Using team cohesion–based OAA to transform music teacher education: Disrupting pedagogical assumptions of music teacher education through physical education

Alison Morag Murray, Pamela Murray, Sarah Adams

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Bringing together the strengths of many to create one cohesive and highly functioning team can be challenging. Leadership and followership will be necessary to increase team cohesion (Carron, Bray & Eys, 2010). An informed team cohesion focused pedagogy will be necessary for teachers, and moreover, teachers of teachers. Outdoor adventure activities are renowned for their value-based properties and are celebrated and deployed with purpose through physical education. For choirs to sing well, each and every voice must become part of a cohesive unit. One university based programme was delivered through a more unidimensional learning sequence. Students had become disembodied from the organic properties of team building and social cohesion in order to demonstrate their vocal prowess. The teacher educator antagonised over how to allow talent to excel and teach a more connected and inclusive pedagogy for their own classes. This was the case for this group of music specialists. This teacher education programme sought to explore learning and teaching in their traditional delivery of music subject knowledge through a mandatory ensemble based module for undergraduate preservice and graduate in-service music teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore student response to the introduction of a movement-based module for music specialist students. Primary physical and music educators collaborated through an integrated approach to module design in order to reframe a music specialist module based upon the significant learning model (Fink, 2013). Music subject knowledge was delivered drawing from tenets of outdoor adventure physical education (Ewert & Sharp, 2014) which sought to increase personal and social responsibility through physical activity (Hellison, 2010). Six self-regulatory dispositions of planning, knowledge development, metacognition, proactive reflection social efficacy and self-efficacy (Liu, McBride, Xiang & Scarmardo-Rhodes, 2017) were embedded into six sequential problem-solving challenges set beyond the traditional music classroom. Each was paired with a musical concept and delivered weekly in alignment with class learning outcomes. The module culminated in a high rope inter team challenge and a recorded final music concert. Thematic analyses revealed greatest resistance to the pedagogical blend from year 1 preservice student teachers. This level diminished concomitantly with the increase in university tenure to the 4th year student teachers. In-service teachers transferred the framework into respective primary schools in an attempt to create their own versions of such a pedagogical subject blend between music and PE. Amidst a variety of controlled and uncontrolled variables motivation to actively participate in the module appeared to increase. Participants appeared to increase their interest in the class as measured through the IMI, (t=-1.7, p=.0.04952), and evidenced in module evaluations. Enjoyment increased (t=-3.6, p=0.000522), as noted through student reflections. The effort students gave also appeared to increase as increased importance was associated with the class and delivery (t=-3.3, p=0.00139). Preservice music teachers were able to examine their own preconceived notions around both P.E. and music. This makes for an exciting pedagogical approach and a transformative opportunity for all stakeholders ready to learn through movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Education Matters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018


  • physical education
  • music education
  • pedagogy

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