Enetta Nelson Rose, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change
Instructional strategies or pedagogical methods are essential components of a teacher’s quality and effectiveness in increasing student achievement while meeting the diverse learning needs their students. The mandate of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 emphasized improving curriculum standards and instructional strategies, which has resulted in decreased opportunities for the arts. The movement of the Common Core State Curriculum Standards (2010) initiated the utilization of cross-disciplinary instruction through transferring concepts from one discipline to the next. Research (Catteral, Chapleau, & Iwanaga, 1999; Smithrim & Upitis, 2005; & Spelke, 2004) integrating the arts and academics has demonstrated the academic benefits of cross-disciplinary pedagogy. “Preparation of educators for cross-disciplinary pedagogy is an area that needs development” (Mosseri, 2006, p.1). This study will focus on pedagogical strategies as an approach to integrated instruction between the music and the academic disciplines. This study employed an action research mixed method design. The quantitative data consisted of 303 Survey Monkey responses to a questionnaire from music teachers in Texas. Qualitative data consisted open-ended questions on the questionnaire and 10 interviews with music teachers. Results indicated a positive attitude toward interdisciplinary instruction with respect to teaching music. However, teachers reported a lack of training in pre-service university courses and professional development regarding interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary instruction. They also reported a lack of support for interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary instruction within the schools and school systems with which they worked. Recommendations for practice and teacher preparation are included.
Key Words: Effective pedagogy, cross-disciplinary instruction, interdisciplinary instruction, pre-service teacher education program, professional development, teacher evaluation, integrated instruction, authentic literacy, learning communities.
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