Portland State University. Department of Sociology
Peter J. Collier
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology
1 online resource (viii, 147 pages)
Sociology -- Study and teaching (Higher), Music in education -- Study and teaching, Education (Higher) -- Research -- Methodology, Sociology teachers -- Attitudes
Previous research has identified student engagement as an important antecedent to student learning in higher education. Although student engagement is viewed as important for learning, a significant number of college students still report frequently feeling bored in their courses. The use of music as a pedagogical tool is believed to be beneficial for promoting student engagement and student learning in higher education sociology courses, yet it has been suggested that sociology faculty members do not commonly incorporate the technique into their courses. The purpose of this comparative interview study is to explore higher education sociology faculty members' understandings of the use of music as a pedagogical tool, and the perceived importance of student engagement to student learning among higher education sociology faculty members. In this study, it is found that higher education sociology faculty members believe student engagement can lead to increased student learning. It is also found that higher education sociology faculty members generally identify music as an effective pedagogical tool for promoting student engagement and learning in higher education sociology courses. Interestingly, participants believed the use of music as a pedagogical tool to be an uncommon practice in higher education sociology courses in the United States. As part of their efforts to explain their choices to use or not use music as a pedagogical tool, faculty participants described potential barriers that may impact faculty member choices to use music in their higher education sociology courses. Sociology faculty participants in this study agreed that a lack of discussion of pedagogical tools among colleagues and in teaching courses might serve as a potential barrier for the use of music as a pedagogical tool. Higher education sociology faculty participants also identified a lack of knowledge of how to use music as a pedagogical tool as a potential barrier for the use of music in sociology courses. This research suggests that the lack of faculty knowledge of music as a pedagogical tool may be due to the lack of discussion of pedagogical tools both among colleagues and in the teaching courses completed by higher education sociology faculty members.
Past research has suggested that sociology faculty members need to create an environment that encourages students to be active and engaged participants in their own learning through building a community of learners. This study suggests that higher education sociology faculty members may successfully build a community of learners through using music as a pedagogical tool in their courses. This study recommends that changes at the departmental level need to occur in order to make it easier for sociology faculty members to gain the knowledge required to use music effectively in their courses. Suggestions for practice and future research are provided.
Loveless, Jerry C.L., "The Use of Music as a Pedagogical Tool in Higher Education Sociology Courses: Faculty Member Perspectives and Potential Barriers" (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1100.