423 Paradigms and Processes in Music Education Research
423 Paradigms and Processes in Music Education Research
Required Text: Gall, M., Borg, W., Gall. J. Educational Research: An Introduction. 6th edition. New York: Longman. (available at the SBX Bookstore)Optional Text: Bobrow, J. (ed.) (1983). Statistics (Cliffs Quick Review). Lincoln, Nebraska: Cliffs Notes. (available at most book stores).Packet of research studies. Available at Quartet copy shop at an announced time.Other Materials
(N. B. Most of these will be placed on reserve for you in the Deering library.)
Description and Goals
The purpose to is examine the major paradigms and processes of research in music education. For those in the doctoral program, the course is meant to partner with the ProSeminar series in the integrated doctoral core and lead to more advanced courses in research offered by music education faculty and faculty in other departments at Northwestern. For Masters students, the course is meant to help understand how research can inform practice and serve as a springboard for other future advanced work in music education.
Traditionally, research follows several paths depending in part on the biases and abilities of the investigator and the nature of the problem under investigation. One type of research in music education that is traditional in our field (and common in other disciplines) is the kind that tests the "effects" of one "treatment" against another under "controlled" conditions. This type of research is called experimental. This kind of research is common in music education but by no means is the only way to study important questions in music teaching and learning. For example, there are descriptive studies that attempt to "describe" the current state of affairs. Questionnaire and interview studies fall into this category, as do other studies that examine the "relationship" between one "variable" and another or with many others. Often, these studies offer speculative comment and lay the foundation for other research. A large branch of this approach that generally focuses on intensive study of a smaller number of "cases" is qualitative research. Here, the point is to discover more subtle aspects of variability that are not possible to see when dealing with a large data set. There are also historical studies in music education that probe the past events of our profession and often speculate on the future and philosophical studies that argue for a particular approach or orientation to teaching based on careful argument.
We will attempt to sort this out together and learn about the fundamental tools of research in each of these approaches. We will stress descriptive (including qualitative study) and experimental work and do less with historical and philosophical. We will focus on the specific application of research ideas to the classroom. An important part of our work will be the creation of a final project in which the identification of a problem will be followed by a review of the literature and a plan of a research. Time constraints placed on us by a 10-week quarter will not permit the actual collection of data, but you are encouraged to do so at a later date.
Assignments and Evaluation
For most projects, we issue 5 kinds of grades:
A Excellent work in many aspects
B Good work, room to grow
Not yet: Not up to A or B work, give it another shot (not used for final exam)
C "Not yet" work that is left without satisfactory repair
F No work at all
We expect work to be given to us when it is due. We always give a student a little leeway for unexpected problems in their life like a technical problem with a computer system or some personal issue that prevents work to submitted on time. A "little leeway" is defined as a 24 hour extension. Work after that can be turned in up to one full week late, but we must lower the grade regardless of its quality We cannot accept work over a week late.
We do not give incompletes for final grades, except in dire emergencies (death of a loved one, major illness).
We except you to attend each day of class. We understand that there may be times when you cannot come to class for good reason and we have no problem with this. You will be responsible for the information discussed in class, of course, and we will always help with makeup work. A number of absences in a row will result in very poor results in written work, based on our years of experience with such classes. Use your tuition dollar wisely.
(Bold items are assignments)
9/20 General introduction to the purpose of research. Definition of research; Identification of assumptions. Connection of research to practice.
Read Chapter 1 in Borg and Gall
9/25 What is an assumption? What do we need to know? History of music education research. General introduction to the purpose of research. Classic approaches based on the scientific method vs. more recent approaches based on shifting paradigms. Types of research. Importance of research to practice. Listing of "hot" topics. "Researchability" of topics. Introduction to modeling and model building.
Read Chapter 4 in Borg and Gall
9/27 Special presentation: Deering Music Library: Bibliographic references in music education, technological resources, discussion of the major sources of information, database searches. Meet at Deering Music Library.
Practice using the library resources both IN and library and ON LINE outside the library. Be prepared to demonstrate abilities to use tools in class. Check out the Course Website
Short paper due on 9/27 (2-3 pg. only). Explain 6 "wonderments". (1-2 paragraphs per "wonderment"). You should have a short description of what you want to know, followed by a first attempt at a research question for each of the 6.
Read two self-selected research articles for discussion on 10/2.
10/2 Discussion of Library Tour; How to do a literature search effectively; Discuss purpose/assumptions/research question(s) in the two articles you have found. Be prepared to explain how the authors might have delimited the problems and worked with purposes, assumptions and research question formulation. Did there seem to be an underlying theory or conceptual base?
Go to the library and do the first stage of a literature search on one of your wonderments. Be prepared to discuss this with the class on 10/4. Make individual appointments with W or W for discussion of wonderments and your final project idea.
Read Chapter 3 in Borg and Gall for 10/4
10/4 Continued discussion of wonderments as a class; continued discussion of what makes a good, researchable question or set of questions. Ethical and legal issues.
Select one article from your search, copied for all class members, to share for the 10/9 class. Deliver article to Professor Websters table outside his door by Friday (10/6) for class pickup and reading over the weekend.
10/9 Presentation/discussion of selected articles. Summarize the article (7 minutes) and lead the class in a discussion of the merits and shortcomings (possible extensions) of the article.
Read Chapter 5 in Borg and Gall, p. 167-180 for 10/13
10/11 Types of measurement scales. Measures of central tendency. Difference between descriptive and inferential statistics; Concepts of distribution, variability, normal curve, standard scores; What are variables; Independent/dependent variables; Intro to correlation.
STAT WORKSHEET 1 Due for 10/16
Read remainder of Chapter 5 in Borg and Gall for 10/16
10/16 Correlation and causality; computing correlation. Concepts of significance testing. Chi Square.
STAT WORKSHEET 2 Due for 10/18
Read selected descriptive study in class packet for class discussion on 10/18
Read Chapter 6 AND 8 in Borg and Gall for 10/18
10/18 Introduction to sampling techniques and descriptive research in music education. Questionnaire and survey construction.
Read Chapters 15 in Borg and Gall for 10/23-11/1
10/23-11/1 What is qualitative research? Types and differentiation; Ethnography/anthropology/sociology: fieldwork in interpretive paradigms; Field relations and the development of emic issues; Coding: looking at qualitative data. Model vs. emergent view of analysis.
RELECTIVE PAPER 1 (Quantitative Descriptive Research): 10/23
Read articles for qualitative research and selected handouts from Course Packet
11/1 Final meeting on Qualitative Research. Relationships between qualitative and quantitative work.
RELECTIVE PAPER 2 (Qualitative Research): 11/1
Final check for projects. Sign up for an appointment with W or W.
Read Chapter 10 for 11/6
11/6 Introduction to causal-comparative research, t-tests, inferential statistics reviewed, significance testing reviewed, concepts of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and its use in causal-comparative research
Read selected study from Course Packet for class discussion for 11/8
STAT WORKSHEET 3 due for 11/8
Midpoint check for projects. Sign up for an appointment.
11/8 Discussion of selected article; Further work on ANOVA design
RELECTIVE PAPER 3 (Causal-Comparative AVONA Design): 11/13
Read Chapter 12 in Borg and Gall for 11/13
11/13 Introduction to experimental research; internal and external validity.
Read selected study for class discussion for 11/15
11/15 Continued work on experimental research; Discussion of assigned article
Arrange for last meeting with W. or W. on Final Project
11/20 Historical research: approaches to data collection; Current issues in historical research.
RELECTIVE PAPER 4 (Experimental Design): 11/27
11/22 No Class (Off for Turkey Day)
11/27 Course Summary, Preparation for Final Exam
11/29 Final Project Presentation
FINAL PROJECT DUE: 11/29
TENTATIVE DATE FOR FINAL EXAM: DECEMBER 4
FINAL PROJECT DESIGN
(model your paper
after the way that published articles are written)
You will do everything but collect and analyze the data.
1. Title page
2. Body of Paper: (5-6 pages)
3. Design section: description of data collection (who, what, where, when, how) and data analysis in sufficient detail so that others in the class could do the project without discussing it with you (2-3 pages).
4. Annotated bibliography: a minimum of 18-20 sources. You may want to make groups of sources, each section in alpha order by author last name and separated by a subheading. Each article should be listed in APA format. Each annotation should be one paragraph summarizing the contents of the article in such a way that the connection to the sub section and the topic in general is clear.
You will have a handout of the final project ready at the time of your presentation so that it can be copied for the class and compiled into a master set of research projects.