Music instructional methods and their impact on curriculum implementation: a case of selected secondary schools in Nairobi County (Kenya)
Mochere, Joyce M.
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The study was designed as an assessment of the impact of music instructional methods on music curriculum implementation in the classroom in Kenyan secondary schools in Nairobi County. Music instructional methods are perceived to affect the performance of music content areas at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) level as documented by several Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) national reports essentially documenting below average music performance (KNEC, 2007-2012). Despite Ministry of Education Science and Technology's (MOEST) efforts to improve on instructional material including examination performances through Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) which is now Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and (KNEC) to provide comprehensive documents on instructional direction, music candidates continue to perform below average in KCSE. The purpose of the study was to assess the impact of instructional methods on music curriculum implementation by focusing on the teachers' and students' practices and experiences in the classroom. It was envisioned that this would unveil the drawbacks to quality music education and offer guidance on high achievement in the dissemination and evaluation of the music curriculum. In line with this, the study proposed to address the following: (a) investigate pedagogical issues that music teachers face in the implementation of the music curriculum content in the classroom, (b) determine strategies undertaken by music teachers to implement music in the classroom, (c) investigate contributing factors towards music students' performance in examinations, (d) to propose, with reference to available literature on instructional methods, guided teaching activities that would enhance classroom teaching in the future. Target population of the study was Form three music teachers and students in Nairobi County (Kenya). A descriptive survey was conducted to both groups (students and teachers) to collect views, facts, and suggestions on pedagogical issues affecting the teaching and learning of music. Purposive sampling was used to select 23 schools that offer music and 23 music teachers that teach music in Nairobi County. Music students were selected using simple random sampling. A total number of 180 out of 360 Form three music students and 23 teachers participated in the study. Data was collected using three research instruments: questionnaires, classroom observation schedule and focus group discussions. For validity in data analysis, triangulation was used in data collection and presentation. Data was coded considering the interrelatedness of responses. Emerging patterns were then recorded, classified and interpreted as per the objectives of the study. Data was then analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in tabular form containing the number of responses per item (frequency) and the percentage of each response via graphs and pie charts. The statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) was used to compute the empirical data for data processing and analysis. Pedagogical issues faced by Music teachers in the implementation of the music curriculum included: Theoretical instructional methods, inadequate pre-service training in specific content areas, negative attitude towards music, students' ineptitude in aurals, 'limited support by administration and parents, limited resources, wide syllabus, limited time in teaching, and work overload. Recommendations included: KICD to organize in-service courses to sensitize school heads on the significance of Music subject, KICD to organize in-service courses for the teachers, policy makers and curriculum developers to restructure the music curriculum to meet the learners' needs, school heads to relieve music teachers of a second subject to create time for concentrating on practical aspects of music, and equipping music departments fully to facilitate effective learning. The conclusion was that the dismal performance in content areas (melody writing, harmony, western music analysis, African music, sight reading and aurals) at KCSE is consistently below average due to poor music instructional methods, physical and socio-economic factors that impact on the implementation of music curriculum in Nairobi County.
- MST-Music