Comparison of Arts PROPEL and teacher-directed approaches to teaching music education to preservice teachers
Kindall Smith, Marsha
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The goal of this study was to compare two approaches to teaching a combined music fundamentals/methodoloy course to preservice early childhood/elementary classroom teachers. The 25 subjects in the control group participated in a teacher-directed approach involving teacher explanation, student response, and teacher feedback. The 25 subjects in the experimental group participated in a student-centered Arts PROPEL approach involving strategies for production, perception and reflection. The two approaches were examined in terms of changes from the beginning to the end of the course in subjects' knowledge of music, their performance skills, and their attitudes about music education for children. The researcher was the instructor for both groups. Data were gathered from both groups using pre- to post Music Achievement Tests 1 and 3 (Colwell, 1969, 1970), Attitude Behavior Scale-Elementary General Music Survey (Tunks, 1973), and researcher-developed assessments based on the music sections of the National Standards for Arts Education (Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, 1994) including Reading and Notating, Personal Identification of Skills Scale, and Singing and Recorder Performance Assessments. Reflections and vision statements were used to clarify results of the analyses. Additional data gathered from the experimental group at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the course included Singing and Recorder Self-Assessments, Singing and Recorder Ensemble Rehearsal Critiques, and Peer Interviews. Findings showed significant improvement from beginning to end of course for both groups on reading and notating, instrument recognition, singing, attitudes and subject awareness of skills. There was borderline significant changes in interval discrimination in the experimental group and borderline significant changes in meter discrimination in the control group. Arts PROPEL experimental group subjects showed significantly greater improvement in reading and notating than did control group subjects. The Arts PROPEL approach showed no significant advantage over teacher-directed instruction in all other dimensions. Differences between approaches may be explained by the methodology, in particular, the use of domain projects in Arts PROPEL that require subjects to regularly self assess and report on their performances.
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