MEMT 420


Spring 2008


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)


As a music teacher I would embrace a social contract because we do have these children for many years and we may end up being very close to our students.  A social contract allows you to treat your students like persons rather than imposing your rules upon them.  Most importantly, it gives the students a part in the decision making process giving them power, and they must also learn how to make consequences for actions rather than punishments.

Reasons why I might not want to use this method, or at least find it hard to get started, is the time process.  It takes weeks to get a social contract finalized, and while it only takes a few minutes each class period to discuss a social contracts creation, what do you do with your students when they misbehave in the meantime?  Another thing that a teacher will have to watch out for is that students do not create rules that are too strict.  Another tricky aspect, is that the children must should distinguish between behavioral, procedural, and effective rules, and sound principles.  These can be difficult concepts for the younger children.



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)


            Listening is an integral and essential part of music making.  Listening assignments will strengthen fine listening skills and improve overall awareness of singing in tune, playing correct rhythms, etc.  Students must be able to listen, imitate, and then reproduce to be successful in the beginning and then these skills will eventually transfer to their inner hearing mechanisms.  This is the goal we strive to achieve.



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


            Kindergarteners and Pre-K children are very tactile learners.  Their attention spans are only roughly equal to the number of minutes equal to how many years old they are.  They also only know two things, how to use the bathroom, and what their name is.  Along with their name, they can write short words.

            Primary school children beginning in 1st grade can begin reading sentences.  They learn primarily through physical engagement and they start to get jokes.  These children experience many growth spurts, particularly 1st graders who experience six growth spurts physically, intellectually, and socially.


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)


1)    Evaluation – (HOT)  Students can evaluate their work.  Skills needed for this task include the ability to appraise worth, argue value, defend, judge, predict, rate, select, and support.  Students do this when they tape their performances and then critique their playing/singing.

2)    Synthesis – (HOT)  The student can piece together different pieces of information to make a coherent whole.  Students can arrange, collect, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, plan, prepare, and propose their ideas.  A music student does this when they compose music based on a I-IV-V-I progression.

3)    Analysis – (HOT)  The student is now able to distinguish between what actually is and what they think is.  Students are able to analyze, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, and distinguish.  In a music class, this might be when a student is able to compare aurally the difference between how a major chord sounds versus one in minor.

4)    Application – (HOT)  This is the first skill that requires higher order thinking skills.  Students are able to apply previous knowledge to new unseen situations.  Skills included are being able to apply, demonstrate, illustrate, interpret, solve.  A musical example would be when a student is able to take the intervals of a major scale and form any scale using this formula. 

5)    Understanding – (LOT) Also referred to as comprehension, this is the next level where the student is able to understand the meaning of something and state it in their own words.  Examples of skills involved include being able to describe, discuss, explain, identify, locate, translate.  An example might be when a child translates legato into English and relates this to their musical performance.

6)    Knowledge – (LOT) this is the first level encountered and is the foundation for the other levels.  Skills involved include defining, duplicating, labeling, listing, memorizing, naming, and putting things in order.  An example might be listing the notes of a C major scale.