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ERIC Number: EJ1093601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1932-7528
Implementing Mapping the Beat in the 8th Grade
Richardson, Ronald Craig
Journal for Learning through the Arts, v6 n1 2010
This article is based on a doctoral dissertation study, "Expanding Geographic Understanding in Grade 8 Social Studies Classes through Integration of Geography, Music, and History: A QuasiExperimental Study" that took place in a high-achieving, suburban middle school in Southern California. The study compared learning as a result of nine 90-minute workshops in Grade 8 social studies. Three classes (N = 84) were the control group and four classes (N = 131) were the treatment. 85% of students were assigned by computer to the classes. As much as possible, classes were balanced in terms of gender, ethnicity, and academic proficiency in English. The key question is whether social studies workshops that include music, hands-on geography activities, and cultural studies could result in greater understanding of physical and cultural geography and more positive geography-related attitudes for students in the treatment workshops, as compared to the control group who studied the standard curricula. Quantitative analyses compared baseline and follow-up results on a multiple-choice geography exam and an attitude survey. Four research questions asked if the control or treatment workshops led to greater: (1) geographic understanding, measured by the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) Intermediate Standards-Based Geography Test; (2) improvement in geography-related attitudes, measured by the Test of Geography-Related Attitudes (ToGRA); (3) success on the NCGE or the ToGRA, when controlling for sub-groups (English learners, gender, low-achieving, ethnicity); and (4) understanding of connections between geography, history, and culture, measured by qualitative observations, quick-writes, and focus group interviews. Analysis of Questions 1, 2, and 3 suggested statistically significant results. Question 1 analysis was performed on NCGE exam results, including tests for assumption of equal variance, parametric t-tests and the Wilcoxon nonparametric tests. Question 2 analyzed ToGRA results and suggested that treatment workshops resulted in greater improvement in geography-related attitudes. Group comparisons of change scores indicated statistically significant mean differences between control and treatment groups. Question 3 focused on regression results and suggested that the treatment intervention was more successful. For Question 4, qualitative measures included classroom observations, comparisons of quick-writes by students with similar characteristics, and focus group interviews. Qualitative data supported the quantitative results. An unanticipated outcome was greater writing fluency for treatment students. This study also considered the possible impact of interest, motivation and affect on student learning.
Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. University of California Irvine, School of Biological Sciences III, Office 2656, Irvine, CA 92697. Tel: 949-824-4317; Fax: 949-824-2965; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A