Teaching Kids to Teach Themselves

DiBenedetto book coverI’m happy to share that a chapter I’ve been working on with some terrific colleagues has recently been published in the book Connecting Self-regulated Learning and Performance with Instruction Across High School Content Areas. The book is relatively unique in that it is devoted entirely to building bridges between learning theory and specific, actionable teaching ideas. Each chapter examines how applying self-regulated learning theory can enhance student engagement and achievement in a specific content area (i.e., English language arts, natural and physical sciences, social studies, mathematics, foreign language, art, music, health, and physical education). Moreover, each chapter is authored by a team that includes scholars and expert practitioners.This chapter is a special collaboration for me as it was an opportunity to work with three amazing music teachers and scholars – Gary McPherson, Amanda Herceg, and Kim Meider.

In straightforward terms, to be self-regulated is to be able to actively manage the motivational (goals, drive, emotions), cognitive (thoughts, reactions), and behavioral (tactics, strategies) aspects of your learning process.

Our chapter includes lesson plans and supplemental materials for middle school and high school instrumental music, followed by detailed descriptions of the purposes of the activities in each plan, and then a section on how the pedagogy reflects the basic elements of self-regulated learning theory. Herceg’s plan for middle school instrumental music is especially helpful for helping students who are just beginning to grasp what it means to be independent learners to develop skills related to error detection, learning strategy choice and application, and self-reflection. Mieder’s plan, aimed at more advanced high school musicians, is particularly useful for helping students become more aware of relatively covert, metacognitive elements of self-regulated learning such as approaching practice with intentionality, maintaining concentration, making good decision, and cultivating a positive motivational disposition.

Here is a full citation of our chapter, let me know if you like to read it:

Miksza, P., McPherson, G. E., Herceg, A. M., & Meider, K. (2018). Developing self-regulated musicians. In M. DiBenedetto (Ed.), Connecting self-regulated learning and performance with instruction across high school content areas (pp. 323-348). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Other writing:

There are many writings devoted to describing what self-regulated learning entails and how it is relevant to music education. I’ve listed some below if you’d like to read more into the topic.

Beginning learners:

Intermediate learners:

Advanced learners:

A general analysis of the theory and its relation to music learning:

  • McPherson, G. E., & Zimmerman, B. J. (2011). Self-regulation of musical learning: A social cognitive perspective on developing performance skills. In R. Colwell & P. Webster (Eds.), MENC handbook of research on music learning: Vol. 2. Applications (pp. 130–175). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
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