• Music Ed./Elementary Grades & Critical Thinking

    Pages: 12

    A 12 page research paper that consists of a literature review on research on this topic that can be used as part of a proposed research study project. The literature review discusses recent research pertaining to the connection between musical instruction and critical thinking skills. Studies are discussed and suggestions are made concerning possible research design on this topic. Bibliography lists 19 sources.

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    and suggestions are made concerning possible research design on this topic. Although Americans today are more highly educated than at any other point in history, they are not  necessarily better educated, as formal education often focuses on knowledge building through subject matter content coverage, which does not necessarily encompass employing that knowledge through critical thinking skills. It is  generally acknowledged that higher-order cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, are invaluable assets both to individual futures and that of the country as a whole. There is a large body  of research literature pertaining to critical thinking that suggests that the critical thinking skills of todays students are inadequate (Tsui, 2002). As educators search for possible pedagogical solutions to  how to teach students critical thinking skills, research also points to a likely candidate -- music education. In many school districts, a renewed emphasis on basic skills has  pushed music education to the background or completely out of the picture. On the other hand, research studies have shown a definite link between cognitive processes and music instruction. Rather  than abandoning music education as an unnecessary "frill," this body of research suggests that music should be a basic part of the curriculum through out the elementary school years. However,  the research linking music instruction with developing higher-order reasoning skills is still controversial. Therefore, there is a need for more research in this area. The following literature review is for  a proposed research study that will seek to demonstrate that music education in the elementary grades provides a useful tool for developing critical thinking skills. This research study will have  as its underlying educational theoretical foundation the theory of multiple intelligences as formulated by Howard Gardner, which suggests that cognition develops best when learning occurs across a spectrum of modalities, 

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