Theses Doctoral

Are Schwab's Commonplaces Common In Music Teaching?

Duncan, Renee

The purpose of this multi-site comparative study was to engage music educators in a process to uncover broader perspectives on their pedagogy by breaking down the barriers between general education pedagogy and music education. The curriculum planning and instruction of music teachers were observed through Schwab's Commonplaces framework to identify connections between their initial approaches and changes made during the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Participants were seven New York City middle school general music teachers. Data were collected from participants in two sets, each consisting of one questionnaire in Qualtrics, and one interview on Zoom for a total of four instruments.

The data analysis process was as follows; (a) data organization, (b) first cycle structural coding, (c) second cycle coding, and (d) synthesis and cross-case analysis. The study addressed the following research questions: (a) How can the curriculum planning, and instruction of music teachers be observed in relation to Schwab's commonplaces? (b) What connections might be inferred between these observations and any later curriculum or instructional changes (or lack thereof) made by teachers? (c) How might the schooling changes resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak have impacted these decisions? (d) What impact and/or changes in student engagement and learning might be observed by teachers during the period of this study?

The findings were as follows; (a) Commonplace lens/es for curriculum planning and instruction were misidentified by participants, Learner was the most emphasized Commonplace instruction lens and four participants were unable to differentiate between curriculum and instruction, (b) Teachers' more accurately identified the Commonplace lens/es in the second data set, Learner was the most emphasized Commonplace lens for curriculum planning and instruction, and student feedback and/or engagement influenced curriculum changes, (c) COVID-19 affected participants' emotions, attitudes, and decision-making, school reopening structures frequently changed, participants simplified curriculum content for remote and reduced instruction time, and altered curriculum and instruction to prioritize students' social-emotional well-being and engagement, and (d) Student engagement and learning looked different due to COVID-19 schooling changes, in-person students showed improved engagement and quality of work, other subjects affected student engagement and learning, which improved after curriculum changes.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Parkes, Kelly A.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 2, 2021