Researchers agree that teachers are the single most influential school-related factor in a child's level of academic achievement. Teaching style may influence students' academic achievement as well as facilitate students' development of social skills and a sense-of-community within the classroom.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between high-school choir directors' (n = 42) teaching-style and their high-school choir students' (n =1,108) psychological sense-of-community. Student participants in grades 9–12 within a mid-Atlantic state were members of a 9th-Grade Chorus (n = 2), Men's Chorus (n = 1), Women's Chorus (n = 8), Select Ensemble (n = 7), or Concert Choir (n = 38). Results from students' scores on the Classroom Community Scale revealed that 9th-grade students reported lower levels of sense-of-community, connectedness, and learning than students in grades 10, 11, and 12. Students in Select Ensembles reported significantly higher levels of sense-of-community, connectedness, and learning than students in Concert Choirs, and students in choirs that performed five or more times per school year reported significantly higher levels of sense-of-community than students in choirs that performed four or less times per school year. Results revealed no main effect for gender, students' years-of-experience in high school choir, or choir-class length and frequency.
Teachers' scores on the Music Teaching Style Inventory revealed that teachers preferred the Assertive Teaching (M = 3.80), Nonverbal Motivation (M = 3.75), Time Efficiency (M = 4.33), and Positive Learning Environment (M = 4.27) teaching-styles that focus on teacher-led activities. Music Concept Learning (M = 3.48), Artistic Music Performance (M = 3.46), Student Independence (M = 3.30), Group Dynamics (M = 2.84), teaching-styles with a focus on student-led activities were least preferred by the teachers in this study. Group Dynamics teaching style was a low or the lowest preferred teaching-style for 40 of the 42 participating teachers. Results revealed no main effect for teachers' gender or years-of-experience teaching.
Teaching-style preference was not a significant predictor for students' levels of sense-of-community or connectedness. Time Efficiency and Student Independence teaching-styles positively correlated with students' perceived level of learning while the Artistic Music Performance teaching-style negatively correlated with students' perceived level learning.
Within teachers' reports of observed student behaviors, teachers identified all four elements of sense-of-community: membership, influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection. Teachers also reported purposefully planning activities in order to facilitate their choir students' sense-of-community. Activities included teaching behaviors found within the Positive Learning Environment, Group Dynamics, Artistic Music Performance, and Student Independence teaching-styles. Teachers expressed that a sense-of-community has importance in that it effects students' musical expression; students' ability to achieve their potential for musical performance; students' retention within choir ensembles; teachers' advocacy for choir programs; and student's participation in musical ensembles beyond high school.
|Commitee:||Klein, Michael, Reynolds, Alison|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Choir, Choral music education, Connectedness, High school, Sense of community, Teaching style|
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