MEMT 420 Midterm



1. According to Curwin and Mendler, the social contract is a means of assisting classroom management. Briefly discuss 3 reasons why you, as a music teacher, would embrace and utilize this; also present 3 reasons why you, as a music teacher, would not utilize this. (Your arguments might be those you'd use in a discussion with a principal and fellow faculty if your school were considering adopting the social contract and you presented both pros and cons.) (12 points)

    1. The social contract can be a helpful tool for discipline planning because it allows the students to be involved in the process. Too often, students are not allowed to have a say in consequences for their own behavior. The social contract can be changed to fit the class's needs, thus putting more personal responsibility on the students in order to hold them accountable. Another pro for the social contract is that it can help prepare students for the "real world". The system effect found within the social contract mirrors society because it provides a controlled but manageable environment. Finally, the social contract will eventually save time. If a set of consequences for behavior are already established, more time can be spent making and learning about music than dealing with new consequences for new discipline problems.
    2. The social contract is not an effective tool because it functions as if every child was exactly the same. Like a "big brother" system where everyone is placed under the same large blanket and given the exact same consequences, the social contract does not work for each individual student. Every student is different and therefore requires different attention and consequences. The social contract is also very unstable. It is extremely difficult for a system that heavily relies on consistency to function in a chaotic environment that is full of changing individuals. The social contract would need constant modification. This time-consuming process would defeat the purpose of the contract system all together.



3. Based on your readings and class work, present a rationale for including listening lessons in your daily classes that might appear in the student handbook that you compose for your music program. Cite (author, year) inclusions that are not your own. (6 points)

c.     Incorporating listening lessons into daily classes allows the student to learn in yet another way. Since students learn best when they are presented with multiple types of input, learning by listening allows for another mode of representation and transfer. Listening itself is a useful tool that often gets overlooked. Children can distinguish between consonant and dissonant intervals and detect intonation discrepancies before the age of one (Flohr, 2005). As listening demands great concentration from the students, they can learn about global and cultural sounds (Campbell, 2005). Honing in on this already well-developed skill and using it as a tool for more learning can be very beneficial in the music classroom. This will help listening skills in general as well as other transferable musical abilities.



4. Compare and contrast the learning characteristics of preschoolers and primary children. (10 points)

d.     Preschoolers are primarily non-verbal learners. Like most learners, they learn best by participation through physical engagement and "hands-on" experiences. However, in their case, it is one of the only ways they can efficiently learn because they have not yet developed the cognitive skills required for iconic and symbolic learning. This enactive style of learning allows these young students to slowly make transfers in a tactile manner as opposed to reading and writing.

e.     Students at the primary grade level still learn best with a heavy load of enactive learning. These students are just as imaginative and still eager to learn. However, by this time these students possess the necessary skills (varying amounts of reading, writing, abstract thinking) to make transfers into iconic and eventually symbolic learning. At this point, they are able to use their palate of fundamentals to build on and learn at a higher cognitive level.



5. According to Bloom, there are six levels of learning that occur among lower-order thinking skills and higher-order thinking skills. Provide a brief description of each of the six levels and present an example of each one in terms of a music lesson plan. Do not write a lesson plan, merely list the 6 levels, briefly describe each level, and give a short example of each. (18 points)

f.      Knowledge

                                               i.     This deals with remembering or recalling previously learned information such as facts, terms or basic concepts.

                                             ii.     Example: Showing a student a picture of a trumpet and asking the student to define/label what it is.

g.     Comprehension

                                               i.     This encompasses understanding the meaning of material by grasping and interpreting it by means of explaining and summarizing.

                                             ii.     Example: Ask a student how they would compare and contrast a trombone to a flute.

h.     Application

                                               i.     The first of the higher-order thinking skills, application deals with using and applying newly acquired knowledge by transferring from something that is previously learned.

                                             ii.     Example: After a student has learned a lesson on the basic concepts of dynamic levels, play the student a listening example and ask him/her to identify which sections are forte and which are piano.

i.      Analysis

                                               i.     This level involves the breaking down of information into organized parts and examining the information by making inferences.

                                             ii.     Example: Play a student two brief melodies of contrasting dynamics, articulation, tempo and/or melodic shape and ask him/her to analyze the qualities of each.

j.      Synthesis

                                               i.     This explains the ability to creatively put the parts listed under "analysis" back together in a different way to produce a new, original whole.

                                             ii.     Example: From the above example, ask the student to use elements of dynamics and articulation that were previously heard to create a new melody.

k.     Evaluation

                                               i.     This level deals with the ability to judge the value of information and defend those judgments based on valid support. There are not necessarily right or wrong answers at this level, as long as the evaluations are reasonably defended.

                                             ii.     Example: After having students perform or listen to music, ask them to share and discuss what they heard. What did they hear that was "good" or "bad" and WHY was it "good" or "bad"?