Richard, Webb “Construction of Musical Understandings: An Exploration of Peer Tutoring in the School Orchestra Program”. Northwestern University, 2012, 392 pages; 3527642.
The purpose of this study was to explore the choices, thought processes, and evidence of knowledge construction of high school string orchestra members in their role as peer tutors to younger string players. Four high school-aged peer tutors served as participants, teaching students from within their school districts’ orchestra program. Following an analysis of the qualitative data, several themes emerged. These themes included reorganization and communication of musical concepts, pedagogical choices and prior experiences, the enjoyment and value of tutoring, tutor perception of roles, and a tutor’s “pedagogical comfort zone.” Connections to findings in the research literature were made, both in the individual cases and the subsequent cross-case analysis. Related to the conceptual framework of the study, teaching younger peers might contribute to an increased motivational interest for learning on the part of the tutor. Shared learning experiences such as peer tutoring may also foster an increased sense of ownership, both of the music program in which the tutor participates and of a tutors’ own learning processes.
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