred during one academic semester of instruction. The primary question that guided this study was: How did the students, instructor, teachers, and parents work together as a Community of Learners? The research questions for this study included: 1) What were the background conditions that led the students to audition for and take an active role in the Collegium ensemble?; How do the students engage with members ofthe community?; 3) How do the students engage in shared endeavors? Data collection included individual interviews, focus group interviews, journals, observations, and artifacts. Data was coded during the analysis process and revealed the following themes: Foundations ofthe Community uncovered influences from family members, as well as early pre-Collegium experiences; Entry points into the Collegium explored the initial interest by the participants, as they voiced their intentions to be a part ofthe ensemble and spoke oftheir attitudes regarding practice and learning processes; Experiences in the Collegium demonstrated perspectives on rehearsing together, self-preparedness, work attitudes, listening and concentration issues, group awareness, interdependence, learning together, and various issues ofmanaging the ensemble work with other academic commitments. Findings from this study indicated that close interactive behavior developed among the participants within the constructed environment, influenced by several factors, including foundational and educational backgrounds, exposure to the recorders, and an encouragement of a collaborative Community of Learners approach. The study concludes with a consideration ofthe author's role in the community, implications, and need for further study. Implications for the profession include establishing a learning environment that promotes collaborative learning, providing opportunities for students to engage with each other, and using the surrounding community of parents and teachers to assist with teaching students, which can lead to an improvement in the level of performance skills in an ensemble.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University