Bring the Power of Music Into Education: A Goal Free/Interdisciplinary Approach of Teaching and Learning in PreK-12 Classrooms

Bring the Power of Music Into Education: A Goal Free/Interdisciplinary Approach of Teaching and Learning in PreK-12 Classrooms

Taichi Akutsu (Shujitsu University, Japan & Seisa University, Japan), Kazuya Amano (Seisa University, Japan), Kimie Hirahara (Seisa University, Japan), Kumiko Kishi (Seisai University, Japan), Eriko Osuga (Seisa University, Japan), Hirotaka Terada (Seisa University, Japan) and Machiko Yoda (Seisa University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8042-3.ch002

Abstract

This study aims to utilize music to improve learners' motivation, communication, as well as all subject matters other than music, and to nurture human resources that will contribute to the creation of “symbiosis” society. By creating a new teaching learning model for recurrent education for in-service P-12 teachers in Japan, the study specifically presents several model classes to let the participating teachers plan the “Utilizing Music.” For training, they use active learning methods such as PBL with core communication among students. The data were gathered by asking all of the participants to answer an open-ended questionnaire after each session and to analyze their sample lesson plans after they received the instruction. Findings suggests that there were certain resistances in teachers to change their teaching to be more interdisciplinary and shifted to kyosei-based; however, most of the participants absorbed the proposed idea and created lessons in a new direction.
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Background

Improvement of learner’s motivation for learning, development of critical thinking skills and empowerment of expressive ability are the highest challenging tasks which is currently putting the most emphasis in Japanese education. In Japan, since 2009, for all the teachers of early childhood education, infant care, elementary, middle and high school, special support, and nutrician to learn “the latest situation of education”, instructively update teacher's license once every ten years that has become obligatory. In order to support in-service teachers and “to extend the philosophy of symbiosis,” Seisa University have held a teacher license renewal course since the beginning of the system. At Seisa University, approximately 90,000 teachers which is about 10% of the total number of teachers in Japan have been taking classes of TLRP as of 2018.

Currently, to describe the outline of TLRP in Japan the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology suggests to set the programs and organize the contents as follows:

  • Compulsory 6 hours (1 day)

  • Compulsory required 6 hours (1 day)

The chairperson at each university can freely select the contents of the course in 3 days, and/ or 30 hours in 5-days lecture is being held. At Seisa University, there are many unique curriculums. In one of the selections, in 18 hours of a course for a higher degree of discretion, the university invites the real comedians as a guest speaker to learn speech and communication. In another occasion, Seisa university invite a top mathematician as a guest speaker to lectures on acquiring logical thinking skills based on mathematics. Some other courses are held and taught at zoos and museums to experience real sense of learning in the fields. We have developed unique courses unlike what other universities would usually offer as lecturing and testing the students.

Seisa University also created a new course entitled “Bring the Power of Music into Education” from 2013 in this selection of 18 hours seminar for three days. This paper reports the outline of this lecture on this ” Bring the Power of Arts into Education,” and aims to contribute the learning activities. The study particularly illustrates how arts empower learning held in P-12 schools by depicting the model lesson plan.

Outline of the “Bring the Power of Arts Into Education”

A big three-day trend is to participate in lectures and workshops by faculty members and guest artists and experts from outside the university. In and through the artistic experience, the participants would prepare lesson plans that use arts in any subjects of the participants’ choices. Participants will think individually and share the process of designing the lesson, and in the final day, by dialogue with the group, complete the lesson plan. Instead of testing learners at the examination, students would present and write an original lesson plan, and reflect the experience.

The idea of the Teacher License Renewal Program is supported by the Japanese Course of Study by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for the following purposes. It said, “Low children's motivation to learn” is pointed out critically and “artistic expression experience that contributes to the development of communication skills of students” must be promoted. In this program entitled Bring the Power of Arts into Education held at Seisa University, we particularly encourage the growth of motivation and expressive power in school life in any of the subjects and activities by developing artistic workshops.

TLRP is mandatory for Japanese teachers and they take it seriously because there is a strict regulation. For example, if a participant teacher who is in the Teacher's License Renewal Program fails to take classes or fails the exam, the teacher's license will expire. Therefore, many people are very nervous compared to general training outside of the curriculum or offered by local community. Therefore, at the beginning, we inform the contents of the examination and 0.01% of those who failed the examination only those who did not participate in any activities to give a sense of security. After that, Ice breaks will be conducted so that you can relax and take classes. The author-instructor tried his best to relax the learning environment for learning to be enjoyable.

The outline of the courses is the following: Exam, Ice brake and Collaborative music workshop.

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