Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
ItemMusical futures in the primary (elementary) yearsMcLennan, Rebecca Louise ( 2012)Music is an important part of young people’s lives for self-expression, enjoyment and identity formation, and it is vital that school music is able to engage all young people. A music classroom approach, Musical Futures has been found to have a positive impact on the re- engagement of young people at the secondary level (Hallam, Creech, & McQueen, 2009, 2011; Jeanneret, 2010; Jeanneret, McLennan, & Stevens-Ballenger, 2011). Years Five and Six (10-12 year olds) are grouped into the middle years of Five to Nine (10 – 15 year olds) who share common engagement needs. This study explored whether Musical Futures could have a similarly positive impact in the upper primary years as it has had in the lower secondary level. The research was a collective case study following two Australian schools which used the Musical Futures approach to music education in Years Five and Six. The study used a mixed methods approach including interviews, focus group discussions, observations and surveys to gather data. The results of the study found that Musical Futures had a positive impact on students’ engagement, musical skills and knowledge and social learning in the two case study schools. The conditions supporting the positive impact were closely aligned with principles of engaging middle years students. The study provided a number of key recommendations for schools considering implementing Musical Futures in the primary years. While it acknowledged that each case is different, the study suggested that the age of primary students should not discourage teachers from using this learning approach in their music classroom.
ItemThe map is not the territory: reconsidering music improvisation educationWallace, Michael Edmund ( 2012)This paper examines contemporary theory on music improvisation learning and teaching. It highlights how music improvisation education is being reconsidered, and the implications of this reconsideration for academic practice. The aim of the research is to emancipate. In this sense the topic engages critical theory to evaluate literature so as to provide a way forward for music improvisation education. The inductive document analysis undertaken examines a variety of document forms to seek recurring themes and thematic relationships. This qualitative investigation is framed by ecological systems theory/methodology (Borgo, 2007; Clarke, 2005), which sees knowledge as embodied, situated and distributed. Music education centres on the performance of repertoire, often neglecting the creative processes of improvisation and composition. This study finds the dominant improvisation education methods which stem from jazz as limited in scope. Jazz improvisation education commonly centres on patterns and models and a harmonic imperative (chord–scale theory). Such approaches do not holistically embrace the immediacy, preparation, embodiment and social interaction of the improvisation process, which ecological systems theory seeks to acknowledge. In a broader setting, the Dalcroze, Kodály and Orff early childhood methods centre on improvisation as play, perhaps reflecting Piaget’s concrete operational stage. Subsequent levels of music education, perhaps viewing play as immature, neglect the embodied, situated and distributed elements of ecological improvisation. Paynter and Schafer, through their Cagean prioritisation of critical listening, exhibit some elements of ecological systems thinking. I conclude that the educational methods utilised by free improvisers, such as Stevens, Dove, Dresser and Bennink, engage the learner holistically through embodied, situated and distributed practice. It is recommended that such educational methods, which involve community practice, be introduced into music academies to reflect the ecological nature of improvisation.
ItemJob seekers, traps, and Mickey-Mouse trainingDavis, Sarah Margaret ( 2012)Students have become commodities in a new market-driven Australian training system and according to the literature, increasingly subject to poor quality training. Some courses have not been adequate or appropriate for the learning needs of the students, nor industry requirements, and therefore flout the policy goal of a skilled workforce. This thesis aims to explore pathways to employment for African migrant women who undertook a Certificate III course in aged care, but remained unemployed in an area of apparent ‘skills shortage’. Utilising an ethnographic methodology, a small sample of migrant women graduates of aged care Certificate III courses participated in the study – some had been successful and others unsuccessful in obtaining employment in the field. A small sample of aged care team leaders were also interviewed. Sub-standard training qualifications were identified by participants as the biggest barrier to employment. Research findings suggest that fast-tracked, private for-profit training provision is likely to be of poor quality in comparison to public not-for-profit training provision. Findings also indicate that agents of various guises, often with conflicts of interest, have been recruiting students with apparent insufficient and even misleading information about courses. For the long-term benefit of society and the economy, a recognition of the role of well-resourced and funded public training institutions is recommended. If government continues to enable competition for funding between private and public training providers, adequate measures need to be in place to ensure more responsible disbursement of government funds in the training sector. Training providers need to be adequately checked before funds are allocated to them; including for their capabilities such as student support services, partnerships and track record of employment outcomes, but not overly audited and monitored so that professional accountability innovation and quality are stifled. Consumers need to be informed, protected and have bargaining power to be able to compete with the demands of large corporations and international markets. A Labour Market Entry Model (LMEM) is proposed that is a three pronged approach, managed and informed by an ethical local governance structure, of i) policies for quality training ii) career pathway information and iii) work creation for target labour, such as the migrant women, to overcome some of the barriers that they may face and to strategically reduce poverty and related issues in localities where there are concentrations of disadvantage. Until policies and resources are better directed towards a LMEM, partnerships of local agencies should enable residents and employer brokers to clarify career interests and aptitudes along with labour market entry requirements of local employers. They should also raise awareness on how to select a quality training course and determine which training providers and courses should be accepted into community spaces.
ItemThinking about historical thinking in the Australian Curriculum: HistoryMartin, Gerard Francis ( 2012)This study analyses and evaluates the approach to historical thinking in the Australian Curriculum: History. This research study adopts interpretative discipline based pedagogy, with a document content analysis method. The study draws upon the research of Peter Lee (1983) on historical substantive and procedural concepts which have influenced the models of historical thinking by Wineburg (2000), Seixas (2006), Lévesque (2008) and historical reasoning by Van Drie and Van Boxtel (2008). These models provide a theoretical frame to critically evaluate the relationship and application of the disciplinary structures in the Australian Curriculum: History. Historical methods and procedures engage students in the process of historical construction through active historical thinking and reasoning. Research judgments are made on the effectiveness of the curriculum and its design in understanding and communicating the relationship between the substantive and procedural concepts of history as a discipline. The research findings indicate that the curriculum fails to recognize the importance and distinctiveness of substantive concepts as the building blocks of historical knowledge that make historical inquiry meaningful and intelligible. The analysis of substantive concepts in the Australian Curriculum: History using unique, organizational and thematic concepts reflects a curriculum that does not always pay attention to historical context. The study revealed that the curriculum fails to make explicit the interrelationship between substantive and procedural concepts in the Historical Knowledge and Understanding strand and the Historical Skills strand. This has resulted in a curriculum that does not enact the analytical and evaluative nature of procedural concepts such as historical significance, continuity and change, etc. Also, there is limited understanding of the method of application of procedural concepts like historical perspectives, contestability and empathy in the curriculum and as a result this undermines the role of these concepts in facilitating historical thinking. From this analysis a new pedagogical model, “Framework for Historical Reasoning” emerges which relates the historical substantive and procedural concepts and historical skills as a unified pedagogical approach. This model provides a framework which teachers can use to engage with the enacted curriculum and facilitate student historical inquiry and understanding.