e-book Opening The Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner

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There has been an increasing interest in self-study of practice in recent times. Munby and Russell have developed these ideas to highlight the 'authority of experience' as a key to knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning. There is also a realization that there is no educational change without people change.

Therefore, by focusing on personal practice and experience, teachers may undertake genuine inquiry that leads to a better understanding of the complexities of teaching and learning.

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Self-study also aspires to provide a stimulus for others to better interpret their own experiences, so extending the personal benefits of self-study to new knowledge for others. Is it possible to make the results of self-study more widely available in ways that allow new meanings to be established by others? Does self-study allow for new forms of knowledge to be developed? This book attempts to explore these questions through the experiences of Jeff Northfield during a one-year teaching allotment in a secondary school when he taught mathematics and science and was the home group teacher for one class of students in their first year of secondary school Year 7.

At the same time Jeff was the Director of Pre-service Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, an academic role with responsibilities and interests in teacher education, teaching and learning, and school level mathematics and science curricula. During this teaching year, Jeff maintained a daily journal of his high school activities including descriptions, reactions and interpretations associated with his teaching and his students' learning.

The journal was an important part of Jeff's own self-study of his teaching experience in a secondary school. This book is written in an attempt to find a way of informing and involving the reader in the exploration of the data gathered from the teaching and learning experiences during Jeff's return to high school teaching. It also demonstrates how the outcomes of self-study might lead to, and better inform, more formal research knowledge.

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The reason was quite clear: They were not active music-makers in the formal ensembles offered at our school. I remember walking through the hallways during lunch break unable to recognize many students simply because they were not active musicians in school.

Over time, I pondered about these students and what would happen if they had the opportunity to make music in school. I found myself asking questions like:. These types of questions made me reconsider what I was teaching and the ways I might achieve a space in school where students could participate, experience, and learn music in ways that were of personal interest. Furthermore, I wanted to offer music experiences that did not require a prerequisite set of skills or techniques on an instrument or voice.

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These types of questions led me to think about the opportunities that existed in digital music, where students could create, share, and perform music in self-directed ways. In this same avenue, I considered a new model of music instruction where learners would be placed at the center of the learning experience, chose their own instruments, and performed or recorded music Kladder, I wanted it to be a creative space, for exploration, mistake-making, and learning.

Maybe you have considered these ideas in your teaching context as well. Or maybe you are considering these questions for the first time. This year the National Association for Music Education national conference in Orlando, Amplify the Future of Music: Opening Doors for All Students November 6—10 , is an excellent opportunity to learn about hands-on approaches and ideas for including or creating new music-making opportunities for students in your school. The session will offer new and broad perspectives around music-making that aim to engage and embrace a range of instruments and music.

We will begin by exploring digital music, as the majority of music in contemporary culture is now technologically mediated. Our focus will be in two areas: online platforms for creating, sharing, and performing music, and digital ensembles.

Download Opening The Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner

Both experiences will provide opportunities to learn and make music, consider practical applications to your teaching context, examine costs associated with such technology, and discuss curricular ideas to enhance your understanding of the methods and approaches within this medium. The final portion of our day will be spent learning about hybrid ensembles, a new model of music instruction built around a learner-centered approach, that encourages student ownership and agency, where students are placed at the center of the learning experience with guidance and facilitation from the teacher.

You will be provided opportunities to make music in a hybrid ensemble, discuss and create ideas for application of these ideas to your school, and examine the relationship of standards to this model of instruction. As music in contemporary culture continues to shift and change, our understanding of music teaching and learning will need to embrace alternative music-making opportunities across the music curriculum as well.

I believe, as I am sure you do too, that all students are inherently musical, and most make music outside school, even if they do not participate in a formal ensemble.


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These experiences can enrich and encourage new and innovative approaches for music-making. It is our job as music educators to offer space for students to explore, create, and perform music. I would encourage you to attend the NAfME National Conference in Orlando and come ready to explore, learn, and be inspired to try new ideas in your school context!

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Music education at the tipping point. Williams, D. The non-traditional music student in secondary schools of the United States: Engaging non-participant students in creative music activities through technology. Separate registration is required, and seats are limited.