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ERIC Number: EJ1090944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1476-718X
A Qualitative Investigation of Early Childhood Teachers' Experiences of Rhythm as Pedagogy
Matthews, Douglas R; Ubbes, Valerie A; Freysinger, Valeria J
Journal of Early Childhood Research, v14 n1 p3-17 Mar 2016
Rhythm has been found to enhance not only biological functioning (e.g. balance, timing and coordination), but also to facilitate learning across sociocultural contexts. That is, rhythm may be a method of supporting child development and well-being. Hence, to the extent that children are not exposed to or engaged with rhythm, their development or the realization of their full potential may be limited. However, little research has explored the use of rhythm in early childhood education--a major context (in terms of time and importance) of children's lives--or teachers' experiences with rhythm in their pedagogy. Therefore, we conducted a qualitative study to investigate elementary teachers' experiences of rhythm in their classroom teaching specifically, and in the teaching--learning process generally. A phenomenological approach that assumes that peoples' perceptions present us with evidence of the world not as the world is thought to be but as it is lived was employed. Our goal was to understand the everyday pedagogy of a group of elementary school teachers, specifically, to understand how they experienced and constructed the role of rhythm in elementary education. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with study participants to probe and generate a rich description of the phenomenon of rhythm in the teaching--learning process. Results consisted of nine themes that convey (1) what rhythm meant to the teachers, (2) what they saw as the importance of rhythm in their teaching, and (3) the challenges they faced in incorporating rhythm in their teaching. Findings suggest that a broader and more inclusive range of activities (i.e. because rhythmic activities such as music, dance, oral rhymes, and other bodily movement) in the academic curriculum is important as such activities have the potential to improve the learning, development, and well-being of elementary school-age children and enhance the lived experiences of schooling for both educators and their students. However, a number of challenges also confront elementary educators who seek to incorporate rhythm into their pedagogy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A