Every action and inaction of a teacher has fundament routs based on their teaching philosophy. Though philosophy is the language of great thinkers such as Aristotle and Pluto, philosophical thinking and understanding is a necessary to become a better teacher. There are several forms of philosophical styles of music education that are accepted and practiced in this modern era of education. However, the four main philosophical approaches that Collins discus in his text is Naturalism, Idealism, Realism, and Pragmatism.
The naturalist approach to education is that education should conform to the natural development of the student, education should be enjoyable, and the acquisition of knowledge is a stressed importance of education.
The idealist approach to education is that the teacher understands his students on a personal level. Due to the closeness of the teacher / student relationships the students will be able to understand the subject matter better. But the stress of idealist is mainly held in the belief that the teacher is the ultimate good in society.
There are several ideas from each philosophical style that I believe have merit. Like the naturalist, I believe that if education is enjoyable the students will better understand what they are being taught. I also have a strong belief that each student is in individual, and therefore should be thought as an individual. I believe that this chapter has helped by making myself look into my philosophy of education.
In chapter four of Teaching Choral Music, Don L. Collins describes the many teaching strategies for effective music educators, however the first half of the chapter discussed how students become motivated. Collins states several philosophies of motivation throughout the first half of this chapter. He beginnings with describing the two most basic forms of motivation, intrinsic, inner desire to archive a set goal, and extrinsic motivation, motivation though incentives. Next, Collins describes the philosophies of Kurt Lewin.
Kurt Lewin(1890 – 1947) was a social psychologist, that offered a more in-depth approach to motivate students. Lewin came up with the theory of living space, the notion that the student has an emotional and motivational response to all of his surroundings. However, Collins stats that the living-space theory realizes on human behavior had to be goal-orientated to having meaning.
Next, Collin describes another philosophy called Drive–Theory, created by Clark Hull. Drive theory is the notation that each individual has a basic fundamental motivational drive to accomplish needs. Hull also created the theory of habit- family hierarchy, in which people are born with inherent habits that varies each individual’s drive.
Collins continues to discuss motivational philosophies and introduces Maslow’s Needs Theory. After attending the Tanglewood Symposium of 1967 Maslow’s developed his idea called Third Force psychology, which stresses motivation, affect, creativity, and general fulfillment of human potential. From there, Maslow’s developed his Needs Theory, a hierarchy of learned psychological needs that are the basis of life. Maslows stated that one cannot progress to the next stage of the Needs Theory without satisfying the previous requirements. Once one has mastered the seven levels of Maslow’s Needs Theory, self-actualization is achieved, which then itself becomes perpetual motivation for the individual.
In the seconded half of this chapter, Collins gives an interactive instructional model for effective teaching. He begins this model identifying the students personal and performance needs. After the needs of the students are identified, an effective teacher must create a lesson plan. The lesson plan includes the cognitive domain, which is usually written, as “students will be able to”. The cognitive domain includes comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. After one has finished his cognitive domain area of his lesson plan, he should move to the affective domain, which is usually written, as “Students will …”. The affective domain includes receiving, responding, valuing, and organization. The next stage of the lesson plain would be to include the psychomotor domain. The psychomotor domain is 3 sub-area with each their own individual guidelines.
Once the lesson plain is in writing, the next step towards becoming a better teacher is though the direct instruction cycle (DIC), which is a process of continuous student feedback and teacher assessment.
This chapter has help deepened my knowledge of student psychology. I tend to have trouble in attempting to motivate my students, however with this knowledge that I gain I feel that I will be better suited for this task. Through the first half of the chapter I noticed that there was a lack of extrinsic motivation theory. In my personal experience extrinsic motivation may be a better way to motivate others then through intrinsic motivation. I have been using Collins interactive instructional model throughout all my time here at Ball State University. I do admit that at times my lesson plains are generally vague, however, with this new knowledge I understand now why each lesson plain needs to as detailed as what Collins laid out. Overall, I fell as though this chapter been beneficial towards my education.
The Master Teacher ‘In a Nutshell”
Love in your heart
Utilize their strengths to their fullest to compensate for their weaker points
Life experiences are essential ingredients in finding one’s self
Each moment of youth is important
Decisions that will determine how masterful they will be later in life
The 1st Step
Realization that it is possible to be self-dishonest
Self doubt leads to student doubt
“Your not going to like to sing this piece”
Belief in ones self leads to belief in the students
Lack of Self Honesty
Blame students for mistakes
“Sopranos, why didn’t you come in?”
Humor manifests itself in several ways.
Sarcasm and Ridicule
Should be forbidden
Sarcasm Vs. Sarcasm
Students’ natural response to Sarcasm
Satisfaction in the Job
Masterful Teachers should receive satisfaction from student growth and development of musical abilities.
Masterful Teachers must give up personal performance
If one cannot do this, then change majors.
Must be fully committed to the job
Communication and Motivation
Communicate with convection
The ability to motivate is the greatest asset of the teacher
Without motivation nothing is done in the classroom
Musicians are notoriously temperamental
Image is due to prima donnas of yesteryears
Must seek help if frustration persist in classroom due to stress and other emotional and psychological issues.
Self – Evaluation and Improvement
Attend at least one professional convention a year
Seeks a masters degree or higher
Other Means of Self Evaluation
Ask colleagues to critique lessons and rehearsals
Student critique of lesson
Change text – books every so often Response
In Chapter 5 of Teaching Choral Music, Collins describes the traits of masterful teachers. As I was reading this chapter, I noticed that I do have some work before I can call myself a masterful teacher. I believe that there are some traits that I do believe I have a better development of some traits like self honesty however there are other traits that I do need to work on such as being emotional stable, as well as being a better communicator.