Facing steady decline and elimination of music programs due to high-stakes testing coupled with tighter budgets, music educators are searching for ways to show their relevancy within an accountability culture. One potential way for a music educator to contribute to student achievement is through participation in a professional learning community (PLC) with academic teachers to support their shared students’ learning. The purpose of this study was to document the PLC collaborative experiences of a music educator and two core academic subject teachers who worked together to understand, develop, implement, and assess how the music teacher can support academic teachers in meeting the science and mathematics learning needs of under-represented students. Data analyzed included verbatim transcripts from eight audiotaped PLC meetings, as well as student artifacts and teacher journal entries. This article reports on three themes that emerged across the data: long-term relationships and contextual knowledge; infusion of music to support academic learning; and use of multi-grade classrooms. These themes reflect how collaborative work between a music teacher and academic teachers within a PLC can lead to changes in teacher practice to better support learning for all students.
Harris, Melanie M. Ed.D.
"Why Music Matters: How Participation in a Professional Learning Community can Expand the Role of Music Educators,"
Journal of Practitioner Research: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpr/vol2/iss2/5