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Peer assisted learning in the acquisition of musical composition skills

By Hilda Mugglestone


The purpose of the study was to discover the effects of using peer assisted learning in acquiring skills in music composition. The ten criteria used for assessing the effects of peer assisted learning comprised six concerning social qualities and four relating to cognitive aspects of what might be learned from working and learning together. The research used both qualitative and quantitative methods, encompassing interviews with the teacher, questionnaires for the students and observation. The latter included a quantitative element. The research took place in the natural settings of timetabled music lessons in Year Seven at an English comprehensive secondary school. \ud \ud This peer assisted learning research is believed to be the only such project conducted entirely in the unadulterated classroom settings. The lessons followed the teacher’s choice of lesson material and the length of time normally allowed for lessons in that school. No changes in classroom organisation, timing, or for any other reason were requested by, or made for, the researcher. Each class was divided into groups whose size, ability and gender were determined by the teacher. From these groups, the teacher selected the three which were the focus of this research.\ud \ud All three of the sample groups showed some evidence of the beneficial effects of peer assisted learning socially and cognitively although this varied according to the children’s different ability levels. Peer assisted learning was found to be most successful where children were able to work together cohesively and communicate well, either verbally or musically. Most children either acquired new musical skills or enhanced those they already possessed through the use of peer assisted learning

Topics: X390 Academic studies in Education not elsewhere classified, W390 Music not elsewhere classified
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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