string specialists' and non-string specialists' content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge of string-specific techniques in the intermediate strings class
Grieser, Diane R.
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This study examines the pedagogical content knowledge of music teachers who teach in or out of their field of expertise. The primary goal of this study was to observe string specialists' and non-string specialists' content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and the instructional strategies used to teach vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing technique in an intermediate string class. The study provided an in-depth understanding of string specialists' and non-string specialists' (a) content knowledge of vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing; (b) content and pedagogical knowledge to teach vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing technique; and (c) how pedagogical content knowledge is used to teach vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing technique. A multiple case study design was used to examine how pedagogical content knowledge was used by string specialists and non-string specialists to teach string-specific technique. A purposeful sample of 6 cases was selected for the study. String specialists and non-string specialists were purposefully chosen to understand how pedagogical knowledge is used to teach string-specific technique. In order to perform a cross-case analysis, similar cases (e.g., location, level, program size) were chosen. Data were collected through observations of rehearsals and interviews with string specialists and non-string specialists. Each participant was observed teaching three rehearsals, and three interviews were conducted with each participant. Through the coding process, emergent themes were explored to provide detailed insight into the pedagogical and content knowledge of string specialists and non-string specialists. Interview transcripts were coded using WEFT QDA 1.01 software (Fenton, 2006). The findings suggest that non-string specialists in this study have a limited understanding of the fundamental general principles for vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing technique. The non-string specialists' content knowledge of vibrato, shifting, and spiccato bowing had more misconceptions, more misunderstandings, and a less organized understanding of the content when compared to string specialists. Additionally, non-string specialists with limited content knowledge chose less challenging instructional strategies than string specialists. This research will help to inform the string profession regarding the importance of string-specific content knowledge and pedagogical strategies, and assist non-string specialists who teach string classes in better understanding the knowledge and approaches they might presently be lacking.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University