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A Descriptive Study of Middle School Teachers' Current Perspectives On and Teaching Practices For Integrating Music in Public School Curricula

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rue Shirrillan Lee-Holmes (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Constance McKoy

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate middle school teachers' current perspectives on and teaching practices for integrating music into their respective curricula. Two research questions guided the study. What are teachers' current practices for integrating music into their curricula? What music-related resources and support systems do teachers feel are necessary to integrate music into their curricula? A 35-item questionnaire was distributed to 138 middle school teachers in a rural public school system in Eastern North Carolina. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: (a) current teaching practices for integrating music and other arts areas into the general curriculum as related to the use of Bresler's (1995) integration styles and Wiggins' (2001) teaching connections, (b) availability of music-related resources such as musical training and adequate planning time and support systems for integrating music into the general curriculum, and (c) demographic information. Two open-ended questionnaire items required respondents to explain their reasons for or for not integrating music into their curricula. Descriptive statistical procedures were used to analyze the questionnaire data. Results of the present study revealed most middle school teachers did not integrate music or other arts areas into their general curricula. Of the respondents who indicated a practice of integrating music, Bresler's (1995) affective integration style and Wiggins' (2001) teaching tools connections were the techniques most frequently used. Of the respondents who indicated a practice of integrating other arts areas, Bresler's (1995) subservient approach and Wiggins' (2001) teaching tools connections were the techniques most frequently used. Most respondents indicated that they did not have appropriate musical training, adequate planning time, and available music-related resources to integrate music into their curricula; though, respondents agreed they had support to integrate music into their curricula from their colleagues and administrators. Respondents primarily integrated music in the general curriculum for the purpose of teaching subject area content. The primary reasons given by respondents for not integrating music in the general curriculum were lack of time and musical knowledge. Additional research on investigating the integration of music at the middle school level is needed; though, results from this study suggest that teachers may benefit from access to music-related resources to teach music-integrated lessons. Additionally, teachers may benefit from professional development for the purpose of creating music-integrated lessons that promote young adolescents' critical thinking and problem solving skills through the integration techniques that engage students' higher-level processing skills.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2008
Keywords
Curriculum integration, Middle School, Music, Teacher perspective
Subjects
School music $x Instruction and study $x Education (Middle school)
Curriculum planning $x Education (Middle school)
Middle school teaching.