The effectiveness of virtual music resources in meeting the needs of early childhood teachers

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Fuller, Breeanne
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Private music teachers and early childhood educators have overlapping interests, but rarely seem to interact, despite the research indicating the benefits of music integration as a teaching strategy across several areas of curriculum. The design of this research is an intensive, descriptive case study with four participating teachers in Alberta kindergarten classrooms in the 2011-2012 school year. Over 12 weeks, four teachers accessed a website designed by a private music educator, containing music integration resources that could assist teachers in meeting many of the student-learning outcomes set out in the Alberta kindergarten program of studies. Three observations were conducted of each of the participants utilizing the resources in their classes, and interviews were conducted after each observation. Some of the underlying research questions that served to maintain the focus of the study were: How did the participants use the resources from the website? To what extent did the use of the website impact their willingness to use online resources for professional learning, networking and sharing? And, to what extent did this resource function like a virtual community of practice, connecting two communities interested in music education? Results are wholly encouraging, indicating that communities of practice can extend to the Internet, bridging the gap between two communities. This research has the potential to be replicated and expanded in many ways.
community of practice , curriculum integration , early childhood education , music education , private music teacher