ERIC Number: EJ1097883
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Using the Elements of Cooperative Learning in School Band Classes in the United States
Whitener, John L.
International Journal of Music Education, v34 n2 p219-233 May 2016
The purpose of this article is to answer the question of how we might use the elements of cooperative learning in school band classes in the United States. Current school band programs use age-old traditions that overemphasize group and individual competitiveness, stress large ensemble performance at the expense of all other activities, are teacher/director-centered, content/repertoire-driven, and rarely educate band members to be independent musicians capable of deeply understanding, creating, or responding to the art of music. Cooperative learning strategies provide music teachers with a theory- and research-based approach to education that promises students will learn more, like school better, like each other better, and learn more effective social skills when the approach is used. Over 50 years of empirical research reveals that when comparing cooperative learning to competitive and individualistic classroom efforts in the three broad categories of effort to achieve, interpersonal relationships, and psychological health, cooperative learning is the more effective approach. Cooperative learning elements may be implemented in band classes using small chamber music ensembles, small-group sectionals, and the formation of small cooperative learning groups. The implementation of the approach will naturally require additional effort on the part of the band director and a shift away from the traditional competitive performance emphasis of band programs.
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Music Education, Teaching Methods, Music Activities, Competition, Educational Theories, Interpersonal Competence, Educational History, Comparative Analysis, Mental Health
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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