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Middle school students' engagement in music ensembles and their development of social responsibility Della Vedova, Sean 2007

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MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ENGAGEMENT IN MUSIC ENSEMBLES AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY  by  Sean Della Vedova B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 1994 B. Mus., University of British Columbia, 1993  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Curriculum Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 2007  © Sean Della Vedova, 2007  Abstract This study explores the role engagement in a school-based music ensemble plays in the development of social responsibility in middle school students. The study involved 9 music students, 18 non-music students, and 5 teachers at a suburban middle school in Coquitlam, B.C. Students were compared using three measures – office referral data, a Social Responsibility Quick Scale, and a moral dilemma writing activity – and were subsequently interviewed to determine their thoughts on how musical engagement in music classes might impact their development of social responsibility. Interviews with teachers focused on activities that they believe foster social responsibility as well as their perspectives on this area of child development. Students are referred to the office for misbehaviour at school, and office referral data for the entire school population revealed that students in music classes are referred significantly less often than students not engaged in music (males p = .001; females p = .005). Musically engaged students achieved higher assessed scores on the Social Responsibility Quick Scale and the moral dilemma activity, but the statistical significance of these relationships is questionable owing to the small sample size. Interviews with students and teachers suggested that public performance, music teacher mentorship, and shared in-group responsibilities contribute to fostering development of social responsibility in music students.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract………………………………………………………………………….... ii Table of Contents………………………………………………………………... iii List of Tables……………………………………………………………………... iv Acknowledgements……………………………………………………………….v Dedication………………………….………………………………………………vi 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2  Introduction………………………………………………………………..1 Rationale for the study……………..……………………. 1 Research question, subquestions, and hypothesis…...7 Scope and limits……….…………………………………. 8 Setting the stage…………………………………………..8  2.3 2.4  Literature Review……………………...…………………………………. 10 Introduction……………………………………………….. 10 Musical involvement and social responsibility – an instrumental approach...………………………………….10 Definitions of social responsibility……………………….17 Conclusions……………………..….…………………….. 22  3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6  Methodology and Context………………………………………………..24 Introduction……………………………………………….. 24 Data collection……………………...…...……………….. 25 Context: Hillcrest Middle School...……...……………… 30 Social responsibility at Hillcrest ………...……………… 31 Student participants…….………………………………...31 Teacher participants…….………………...…………….. 35  4.1 4.2 4.3  Office Referral Data……………………………………………………… 37 Introduction……………………………………………….. 37 Office referral data……………………………………….. 38 Discussion of results and interpretations ..……………. 44  5.1 5.2 5.3  Social Responsibility Quick Scale……………………………………… 45 Introduction……………………………………………….. 45 SRQS data………………………………………………... 46 Discussion of results and interpretations …..……….… 51  6.1  Moral Dilemma Activity………………………………………………….. 53 Introduction……………………………………………….. 53  2.1 2.2  3  4  5  6  iii  6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 7  Moral dilemma process………………………………….. 54 Challenges………….…………………………………….. 56 Moral dilemma sample 1………………………………… 57 Moral dilemma sample 2………………………………... 58 Moral dilemma sample 3………………………………… 59 Moral dilemma data........………………………………... 61 Discussion of results and interpretations .................… 64  7.7 7.8  Interview Summaries……………………………………………..………66 Introduction……………………………………………………….. 66 Interview participants……………………………………………..66 Specific activities and the development of social responsibility……………………………………………………… 67 The role of the teacher in fostering social responsibility…...... 68 Lowered office referrals and musical engagement……………69 Social responsibility development from the perspective of classroom teachers……………………………………………….70 Personality traits and social responsibility..…………………… 73 Conclusions……………………..……...………………………… 75  8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6  Summary and Conclusion.……………………………………….….….. 78 Introduction………………………………………………….……. 78 Office referrals……………………………………………………. 78 SRQS……………………….………………...……………………79 Moral dilemma writing activity……………………………..……. 79 Interviews……………………………………….......................... 80 Conclusions..………………………………………..………..….. 80  7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6  8  Bibliography………………………………………………………………………. 83 Appendix A – Behaviour incident form……………………………………….... 86 Appendix B – Social responsibility quick scale…………………………..…....87 Appendix C – Moral dilemma writing activities………………………………...88 Appendix D – Interview questions…………………….………………………...90 Appendix E – Consent forms…………………………..……………………….. 94 Appendix F – Ethics board certificate of approval……………………………..98  iv  List of Tables Table 3.1  Characteristics of student participants…...………………….....34  Table 4.1  Hillcrest Middle School student population characteristics….. 38  Table 4.2  Hillcrest Middle School musically engaged student population characteristics……………………………………………………..39  Table 4.3  Distribution of music students referred to the office…….……. 40  Table 4.4  Distribution of non-music students referred to the office...….. 41  Table 4.5  Summary of office referral data……………….…………...…… 43  Table 5.1  Summary of SRQS data……………………………….……….. 47  Table 5.2  Collated SRQS data……………………………...……………… 48  Table 5.3  Averaged SRQS data……………………………..…...……….. 49  Table 5.4  Averaged SRQS data combining teacher and self assessment……………………………………………………….. 49  Table 6.1  Summary of moral dilemma data…………………...………….. 63  Table 6.2  Averaged moral dilemma data…………………………...…….. 64  Table 7.1  Summary of interview participant data……………………….... 67  v  Acknowledgements I would like to thank my wife, Jill, son, Nicholas, and daughter, Ekaterina, for supporting me in my studies and their constant encouragement.  Thanks Dr. Scott Goble, my Thesis Advisor, for his patience and constructive feedback.  I would like to recognize the input and advice given by Dr. Peter Gouzouasis and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl.  Thanks to Martin Guhn for his assistance with the statistical data.  Finally, thanks to the students and teachers at Hillcrest Middle School who participated in this study.  vi  Dedication I would like to dedicate this study to my wife, Jill, who always believed I could achieve more, and my grandmother, Lillian, my favourite musician.  vii  Chapter 1 - Musical Ensemble Participation and Increased Social Responsibility 1.1 - Rationale for the study Several years ago, a Coquitlam middle school where I was teaching began collecting data on students who were referred to the office for behavioural intervention or assistance. At monthly staff meetings, this information was presented by administrators. Their intent in bringing this data to our attention was, I assumed, to inform our practice as teachers. Ensuing discussions were about which classes and students had the greatest number of referrals each month. It was during such a staff meeting that I came to realize that perhaps a deeper, more reflective analysis needed to be brought to the data collected on students who were being referred to the office. I jokingly commented how rarely I saw the students in my school’s bands and choirs being sent to the office for misbehaviour. My attempt to inject humour into our discussion inspired my research question. I knew that issues involving students’ conduct had created conflicts resulting in office referrals, and I strongly suspected that students who had difficulty maintaining personal responsibility also had difficulty meeting the school’s expectations regarding social responsibility. My humorous quip led me to raise the following question: Do students who engage in school musical ensembles demonstrate higher levels of social responsibility? Explicitly stated goals for students in the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Performance Standards for Social Responsibility include: contributing to the classroom and school community, solving problems in peaceful ways, valuing diversity and defending human rights, and exercising  1  democratic rights and responsibilities (Performance Standards for Social Responsibility, 2001). These standards are a formal description of what was, in times past, a hoped for by-product of a holistic education. Historically, a utilitarian view of music as a subject of study has sometimes resulted in its being situated alongside other subjects as a means to achieving better academic results (Labuta & Smith, 1997). In recent years, the British Columbia Music Integrated Resource Package was also grounded in a utilitarian perspective for music studies in school contexts; the context portion of this document focuses on social responsibility, asking students to practice “respect for others’ contributions” in their social interaction in musical contexts (IRP for Grades 8 – 10, 1996, p. 18). In their discussion of music education philosophies, Peters and Miller (1982) acknowledge that the effects of music education may extend beyond the confines of a stage or a rehearsal hall. They describe the broadening of learning outcomes as being reflective of a music curriculum and educational process that has utilized instrumental values. When music education is used as a tool in an instrumental paradigm, “the attainment of self-discipline … [and] the ability to cooperate with others” is achieved through musical performance (Peters & Miller, p. 14). Before considering the ways that social responsibility learning objectives and musical engagement might be related, I will describe my own experience with social responsibility in educational settings. The murder of British Columbia secondary school student Reena Virk in 1997 captured the collective attention of many educators. A disagreement between Virk and her teenage peers led to a fight in which she was repeatedly  2  beaten and eventually drowned. Perhaps as disturbing as the murder was the fact that several teens had witnessed the crime and chose to remain silent during the investigation. The murder of a child by children ignited a passion in many educators in the Coquitlam School District, and various anti-bullying programs were initiated. An anti-bullying program was introduced at the middle school where I was teaching, and my colleagues and I were expected to educate our students on the concept of bullying. Some of the themes I addressed in my classroom in the days following the Virk murder, included identifying bullying language and finding ways to deal with perpetrators and victims. A video for this anti-bullying initiative was filmed at the school, and a buzz of excitement fluttered around the hallways as various students were cast into bully and victim roles as actors. This video accompanied a book about bullying being written by the school’s Vice Principal, Counsellor, and a teacher. A school-wide survey was also conducted, asking students about their feelings of safety at school and whether or not they had witnessed bullying. I do not recall how many students in my school indicated that they felt unsafe or that they had been exposed to violence, but students’ level of concern was deemed by teachers and administrators to be high enough to justify further action. So-called “advisory” classes are among the cornerstones of middle school philosophy, and they seemed the most logical place to address the bullying problem. My colleagues and I were charged with the responsibility of establishing a meaningful bond with each of our “advisory” students in these groups. We hoped that students would develop strong emotional connections with the school  3  and their peers by having at least one teacher with whom they could connect. Although I attempted to plan meaningful role play exercises and discussions, I found that my students gradually became tired of the focus on bullying. Eventually, I came to the realization that the fault in my attempt at moral education was in the program itself, not in my implementation of it. Schaps, Schaeffer, and McDonnell (2001) have offered a critique of some character education programs in which they identify strategies that are not successful. These include: (1) Cheerleading approaches including banners and bulletin boards, virtue of the month, 2) Praise and reward programs involving positive reinforcement, prizes, privileges, (3) Define and drill activities in which children memorize a list of virtues, and (4) Forced formality (i.e., enforced compliance with specific rules of conduct). Unfortunately, many of the strategies critiqued by Schaps et al. were implemented at my school. Assemblies celebrating teamwork and school spirit became regular occurrences. The actions of students who demonstrated responsible behaviour were rewarded with coupons redeemable for pizza at lunchtime. These initiatives were supposed to reinforce the anti-bullying script contained in the lesson plans given to staff. However, inconsistencies in the delivery of the program soon became apparent. Not all staff members distributed pizza reward slips and often the same students were repeatedly recognized for their positive behaviours. More importantly, and perhaps tragically, the same students continued to occupy the seats in the office designated for those students who had, among other things, committed violent  4  acts. Clearly, we needed to formulate another way of addressing anti-violence education. Linda Popov’s book, The Virtues Project seemed to provide the perfect curricular choice when, in 2003, my next school community (Hillcrest Middle School) sought to address social responsibility. Popov (2000) indicated that her book moved beyond the realm of problem solving to support “a child’s capacity to make moral choices” (p. 110). Having more experience as a teacher by that time, I optimistically embraced The Virtues Project, envisioning how the 52 virtues identified by Popov would provide more variety for discussions and activities than the anti-bullying programs I had taught in the past. An objective of reducing office referrals by two per cent was established as a school goal, and this latest character education program was thus linked to personal and social responsibility. With the promise of developing “a culture of character where respect, patience, self-discipline, tolerance, and joy for learning” would flourish, my colleagues and I endeavoured to follow Popov’s (2000) directive to teach a particular virtue for 20 minutes once a week (p. xv). However, within two months, many classes elected to go outside and play games instead of studying virtues during the allocated weekly block of time. Enthusiasm for this character initiative had waned, and history had repeated itself in terms of my teaching of social responsibility. I believe my colleagues and I did in fact achieve a two percent reduction in office referrals, but I was dissatisfied and felt a need to conduct a deeper analysis of social responsibility in my school context. My desire to further  5  examine social responsibility educational initiatives was piqued when I reviewed the Social Responsibility Quick Scale (SRQS) found in the British Columbia Performance Standards (2001). The SRQS is a one page assessment tool focusing on various aspects of social responsibility that allows teachers to assess their students’ behaviour in a standardized format. An examination of the Grades 6, 7, & 8 SRQS reveals a number of traits that are said to be associated with students who are at various stages of “Not Yet Meeting, Minimally Meeting, Fully Meeting, or Exceeding Expectations” with regard to these learning outcomes. For example, a student Not Yet Meeting Expectations for social responsibility is said to “be unfriendly, … negative, [and] does not take responsibility or work cooperatively” (Performance Standards for Social Responsibility, 2001, p. 101). The behaviours described in the “Not Yet Meeting” category of the SRQS held significance when considering the students at Hillcrest. In 2005, Hillcrest’s School Improvement Plan included improving student responsibility in terms of assignment completion; this goal was borne of teacher frustration with a group of students who chronically failed to complete assigned tasks. Initially, our goal was to improve completion rates, but this goal was replaced with the broader objective of improving students’ sense of belonging. Although district administrators viewed this newly phrased goal as being more reflective of social responsibility, many teachers felt a sense of belonging had little to do with social responsibility. Our examination of social responsibility motivated us to create a work completion rubric with which teachers could assess a student’s level of achievement in completing good  6  quality work in a timely manner. A student’s level of personal responsibility reported on a rubric may have been somewhat useful, but I felt compelled to examine further why some students at Hillcrest were more successful in taking responsibility for their learning. I wondered if students who participate in making music with their peers might exhibit a higher sense of social responsibility. My query led to the development of a number of questions and a hypothesis. 1.2 – Research Question, Subquestion, and Hypothesis Research Question Does engaging in a school-based music ensemble support the development of social responsibility in middle school students? Subquestions Are middle school students who engage in school-based musical ensembles less likely to be referred to the office for misbehaviour? Do middle school students who engage in school-based musical ensembles exhibit a higher level of social responsibility as expressed on the Social Responsibility Quick Scale? Are higher levels of social responsibility evident in written work focusing on social responsibility that is produced by students who engage in school-based musical ensembles? Hypothesis Students who engage in school-based musical ensembles at the middle school level are more likely to display well developed social responsibility as described in the British Columbia Performance Standards.  7  For my study, I determined that students would be assessed in three ways: office referrals, the Ministry SRQS, and a moral dilemma writing activity. Students are referred to the office for misbehaviour and this data was of use in establishing which students (i.e. musically engaged or not musically engaged) are referred to the office. The SRQS provided insight as to how each participant was viewed by their classroom teacher in terms of social responsibility. Participating students were also given an opportunity to complete the rubric in order to gather some data about how these students viewed their own level of social responsibility. Finally, the moral dilemma writing activity provided data with participating students responding to a situation requiring them to think of others and their environment. 1.3 – Scope and Limits A total of 27 students and 5 teachers participated in the study. Only one school was involved and the study was conducted between January and June of 2007. Participating teachers represented all three middle school grades with two being blended Grade 6/7 classes and two being Grade 8 classes. Students voluntarily agreed to participate and this resulted in some inequity between grade levels, but the 6 interview participants represented Grades 6, 7, and 8 equally. 1.4 – Setting the Stage This study sought to examine the development of social responsibility in musically and non-musically engaged middle school students and is divided into eight chapters.  8  A review of literature relevant to the study will be presented in Chapter 2. Methodology and Context will be presented in Chapter 3. After describing the manner in which data was collected for the study, a brief picture of Hillcrest Middle School and the participating students and teachers is offered. In Chapter 4, I describe office referral data and compare the number of referrals between those students who are musically engaged and those who are not. These data provided a comprehensive vision of the school community in terms of office referrals. I address here the hypothesis that musical engagement reduces the incidence of office referrals for those students. Chapter 5 presents the information collected using the SRQS and data associated with 27 participants in grades 6, 7, and 8. Teacher generated assessments and student self-assessments using the SRQS rubrics are presented and discussed. Chapter 6 features analysis and discussion of the moral dilemma writing activity as completed by the 27 members of the subgroup. This activity served to compare the assessed level of social responsibility between music and nonmusic students as expressed in a written task focused on social responsibility. Data from interviews conducted with 6 students and 5 participating teachers are presented in Chapter 7 along with a discussion of various themes that emerged. This discussion is divided into the broad themes that were explored with open ended and/or devil’s advocate types of questions To conclude, Chapter 8 consists of summary and conclusions.  9  Chapter 2 - Literature Review 2.1 - Introduction An instrumentalist view of musical performance implies that the effects of such creative engagement can extend beyond the realm of the performance hall. In this study, I explore the theory that music is a tool or unique experience that can impact human behaviours such as social responsibility. The idea that musical engagement in the school setting has a positive influence on students’ academic achievement is not innovative or new and the notion that musical performance might be instrumental in shaping moral behaviour (e.g., developing a sense of social responsibility) is also present in some literature on this topic. In reviewing the work of others on musical engagement and social responsibility, I will first consider some of the ways in which musical engagement may impact human behaviour. Next, I will establish the definition of social responsibility to be used in this study by consulting Ministry documents and the work of several scholars in this field. By considering the work of others in terms of the instrumental use of music I seek to examine particular aspects of musical engagement that may influence behaviours such as social responsibility. Given the many definitions of social responsibility that exist, it is important to more narrowly define which particular aspects of human behaviour may be impacted if musical engagement has instrumental qualities. 2.2 - Musical Involvement and Social Responsibility – An Instrumental Approach A circle is simply a round figure, but when singers stand facing each other in a circle singing the same pitch, their physical arrangement becomes a visual  10  metaphor of the sound they are creating. The achievement of a sonorous blend requires each singer to maintain an awareness of his or her own voice within the context of the larger group. In taking personal responsibility for technical aspects of vocalization including vowel shape, breath support, and pitch, the members of a choir subordinate their individual vocal identities to create a blended tone. The balance between individual vocal sound production and the overall sound of a group has musical implications, but the accompanying duality of awareness may have implications that extend beyond musical contexts. To explore any instrumental relationship between musical involvement and increased social responsibility is to suggest that engaging in music has effects beyond the usually expected aesthetic or artistic results (e.g., sonorous blend). Plato wrote that “rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful” (Jowett,1888). Plato seems to be suggesting that music has an inherent moral dimension that is good or bad with grace being a possible positive or noble outcome. If morality involves adhering to certain principles or ideals, I would interpret grace as being a form of acceptable and morally conscious conduct. One challenge in assessing the intrinsic moral character of music is that such opinions or perceptions of this art form are subjective and associated with many contexts (e.g., familial, cultural, theological). Nevertheless, ascribing instrumental, deterministic effects to music is an assertion that is not new or  11  innovative and a brief survey of several historical and/or educational contexts supports this suggested relationship. Utilizing folk music, European immigrants were initiated into the English language and American culture during the last century (Volk, 1998). The folk songs created in the homelands of many newcomers were used by teachers to teach the English language and foster assimilation (Volk). English texts replaced the original languages used in such music. In the 19th and 20th centuries, music not only played a role in achieving goals of cultural assimilation, but was also viewed as an economic tool. In 1934, James L. Mursell compared musicians and their role in a group context with workers in factories. The ability to follow the directions of a leader and to display discipline in performance were thought to be valuable attributes for becoming a productive employee (Mursell, 1934). I assert that Mursell would have viewed any relationship between musical performance and the development of social responsibility as being similar to the instrumental effects of group musical activity that he was espousing in the 1930s. I believe that an individual’s ability to follow the instructions of a supervisor in an industrial or work context very much mirrors the social compliance that many schools seek to foster in students. Schools have policies and rules, enforced by teachers and administrators, and students are expected to conduct themselves within these behavioural constraints. With my research, I seek to explore the role musical engagement typically plays in students’ negotiation of the rules and expectations placed upon them in the school context. However, I believe the real challenge is  12  in attempting to determine whether specific aspects of this musical engagement process serve an instrumental role in this transformation. In his exploration of music and moral goodness, Walhout offers what he calls a “modest suggestion” pertaining to music-making and any moral implications (1995, p. 13). He begins by considering instrumental versus intrinsic values as they relate to literature. Like literary works, musical song texts can espouse views that may reinforce existing moral codes or, conversely, challenge them by presenting examples of immoral conduct. Walhout also considers claims made about music by two ancient philosophers, Plato and Boethius. According to Walhout, Plato suggested that music stimulates emotions which, in turn, evoke certain behaviours. Rather than focusing on the instrumental possibilities of music performance in shaping human emotions and behaviours, Walhout characterizes Boethius’s claim as being that music can have intrinsic value that is morally good or bad. According to Walhout, neither philosopher’s claim can “capture a connection” between music and moral goodness (p. 13). Walhout responds to both claims by presenting a theory he calls detached instrumentalism. His theory states that “the musical and the moral can have a kind of instrumental relation…, [but] it does not hold that music has specific moral outcomes, as with the hoped-for peace hymn (Walhout, p. 13, 1995). He contends that there might not be an instrumental relationship between morality and music with specific moral outcomes, but “there might be a general or holistic bearing of music on moral life” (Walhout, p. 13). He goes on to acknowledge that  13  musical “aesthetic experience … can be intrinsically good by rewarding that aspect of human nature which finds delight in such experience” (Walhout, p. 13). If Walhout’s theory is applied to the development of social responsibility, a student would have to be already exhibiting elements of social responsibility if any influence through musical performance were to occur. In order to realize any of the moral potential of music-making, he argues that it is necessary for individuals to detach the “sensuous and emotional titillations” from music and to focus on the “inherent, formal elements of music” (Walhout, p. 14). It is my view that the separation of these musical elements is difficult to achieve and musical engagement involves a set of experiences that potentially fluctuate between the contrasting elements identified by Walhout. I also believe that detachment from either of these elements of music making could inhibit music’s transformative potential. I have experienced great joy in mastering the formal challenges presented by a piece of music, but also felt transformed through the emotional experience of music making. The transformative potential in music education for performance is also addressed in the work of praxial music education philosopher David Elliott. In his praxial philosophy of education, Elliott (1995) characterizes music as “a particular form of action that is purposeful and situated and, therefore, revealing of one’s self and one’s relationship with others in a community” (p. 14). In his paradigm, the self is placed within a circle between biologically based genes and socially constructed memes. Each society or culture has particular memes (ideas) that are passed from one generation to the next. In addition to this cultural  14  transmission, genes are passed between generations. I interpret Elliott to be illustrating that musical engagement serves as a mediation tool that enables individuals to identify and negotiate the circuitous path between the outside world, genetic attributes, and the internally constructed consciousness or self. Consciousness is described by Elliott as a mediator between the external world and internal states, one that gives people the capacity to “guide, shape, and deploy these events (or information)” (p. 111). Elliott also argues that “music making is a unique and major way of gaining self-growth, self-knowledge, and optimal experience” (p. 122). Recognizing that the complex nature of music making can propel “the self to higher levels of complexity,” Elliott, I would argue, acknowledges the transformative potential of musical performance (p. 122). He also believes that “when a person’s level of musicianship (beginner to expert) is matched with an appropriate level of musical challenge, this matching of knowledge and challenge brings order to consciousness,” resulting in greater enjoyment (Elliott, p. 121). Examining music engagement and social responsibility may serve to identify common practices of musicians and teachers that foster the complexity of self spoken of by Elliott. In my own experience as a musician, I have experienced the consciousness-ordering spoken of by Elliott. As my ability to successfully perform music increased in my adolescence, I felt as though I was better able to “guide” and “shape” other aspects of my life (Elliott, 1995, p.111). My adherence to the rules and expectations (i.e. musical form, tempo, dynamics) accompanying music making seemed to be reflected in my increased ability to accept and follow  15  behavioural expectations at school. My musical engagement during adolescence also facilitated an increased awareness of others and my “relationship with others in a community” (Elliott, 1995, p. 14). In order to successfully perform a piece of music with others, I had to develop an awareness of the musical contributions of others. The Prescribed Learning Outcomes for the Music IRP Grades 8 – 10 arguably reflect Elliott’s assertion and my own music-making experiences. Appearing under the heading of Thoughts, Images, and Feelings, students are expected to demonstrate respect for the “thoughts, feelings, and music choices of others” (Music IRP, 1996, p. 3). I believe Elliott would interpret the Ministry’s stated goal as students’ acquisition of an awareness of their place within a community. The Music IRP also states that “an understanding of the various roles and responsibilities required to create, listen to, and perform music” will be demonstrated by students (Music IRP, 1996, p. 3). In my adolescence, the act of musical engagement clarified for me the responsibilities I was to undertake if I was to be a functioning and contributing member of a community. I believe my experience, which could be described as the development of social responsibility, exemplifies the stated objective of an awareness of self and community in the Music IRP. In attempting to better describe the uniqueness and instrumental power of music making, I sought in this study to feature some of the voices of those who, perhaps like me, have experienced behavioural changes as a result of musical engagement. Heightened levels of social responsibility as a result of musical  16  engagement could be a by-product of musical engagement. However, in order to consider any relationship between musical engagement in school ensembles and social responsibility it is necessary to clearly define the specific behaviours that may be associated with such a change or behavioural shift. Using a multi-faceted definition that embraces both the Ministry of Education’s material and the work of scholars, I seek to define the behaviours that define social responsibility for the purposes of this study. 2.3 - Definitions of Social Responsibility Establishing a definition of social responsibility that was pertinent to my study was critical for a number of reasons; I could find no single definition that suited the needs of this study and thus elected to include aspects of various definitions that were relevant to middle school learners in educational contexts. To establish a definition of social responsibility in this study, I consulted three sources: 1) the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Integrated Resource Packages and Performance Standards; 2) the work of Dr. Kimberly SchonertReichl, a University of British Columbia professor and expert on social responsibility; and 3) the University of Illinois’s Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Although social responsibility, moral reasoning, and social and emotional learning are not synonymous, I have elected to incorporate elements of each of these concepts as a means of developing a definition that I believe is relevant when considering middle school learners. By taking into account the government’s definition of social responsibility, I sought to ensure that my study would be informed by the provincially recognized set of  17  skills and attitudes that are said to be reflective of social responsibility. SchonertReichl’s work compliments the Ministry’s use of moral dilemmas and offers instructional implementation ideas that support the definition and description of social responsibility for students. Capturing the dual awareness of self and society, CASEL provides a value-laden definition of social and emotional learning that resonates with my personal view of social responsibility. By presenting the definitions and descriptions of social responsibility provided by the British Columbia Ministry of Education, Schonert-Reichl, and CASEL, I sought to develop a definition that would be pertinent to the focus of this study and relevant to the chosen school context. In the Performance Standards (2001), the concept of social responsibility is broad and includes the following categories: contributions to the classroom and school community, solving problems in peaceful ways, valuing diversity and defending human rights, and exercising democratic rights and responsibilities (p. 101). The Elaborated Scale for each category provides thorough descriptive information of behaviour for each level of the performance standards. For example, a child who is said to be Exceeding Expectations in the area of Contributions to the Classroom and the Community is described as “kind, friendly, and inclusive without prompting … , [and is someone who] finds opportunities to help and include others” (Performance Standards for Social Responsibility, p. 102). The Elaborated Scale thus provides a comprehensive list of behaviours, and these are useful when assessing the dimensions of social responsibility featured in the Performance Standards; however, this list of  18  behaviours is not a definition and I question if they are developmentally appropriate when considering students in middle school. A teacher’s report using a Ministry generated list of behaviours provides only one individual’s perception of a student’s behaviour. Checking off students’ observable behaviours and defining their level of social responsibility with such a measure seems inadequate. I consequently decided to use a definition that drew upon some of the Performance Standard based definitions, but also incorporated the work of other researchers and organizations focused on social responsibility that were relevant in the Hillcrest Middle School context. In a presentation given to Coquitlam School District educators in 2005, Schonert-Reichl asserted that teaching with the use of moral dilemmas can support the development of moral reasoning in students. Although not synonymous with social responsibility, moral reasoning could be described as one aspect of socially responsibility. I would assert further that discussing moral issues in the classroom can serve to clarify behavioural expectations for students. Perhaps more importantly, discussion of moral issues provides an opportunity for learners to consider their own perspectives and feelings about moral reasoning. In using Schonert-Reichl’s moral dilemma approach, teacher assessment using the descriptions of social responsibility in the Performance Standards becomes focused on one aspect of a student’s behaviour (e.g., moral reasoning). Depending on the chosen moral dilemma, a teacher could assess students in a particular area of social responsibility. Incorporating the work of Kathryn Wentzel (1991), a scholar who has written much about social  19  responsibility, Schonert-Reichl (2004) describes individuals who act with social responsibility as those who “follow social rules … , conform to social role expectations, [and] act prosocially” (e.g., share, help, and cooperate) (p. 10). The discourse accompanying a moral dilemma activity could generate ideas for students. In addition, the use of a moral dilemma scenario presents an opportunity for students to describe their feelings about various rules that are supposed to guide behaviour. This definition usefully sets forth a vision of moral reasoning in which students discover rules, social mores, and collaboration as they apply to a particular context or scenario. The work of the Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) incorporates the values of students which will impact their ability to be successful in meeting social responsibility learning outcomes as delineated by the government and explored by Schonert-Reichl. CASEL was founded in 1994 by Daniel Goleman, a published author and researcher. The collaborative examines possible correlations between social and emotionally guided learning and “students’ school success, health, well-being, peer and family relationships, and citizenship” (CASEL, 2005). “Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process of acquiring the skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively” (CASEL); such skills would be of benefit for students attempting to develop their social responsibility. CASEL posits that:  20  Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults develop the skills, attitudes, and values necessary to understand and manage life tasks such as cognitive learning, forming relationships, and adapting to the demands of growing up in today’s complex society (CASEL, 2005) If this description were to be linked with social responsibility, a set of behaviours could potentially become a system of values. A group of young musicians who strive to perform music to the best of their abilities could be said to hold a shared set of values that are creative in nature. One of CASEL’s goals is that “all children will become knowledgeable and engaged life-long learners who are selfaware, socially aware, caring and connected to others, and responsible decisionmakers” (CASEL). In musical performance, a dependent relationship exists between group members, and it is their dual awareness of self and social context that lies at the heart of my hypothesis. CASEL’s mission thus resonates with the observation that inspired this study and adds another dimension to the definition of social responsibility used in this study. The school context in which social responsibility is being assessed also impacts any definition. School wide goals often generate rules that require Codes of Conduct relevant to specific schools. A definition or description of social responsibility that is appropriate in one school may be inappropriate in another school governed by different goals and norms. I elected to include three attributes from the school community in which I was working and studying in my own definition: office referrals, the Social Responsibility Quick Scale, and a moral  21  dilemma exercise. An in depth description of each of these items is contained in the next chapter. It is my view that these attributes provide some means of assessing the behaviours described in the Social Responsibility Performance Standards, Schonert-Reichl’s moral reasoning perspective, and CASEL’s valueoriented description of social and emotional learning. With a hypothesis that asserted the instrumental, deterministic effects of music-making advocated by scholars such as Elliott, I believed a definition of social responsibility reflecting the multiple ways in which this set of behaviours can be demonstrated was critical. If the ideological dissemination alluded to by Elliott is a by-product of musical engagement, it seemed logical to be explicit as to what ideas or skills were being passed between musical participants and/or from the teacher to the students. A socially responsible student as defined by this study is an individual who demonstrates compliance with school rules, who is assessed by his or her teacher to be socially responsible, and who is able to demonstrate moral reasoning in a written exercise. 2.4 - Conclusions Generating my own definition of social responsibility was fraught with difficulty, and I believe that it is the subjective nature of this behavioural attribute that produces such a challenge. When teachers describe the level of social responsibility displayed by their students, the description is ultimately based on their professional opinions, not necessarily a Ministry generated rubric or the work of a scholar. By rooting my definition in terms that are relevant to a specific middle school context, I believe that the subjective and contextual nature of  22  social responsibility and its assessment is being considered. Rather than relying on a definition of social responsibility created outside of the school, I have elected to focus on my own observations and experiences in working with teachers and students at Hillcrest Middle School in musical and non-musical contexts. In considering if musical engagement has any instrumental values that extend beyond performance, I also believed it was important to clearly articulate which aspects of human behaviour are being impacted in a particular context.  23  Chapter 3 – Methodology and Context 3.1 - Introduction Kenny and Grotelueschen (1980) suggest that “when it is important to be responsive, to convey a holistic and dynamically rich account of an educational program, case study is a tailor-made approach” (p. 5). Since my purpose in this study was to determine differences in the levels of social responsibility demonstrated by students who are engaged or are not engaged in music making, it seemed logical to focus on students who were representative of these two groups. In order to obtain a holistic and comprehensive picture of middle school learners and educators at Hillcrest Middle School, I decided to take a qualitative (case study) approach that would also be informed by quantitative data. In electing to use a case study approach and incorporating the personally voiced opinions and views of children and teachers, I sought to examine what Elliott might describe as “self-growth, self-knowledge, and optimal experience” (1995, p. 122). If Elliott’s assertion of self-growth through musical engagement was to be explored in middle school learners, I needed to ensure that this study would provide opportunity for dialogue with them. Determining each student’s level of social responsibility during the early stages of the study was important in terms of determining who would eventually be interviewed. Surveys and other quantitative means of collecting data are of use in examining various aspects of social responsibility, but in using interviews I sought to record the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that cannot be recorded on a rubric or conveyed in a written exercise.  24  “Purposeful sampling is based on the assumption that the investigator wants to discover, understand, and gain insight and therefore must select a sample from which the most can be learned” (Merriam, 1998, p. 61). The study’s purpose was to examine social responsibility as it develops and emerges in particular types of learners. Behaviour incident forms, the Social Responsibility Quick Scale (SRQS), and a moral dilemma writing activity relating to social responsibility were selected as research tools to provide data reflecting the participating students’ level of social responsibility. Although there is a subjective nature to these instruments in that students and teachers describe and/or document specific behaviours, this data was an effective means of documenting the emergence of social responsibility in middle school students. By considering each participant’s behaviour as measured by office referrals, level of social responsibility according to their teacher’s perceptions, and capacity to reflect on moral dilemmas through writing, a profile of his or her level of social responsibility could be established. In the section that follows, I describe the various data collection instruments used in the study in greater detail. 3.2 – Data Collection The four means of gathering data for the study consisted of: 1) behaviour incident forms; 2) the Social Responsibility Quick Scale; 3) a moral dilemma writing activity, and 4) interviews with teachers and students. Behaviour incident forms (See Appendix A) are given to students for a broad range of behaviours at Hillcrest. Office referral data was of use in comparing the conduct of musically engaged students with those who are not musically engaged. A student’s ability  25  to solve problems in peaceful ways and/or work with others collaboratively is also reflected in office referrals. Violence, defiance, horseplay, and rudeness are some of the problems that typically motivate teachers to refer students to the office. The form provides space for teachers and students to describe the behaviour in writing, and it also records information such as time of day, location, and whether or not each child participates in musical ensembles at school. Every form is centrally stored in the office and the data pertaining to each incident is entered into spreadsheet document to facilitate monitoring of the number of and reasons for office referrals. The office referral spreadsheet reflects student conduct for the entire student body, whereas the other data collection tools in this study focused on smaller targeted groups of participants. The behaviour incident form data were especially valuable because office referrals reflect a student’s ability to adhere to school policies that are shaped by Ministry-created definitions of social responsibility. Office referrals are sometimes viewed as merely a reflection of a teacher’s perception of a student’s behaviour based on school policies that in some cases may be questionable. However, office referrals come from multiple sources (i.e., teachers, special education assistants, custodians, clerical staff) and reflect the values and attitudes held by the majority of the school community. Inclusion of such data provides a record of behaviour ranging from extreme violence to running in hallways. The reasons why students are sent to the office may differ in each school, but such differences could be said for any program or initiative aimed at documenting and/or changing student behaviour.  26  Second, the Social Responsibility Quick Scale (SRQS) (See Appendix B) from the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Performance Standards was used in order to provide information on each student’s level of social responsibility as both conceived by teachers and according to each child’s selfassessment. The SRQS is a rubric listing behaviours associated with social responsibility. Arranged on a four-point continuum ranging from Not Yet Within Expectations to Exceeding Expectations, these behavioural descriptors indicated both a student’s self-conceived level of social responsibility and the level identified by his or her teacher. It is important to note that the teachers who filled out the SRQS were the homeroom teachers of each student participant; this input from the teacher was important because it provided an adult’s description of a student’s level of social responsibility in the classroom. This data was also important in establishing whether or not musically engaged students demonstrated a higher level of social responsibility in the eyes of teachers who do not teach music. Students spend a great deal of time in their homeroom classes, and the SRQS provided a measure of social responsibility in such nonmusical contexts. A third data collection instrument used in the study was a moral dilemma writing activity (See Appendix C). The writing activity, found in the British Columbia Performance Standards for Social Responsibility, presented students with a situation in which they were asked to formulate a written plan of action for responding to a story dealing with the disposal of toxic chemicals (which, it was expected, would also illustrate their environmental consciousness). Use of such a  27  written task is appropriate to middle school learners and resembles typical work undertaken in such classes. Teachers could also create a class-specific story if desired, and some of them chose this option. After participating in the moral dilemma writing activity, students’ work was assessed numerically (e.g., 1 - Not Yet Meeting, 2 - Minimally Meeting, 3 - Fully Meeting, and 4 - Exceeding Expectations) using a quick scale by the teachers who presented the lessons. Levels of achievement with regard to learning outcomes for social responsibility were then compared between students who were either involved or not involved in the school music program. Analysis of these samples was also conducted by the homeroom teachers. Participating teachers created exemplars for each level of achievement. The moral dilemma data served to identify whether or not musically engaged students would be able to, according to their teacher, create better written solutions to specific situations requiring social responsibility. Fourth, to record the development of social responsibility and any influence of musical engagement, I elected to have discussions with teacher and student participants. I conducted interviews and recorded descriptions of experiences that appeared to have influenced the emergence of social responsibility in students. Merriam (1998) advocates open ended and loosely structured interviews for qualitative investigation. “Devil’s advocate” types of questions were consequently featured prominently during the interview process (p. 76) (Appendix D). This type of question is “particularly good to use when the topic is controversial and… [the] respondents’ opinions and feelings” are paramount” (Merriam, p. 77). I recognized that my examination of social  28  responsibility might generate some anxiety in students given the fact that the study utilized office referral data and teacher generated assessment. By framing questions in terms of hypothetical situations, I believed the student participants would be more comfortable about speaking honestly and without reservation. My focused dialogue with student participants involved asking them to describe their own experiences in musical engagement and any impact they thought it might have on their behaviour. Using consistent sets of questions, interviews were conducted with students and teachers on an individual basis. Interviews were taped and transcribed to ensure that all aspects of each answer were recorded and documented. I recognized that the attainment of learning outcomes related to social responsibility might not be correlated with the use of particular approaches to teaching. Nevertheless, I believed that speaking with teachers about their views on how they believed they were best able to foster social responsibility would provide me with a better understanding of how social responsibility was actually addressed in the classroom via teacher-generated activities and other activities provided by the Ministry of Education. The interview with the teacher who instructs band and choir captured some of the unique musical experiences that foster social responsibility as it relates to musical engagement. Speaking with classroom teachers provided some clarity in terms of classroom rituals and practices that are implemented to foster social responsibility.  29  3.3 – Context: Hillcrest Middle School The students of Hillcrest are divided into four-class groupings of 120 students called clans. The term clan makes reference to the school’s focus on Scottish themes, with a logo featuring Harry the Highlander and the motto: Take the high road. The Music Enrichment program is also referred to as a clan and is comprised of approximately one-third (171) of the school population (530). With their music classes beginning at 7:47 a.m. (school buses provide transportation if desired) on Monday through Thursday, members of the Music Enrichment Clan start their day before the rest of school population arrives for 8:40 a.m. classes. In the past, there has been an agreement among teaching staff that athletic practices are not to be held during morning rehearsal times. The rationale for this agreement is that students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of activities, and they should not have to choose between athletic and arts involvement at Hillcrest. Band at the advanced and beginning levels, boys choir, and girls choir are the musical groups in which Hillcrest’s students can elect to participate, and these courses are instructed by two teachers. Students are never excluded from band in the event that they cannot afford to pay for an instrument; the school rents instrument if needed. All music groups are non-auditioned and students sometimes join midway through the year. Music students receive letter grades three times per year on reports that are added to classroom based formal report cards.  30  3.4 - Social Responsibility at Hillcrest Although social responsibility has played an important role in Hillcrest’s recent history, teaching and discussion of social responsibility have actually been prominent features of the school’s initiatives and programs for a long time. Hillcrest’s teachers and administrators have followed the work of many other schools in Coquitlam seeking to build socially responsible behaviour using The Virtues Project, extrinsic rewards (called “Virtue Vouchers”), and various other programs. These efforts served to give recognition to students’ positive behaviours. No single program was sustained or embraced by the entire Hillcrest school community, and teachers eventually elected to discontinue The Virtues Project after three years. 3.5 – Student Participants In order to best “discover, understand, and gain insight” into social responsibility and its development in middle school learners, I sought to “select a sample from which the most [could] be learned” (Merriam, 1998, p. 61). One hundred and twenty forms were distributed to four classes, two consisting of a Grade 6 and 7 blend, and two being Grade 8 groupings. Of this sample, 27 students voluntarily agreed to complete the quick scales and moral dilemmas. From this group of 27 participants, 6 students participated in interviews. These 6 student participants, with two from each grade level, represented Not Yet Meeting, Minimally Meeting, Fully Meeting, and Exceeding Expectations in terms of social responsibility as assessed by their teachers on quick scales and the moral dilemma writing activity.  31  In an effort to reduce incidence of teachers’ bias in using the assessment tools, each student was given a number and all written responses were transferred into typed text using a word processor; this procedure removed the possibility of handwriting recognition on the part of the teachers. By masking the students’ identities, I hoped that each student’s work would be assessed on its own merits rather than on the teacher’s prior conceptions of him or her. All student and teacher names were changed for anonymity. The names of all students and teachers featured in the study are is pseudonyms. The work completed by student participants was said not to be part of any assessed activities for reporting purposes. The Letter of Consent explaining the study’s aims is found in Appendix E. The challenge of meeting participation targets for my study became apparent after students had been given consent and assent forms. Despite efforts to maintain the anonymity and comfort of participants in a study with an arguably contentious and sensitive hypothesis, I encountered challenges in recruiting participants. The timeline for returning forms had to be extended and students seemed reluctant to participate in the study. The following vignette captures the reluctance on the part of one student to participate in the study: Jenny is a grade eight student who has been at Hillcrest for three years. Jim, her Math and Science teacher, is a caring and innovative teacher. However, he is also a task master who expects his students to complete their work in a timely manner. Jenny disliked Jim at first and disagreed with his strategies to assist her in the area of work completion. His frequent e-  32  mails to Jenny’s mother describing ongoing assignments were viewed by Jenny as obtrusive. I became involved when Jenny began to refuse to complete her work. On several occasions I kept her in the office during unstructured times, and I called her mother to voice my concerns about her apparent apathy. When Jenny looked at the material for my study she asked: “Will this help Mr. DV?” Jim responded affirmatively that I was completing my Master’s degree. This explanation was greeted with Jenny saying, “Forget it then. I’m not doing this.” Jenny’s level of work completion and overall attitude eventually improved, but at the time I was starting this study she was struggling in her relationship with me as a vice principal. In light of Jenny’s comments, I came to realize that office referrals for misbehaviour and my role in supporting students in these situations could influence a student’s motivation to participate in this study. The mere title of my thesis was perhaps perceived by Jenny as being associated with the authority and power she viewed as emanating from school administrators. Although the feelings revealed in Jenny’s comments were likely not shared by all 120 students who were given descriptions of the study, some other students may have felt disinclined to participate for similar reasons In spite of some challenges, 27 students, representing 5% of the school population, agreed to participate in the study. Table 3.1 (p. 35) summarizes characteristics of the student participants, in terms of gender, grade, and musical or non-musical engagement status.  33  Table 3.1 Characteristics of Student Participants Grade 6  Males 5  7  5  8  5 Total: 15  Females 4  Music 3  Non-Music 6  6  4  7  2  2  5  12  9  18  Once the larger group of 27 students was established, 6 students were asked to participate in interviews. The following descriptions of each of the 6 students who were interviewed provide a glimpse of each these middle school learners: Allison is in Grade 6. Reserved and short in stature, she speaks with a slight accent that sounds to be Spanish. Her brother attended Hillcrest and he too was quiet and unassuming. She does not participate in band or choir, but has thought about joining choir. Ramona is in Grade 6. Outgoing and talkative, she performed in the school’s musical this year in a chorus role. Although she participated in band most of the year, she recently withdrew from the class in order to focus on her musical interests outside of school. Sally is in Grade 7 and is new to Hillcrest. Although she can, at times, be rather quiet, she joined Leadership Club part way through the year and is now assisting with morning announcements one day per week. She does not participate in band or choir.  34  Gerry is in Grade 7 and he participated in English-As-A-Second Language classes in the past. He plays ice hockey and does not participate in band or choir. On the back of his moral dilemma he sketched a gun and labelled it “AK47.” Robert is in Grade 8 and is a passionate football player who can be seen playing on the field at every unstructured time. He has been in choir at Hillcrest since Grade 6, but began participating in music with friends who also wanted to sing in Grade 4. He has an identified learning disability which affects his written communication. Stan is in Grade 8 and has participated in choir and band at Hillcrest since Grade 6. He sings with a community choir and performed the lead role in the school’s production of the Music Man. He is outgoing and talkative, but also exhibits a quiet confidence. He typically achieves “A” letter grades in all subjects. 3.6 – Teacher Participants Jim, Tom, and Diana are all Orange Clan teachers. Jim and Tom both teach Grade 8, and Diana teaches a Grade 6 and 7 class. Jim teaches Math, Science, and French, and Tom, his partner (i.e., they share their two classes of students), teaches Humanities, Physical Education and Health and Career Education. Diana teaches Math, Language Arts, French, and Physical Education. The other participating classroom teacher, Gina, is a Red Clan teacher and she has been at the school since it opened as a middle school. Social Studies, Language Arts, and French are the subjects Gina teaches to her Grade 6 and 7 students. Christine, the music teacher participating in the study, is also a Red  35  Clan teacher and spends of the majority of her day teaching Language Arts and Social Studies. However, Christine also teaches Boys Choir, Girls Choir, and Advanced Band.  36  Chapter 4 – Office Referral Data 4.1 - Introduction The Behaviour Incident Form is one of the ways in which each student participant’s level of social responsibility was defined in this study. Students are asked to complete the form when referred to the office for misbehaviour and this documentation generally initiates a discussion that occurs between the student and the Vice Principal. Sometimes, questions relating to the misbehaviour are assigned to give students an opportunity to reflect on the Code of Conduct that is intended to delineate acceptable behaviour at all schools in the Coquitlam School District. At the end of each academic term, a summary of office referral data is published for teachers to review. The Behaviour Incident Forms often serve to create a behavioural profile for students who are struggling to behave appropriately. If a student has been referred to the office for the same behaviour several times, some form of intervention may be required. There are many hypotheses as to why certain students are referred to the office more often than others (e.g., identified learning and/or behaviour challenges, family dynamics, Attention Deficit Disorder), but there is seldom any discussion about specific activities or experiences in school that might reduce the likelihood of a student being referred to the office for misbehaviour. My hypothesis that middle school students who perform in musical ensembles at school are less likely to be referred to the office for misbehaviour is supported by office referral data for the 2006/2007 academic year.  37  4.2 - Office Referral Data In examining the data regarding office referrals, it may be of use to first consider the student population of Hillcrest (refer to Table 4.1), the characteristics of the musically engaged student population (refer to Table 4.2) (p. 40) and the number of students referred to the office (refer to Tables 4.3 and 4.4). The combined total of music and non-music students referred to the office in 2006/2007 was 221, or 42% of the school population (530). Of this group, 51% (e.g., 183 out of 359 students) of non-music students are referred compared with 22% (e.g., 38 out of 171 students) of those students involved in music. The following table may of use when considering the size of the music and non-music student groups: Table 4.1 Hillcrest Middle School student population characteristics Grade  Male Female  6  97  99  7  90  87  8  86  71  Total  273  257  Table 4.2 (p. 40) provides demographic information regarding the distribution of musically engaged students according to gender and grade. This data may be helpful when considering the referral rate for musically engaged males and females.  38  Table 4.2 Hillcrest Middle School musically engaged student population characteristics Grade  Male Female  6  26  48  7  23  42  8  18  14  Total  67  104  When the number of music students referred to the office is examined according to gender, a few interesting patterns are found (refer to Tables 4.2 & 4.3) (pp. 41, 42). In examining males using a chi-square value of 9.18 with one degree of freedom and a significance level of .001, the overall observed probability for male students to be referred is 57% (156 male referrals out of 273 total males). For musically engaged males (67), the actual number of referrals is 22, but 38 (57% of 67) would have been expected if the music and non-music groups were assumed to be equal. For non-musically engaged males (206), the actual number of referrals is 134, but 118 (57% of 206) would have been expected. A chi-square test was employed to test whether this difference was statistically significant. The results (i.e., χ2(1) = 9.2, p = .001) indicate that male students in music are referred significantly less as compared to male students not engaged in music. The same comparison was done for female students. For female students engaged in music, the overall observed probability to be referred is 25% (65 female referrals out of 257 total females). For musically engaged females (104),  39  the actual number of referrals is 16, but 26 (25% of 104) would have been expected if the music and non-music groups of students were assumed to be equal in size. For non-musically engaged females (153), the actual number of referrals is 49, but 39 (25% of 153) would have been expected. In comparing the music and non-music female students, the difference was statistically significant (i.e., χ2(1) = 6.4, p = .005). Females students engaged in music are statistically referred less than their non-music counterparts. Tables 4.3 and 4.4 (p. 42) present the office referral data for music and non music students and may be of use when comparing male and female referral rates. Referrals for each grade level are also presented. Table 4.3 Distribution of music students referred to the office Grade  Number of students referred Male Female  6  10  5  7  8  9  8  4  2  Total  22  16  Combined Total:  38  40  Table 4.4 Distribution of non-music students referred to the office Grade 6  Number of students referred Male Female 37 12  7  54  17  8  43  20  Total  134  49  Combined Total:  183  Within the subgroup of 27 participants (refer to Table 4.5) (p. 44), music students received a total of seven referrals compared to fifteen referrals for their non-music counterparts. Comparisons between students in band and choir did not generate any remarkable patterns, but it is important to note that Robert, a Grade 8 choir student received five referrals. Based on Robert’s office referrals, the hypothesis that musical engagement is related to lowered office referrals seems less plausible. However, office referrals serve as only one stage of a larger and more complicated process that is the development of social responsibility. Robert’s referrals were often associated with rough play on the football field and occurred early in the school year. With some growth and maturation, Robert received no referrals in the second half of the school year. In his interview, Robert did not agree with the assertion that participation in choir would lower office referrals and he viewed his free time as an opportunity to play and have fun. Although he went on to say that “lunch and choir are two very  41  different things,” Robert did acknowledge that “most of the people that really do get into trouble a lot… aren’t in choir.” One comment regarding a young man who joined choir later in the year supports Robert’s statement. The new choir member had a high number of office referrals in Terms 1 and 2, and after joining choir his rate of office referral was lowered by 50 percent. In her interview, Ramona, a female former band student in Grade 6, commented that this student “used to be in the office every day” and she described him as a “mischief maker.” She went on to explain how his demeanor changed whenever music was discussed and that his face would light up. Christine, the music teacher, also offered some perspectives on lowered office referrals and musical engagement. Christine indicated she felt as though her current groups of music students did not receive fewer referrals. The reason cited by Christine for increased office referrals was the number of students she described as “gifted” in her musical groups. Owing to their higher levels of intelligence, Christine felt these students needed to be musically challenged in order to reduce misbehaviour. Another reason given by Christine was that the student mentioned by Ramona had joined choir. She claimed this student was likely responsible for the rise in referrals among her musically engaged students. Nevertheless, the following data on office referrals do indeed support the notion that the musically engaged students in the study are not being referred to the office for misbehaviour as often as other students.  42  Table 4.5 provides data on office referrals for each of the students who completed the SRQS and the moral dilemma writing activity. Table 4.5 Summary of Office Referral Data Participant Number  Grade  1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27)  6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8  Gender F F F F M M M M M F F F F F F M M M M M F F M M M M M  Participation NM NM NM BB NM NM NM BC BB NM NM NM GC GC GC NM NM NM NM AB NM NM NM NM NM BC,AB BC  Number of Referrals 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 10 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5  NM denotes Non-Music BB denotes Beginning Band AB denotes Advanced Band GC denotes Girls Choir BC denotes Boys Chorus  43  4.3 – Discussion of results and interpretations Determining reasons why students are sent to the office is easily achieved in that they are documented on each referral form. However, the challenge is in attempting to determine what reasons, if any, reduce the tendency to be sent to the office for misbehaviour. Although the data in this study comparing those students who are musically engaged with those who are not suggests that the referral rate is different between these two groups, it is important to recognize that there could be many reasons for such a difference. It is possible that musical engagement, like any other constructive activity, reduces the likelihood of music students to be referred to the office. However, as was discussed in the context of interviews, some of the study’s participants seem to suggest musical engagement is a unique and important activity in terms of the development of social responsibility. Statistically, it is not possible to formulate an argument that a lowered rate of office referrals is attributable solely to musical engagement. The office referral data provided evidence of a correlation between musical engagement and lowered office referrals, but causation could not be demonstrated. Nevertheless, the comparison of males in the musical and nonmusical groups is marked and of note, given the significance level.  .  44  Chapter 5 – Social Responsibility Quick Scale 5.1 - Introduction A challenge in assigning any numerical value to human behaviour is that no matter what rubric or process is used, a subjective judgment is still made by the teacher. The teachers participating in this study embraced the use of the Social Responsibility Quick Scale (SRQS) (Appendix B) as a specific and standardized means of assessing social responsibility. Since the rubric represents a behavioural snapshot at a particular moment in time, it may be tempting to be dismissive on the basis that it does not reflect a student’s daily interaction with a teacher. However, it is important to remember that the SRQS represents a culmination of each teacher’s work with individual students based on the academic year thus far. Similiar to a letter grade, the SRQS reflects the actions of students over an extended period of time. The students’ selfassessments were also important aspects of the SRQS data because heightened awareness of self may be another positive outcome of musical engagement. Although a students’ awareness of their own behaviour can sometimes differ from the perspective of the teacher, I felt it important to include data representing students’ own attitudes and perceptions of their social responsibility. Having students complete the SRQS also provided an opportunity for them to consider and reflect on the various listed behavioural attributes of social responsibility. The use of the SRQS data is important to this study because it provides a means of comparing the levels of social responsibility demonstrated by musically and nonmusically engaged students as described by a teacher or by themselves.  45  5.2 - SRQS Data Using the SRQS, participating teachers first asked their students to rate themselves on the actual scale. Teachers then rated each student. For collation purposes, each part of the scale was assigned a number according to the following scale: 1- Not Yet Within Expectations, 2 - Meets Expectations, 3 - Fully Meets Expectations, and 4 - Exceeds Expectations. All four aspects were then totaled and averaged, producing a score for the scale completed by the student and that completed by the teacher. Data for students at each grade level and according to gender is presented on Tables 5.1 (p. 48), 5.2 (p. 49), and 5.3 (p. 50). Table 5.4 (p. 50) presents data combining student and teacher assigned scores.  46  Table 5.1 provides data on the SRQS for each of the students who completed the SRQS self-assessment and the scores assigned by their teachers. Table 5.1 Summary of SRQS Data Participant Number  Grade  1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27)  6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8  Gender F F F F M M M M M F F F F F F M M M M M F F M M M M M  Participation NM NM NM BB NM NM NM BC BB NM NM NM GC GC GC NM NM NM NM AB NM NM NM NM NM BC,AB BC  Quick Scale Average Self Teacher 3.3 3.3 2.8 2.9 2.8 2.9 3.4 4.0 2.0 2.5 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.1 3.3 2.9 3.0 3.1 3.3 3.4 2.5 1.6 3.6 3.6 3.8 3.8 3.0 2.9 3.0 2.8 2.4 2.8 3.3 2.5 3.8 3.0 3.3 3.0 3.9 3.3 3.3 4.0 3.1 3.0 3.3 2.8 2.6 2.0 2.6 2.1 2.8 4.0 2.5 2.5  NM denotes Non-Music BB denotes Beginning Band AB denotes Advanced Band GC denotes Girls Choir BC denotes Boys Chorus  47  Table 5.2 shows the averaged scores of the 27 student music and non-music participants according to grade and gender. This data is intended to allow for comparison of averaged results within specific groups of students. Table 5.2 Collated SRQS Data QS Average – Teacher Assessment 6NM 3.0 6M 3.0 6NM 3.0 6M 4.0 6NM 3.0 6M 3.3  Males Females Males & Females  QS Average – Self-Assessment 6NM 3.0 6M 3.2 6NM 3.0 6M 3.4 6NM 3.0 6M 3.2  Males Females Males & Females  QS Average – Teacher Assessment 7NM 2.8 7M 3.3 7NM 2.9 7M 3.2 7NM 2.8 7M 3.2  Males Females Males & Females  QS Average – Self-Assessment 7NM 3.2 7M 3.9 7NM 3.1 7M 3.3 7NM 3.2 7M 3.4  Males Females Males & Females  QS Average – Teacher Assessment 8NM 2.3 8M 3.3 8NM 3.5 8M N/A 8NM 2.8 8M 3.3  Males Females Males & Females  QS Average – Self-Assessment 8NM 2.8 8M 2.7 8NM 3.2 8M N/A 8NM 3.0 8M 2.7  Males Females Males & Females  NM denotes Non-Music M denotes Music  48  Table 5.3 provides data on the SRQS according to grade level and allows for comparison between the mean scores of self and teacher assessment. Table 5.3 Averaged SRQS Data Grade  Self Assessment NM M  Teacher Assessment NM M  6  3.0  3.2  3.0  3.3  7  3.2  3.4  2.8  3.2  8  3.0  2.7  2.8  3.3  Average  3.1  3.2  2.9  3.3  NM denotes Non-Music M denotes Music Table 5.4 provides data on the mean scores of the SRQS when self-assessment and teacher-based scores are combined. Table 5.4 Averaged SRQS Data Combining Teacher and Self-Assessment Grade NM M Female Male Female Male 6 3.0 3.0 3.7 3.1 7  3.0  3.0  3.3  3.6  8  3.4  2.6  N/A  3.0  Total  3.1  2.9  3.5  3.2  NM denotes Non-Music M denotes Music In statistically examining the quantitative data of the 27 SRQS surveys (e.g., Tables 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, & 5.4) completed by students and teachers, the scores  49  of students (refer to Table 5.4) (p. 50), as hypothesized, show a higher average for music students; this higher score is also reflected in the self-rating and the teaching rating. The average score for musically engaged students is 3.2 (n = 9) for the self-assessment and 3.3 (n = 9) for the teacher assessment. Non-music students’ average score is 3.1 (n = 18) for the self-assessment and 2.9 (n = 18) for the teacher assessment. According to the directional hypothesis that musically engaged students score higher than non-musically engaged students, one-sided t-tests were employed to test whether these differences in mean scores are statistically significant. Due to the fact that the female to male student ratio in the music and non-music groups was equal in this comparison, the analyses did not need to be controlled for potentially confounding gender differences. Results of the t-test for self-ratings were: t(25) = .72, p = .24. For teacher-ratings, the results were: t(25) = 1.54, p = .07. The results for both the self-rating comparisons and the teacher ratings are not statistically significant. The effect sizes for these comparisons are considered to be medium (.31 for the self-rating) and large (.67 for the teacher rating), respectively (Cohen, 1988). However, the sample sizes (9 and 17 for the respective groups) are relatively small. The probability of obtaining a statistically significant result was thus relatively low. Stan, a grade eight music student, scored himself as 2.8 while his classroom teacher had assigned a score of 4.0 (refer to line 26 in Table 5.1 for this data) (p. 48). When asked about this discrepancy in the context of an interview, Stan indicated that that he did not view himself as being socially  50  responsible. Stan could not provide any evidence of ways in which he was socially irresponsible, but he characterized himself as selfish. However, Jim, Stan’s classroom teacher, described him as one of the most socially responsible students in his classes. The only comment Stan could offer about his own social responsibility was the assertion that without music, he would be more focused on his own needs and desires. Self-assessment thus presents a challenge in that an individual’s view of their own conduct is influenced by many factors and is ultimately subjective. 5.3 - Discussion of results and interpretations A challenge in attempting to create meaningful data relating to the SRQS is the high degree of subjectivity when different teachers are assessing students. Such assessment is of use when considering individual students and their progress, but of less value from a statistical perspective. One teacher’s view of social responsibility may differ greatly from that of another teacher’s and yet for this study, such assessed scores were averaged together. A student’s conduct may also differ greatly depending upon the relationship with a given teacher and the peer context. Another challenge with this portion of the study is the small size of the sample. (i.e., the Grade 8 musically engaged category lacked a participant). Given that such a small number of students participated, any statistical significance is impossible to determine. However, the SRQS was of use in gaining some insight into how these student participants and their teachers viewed their own levels of social responsibility. Given that the behavioural characteristics listed on the SRQS served to partially define social  51  responsibility for the study, it seemed logical to assess student participants according to these learning outcomes. Despite the lack of statistically reliable data obtained with the SRQS, this assessment strategy generated a glimpse into each student participant’s level of social responsibility at a particular moment in time in a specific context.  52  Chapter 6 – Moral Dilemma Activity 6.1 - Introduction New report card templates requiring teachers’ comments on students’ social responsibility inspired much discussion at Hillcrest school during the 2006/2007 academic year. The staff’s eventual decision to make social responsibility a school goal for the 2007/2008 academic year reflected the importance they placed upon it. The moral dilemma activities contained in the Performance Standards were received favourably by the teachers participating in the study because these strategies were relevant to their practice. Presenting teachers with a number of different ways of assessing their students’ level of social responsibility, the British Columbia Performance Standards contain several moral dilemmas. During a meeting to discuss the study and each participating teacher’s involvement, I indicated that they were welcome to create their own moral dilemmas if they desired (this suggestion is also given in the Performance Standards). After this discussion, I engaged in many casual encounters in the school halls, on the playground, and in several e-mails with the participating teachers; these conversations focused upon the fact that the timing of the study coincided with the new report card template. The data collected for this study were not to be used in their reporting because I wanted the data to represent each student’s level of social responsibility based on these specific activities, not as part of a larger set of assessment tools. In-class written assignments can also cause anxiety for students and I wanted to alleviate any such stress. Although the moral dilemma writing activity was not connected to formal assessment in  53  report cards, the participating teachers were interested in expanding their instructional repertoire in the area of social responsibility. 6.2 - Moral Dilemma Process Jim and Tom share two classes of Grade 8 learners. After looking at the provided moral dilemma, these teachers decided to create their own story focused on a Play Station 3 video game controller that appeared to have been stolen (see Appendix C). Acknowledging that they felt this moral situation more adequately reflected the interests and perspectives of their Grade 8 students, Jim and Tom presented their classes with a tempting dilemma in which students had to decide whether to keep potentially stolen equipment to satisfy their own pleasure, or turn the equipment into the police who recently uncovered a cache of stolen items in the possession of the seller’s brother. Like Jim and Tom, Diana elected to create her own moral dilemma for her Grade 6 and 7 learners (see Appendix C). Her topic of choice was technology and the many challenges and choices computers present to students. Based on a situation involving the creation of an offensive website presenting insulting remarks about teachers and administrators, her students needed to decide whether or not to implicate their friends who created the site when it was discovered by the principal. Diana’s students’ moral dilemma responses were greater in length than the other participating classes, and perhaps this was due to her insistence that her students not write in point form. The examples of moral dilemma responses given in the Performance Standards are in point form, but Diana wanted to allow her students to write freely on the topic.  54  Gina, on the other hand, elected to use a dilemma provided in the Performance Standards for her Grade 6 and 7 learners (see Appendix C). As part of her “social issues” literature unit, the dilemma fit nicely with the concepts she hoped to explore with her class. One morning, she appeared in my office with a pamphlet from Starbucks in hand. The document touted the corporation’s high valuing of social responsibility, and we discussed the potential hypocrisy of a company that espouses the benefits of responsible behaviour and yet creates so much waste with their cups and containers each day. The pamphlet became part of her introduction when she conducted the moral dilemma activity with her class. She also eventually brought in some newspaper articles for her students about a company in Masset, B.C. that sold their coffee products under the name HaidaBucks. Starbucks did not appreciate this reference to their name and immediately began legal proceedings. The environmental aspects of the Ministry provided dilemma may have also been favoured by Gina due to the fact that her class was in the process of revitalizing a long abandoned courtyard in the school. According to Gina, this activity generated many discussions among her students on how best to responsibly clean and dispose of waste from this property and to create a sustainable and pleasing area with new vegetation. Assessment of Jim, Tom, and Diana’s students’ writing was completed with the teachers not being able to identify the writers. Gina elected to mark her students’ actual work due to the fact she felt that the activity was connected to the other activities and discussions (i.e., the Starbucks and HaidaBucks materials) she had undertaken with her class. With each student’s participation  55  and perspective in mind as expressed in discussion, Gina felt that her assessment using the SRQS would be more accurate with the knowledge of who wrote which piece. Gina also felt that the small number of participants in her two divisions made transcription unnecessary. 6.3 – Challenges Two challenges in using moral dilemmas as a measure of social responsibility stem from the autonomy and subjectivity of teachers and the range of written ability present in middle school learners. The pedagogical approach used by a teacher is influenced by many contextual factors. Grade level, the overall ability of a group of students, and time constraints are but a few variables that could shape a teacher’s approach to working with moral dilemmas. Like other areas of human development, maturation in writing occurs at different rates. In order to more clearly demonstrate the differences between teachers’ instructional implementation and challenges with written output confronting some students participating in the study, I will discuss several examples of student work. The first sample comes from Jim’s class and was completed by a music student in Grade 8. After viewing the samples in the Performance Standards, it is obvious that Jim used language and ideas from this document in terms of structuring his moral dilemma activity. Jim’s questions follow the same format as is found in the Performance Standards. The second sample comes from Diana’s class and was completed by a non-music student in Grade 7; this sample reflects a slightly more narrative style that is suited to the more open ended questions  56  she created. Diana’s moral dilemma exercise represents perhaps a slight deviation from the Performance Standards examples. The two following samples provide evidence of how learning outcomes can be met by teachers using very different strategies. They also represent the great variety that exists in the written work of middle school students. In my view, the Performance Standards offer little advice for teachers on how best to assess and structure such written tasks; I assert that the inconsistency of these two writing samples are evidence of inconsistency in terms of how best to assess the moral dilemma writing activity.. The two following samples both received Exceeding Expectations scores (Note: the samples have been transcribed exactly as written by the students with any errors that were made by the students): 6.4 - Moral Dilemma Sample 1 Student: 26 (a male Grade 8 band and choir student) In the scenario: 1) What is the problem? - The problem is that it would be illegal to buy his PS3 2) Brainstorm possible solutions. - Tell the police - Never talk to the guy again - Tell your parents 3) Establish criteria for successfully solving the problem. The solution must keep Andrew safe but also get the stolen PS3 off the market  57  4) Create an action plan. Tell the police the aquintence’s adress and have them search his house but make sure andrew’s identity is never revealed 6.5 - Moral Dilemma Sample 2 Student: 18 (a male Grade 7 student not in band or choir) 1. What is the problem? David does not want to lie to the principal but he does not want to betray his classmates. This site spreads nasty rumors about some teachers and students. This is a very bad thing to do but he promised not to tell anyone of his classmates huge secret. Now David is in the middle of a big problem with some students and the principal. On one hand telling the truth would be the right thing to do but unless he wants to face the conciquences he must tell. There are also going to be repurcutions if he tells because the students might find out that David told so they would beat him up and start picking on him. David might also be afraid if he tells the students will threaten him a lot and start spread nasty rumors about him. 2. What should David do? First David should go to the students and tell them that they should stop the site and confess. If that doesnt work then he must keep trying to get them to confess because if they dont he will have no choice but to tell. He should explain his situation to them and tell them that if they dont confess he has to tell. He should tell them that he cannot lie to the princapal  58  and when it comes to it he will surely crack under the pressure and tell the whole story. He could also just tell the princapal and ask to stay anonymous. Then that way the pressure will be off his back and he did the right thing. Another complicating factor in using a written activity as a means for assessing a child’s level of social responsibility is that some students have great difficulty with their written output. Robert, one of the study’s interview participants has an identified learning disability and the moral dilemma activity may have been more like a reading and writing assessment for him, rather than an exploration of his social responsibility. Like the SRQS, the moral dilemma necessitates highly developed critical thinking skills. For Robert, who was likely struggling to simply comprehend the scenario presented in the activity, his ability to fully engage with various aspects of the dilemma may have been compromised. The following is the written response completed by Robert in the moral dilemma writing activity: 6.6 - Moral Dilemma Sample 3 Student: 27 (a male Grade 8 student in choir) 1) What is the problem? - That the acquintence stole the Playstation 3 - Also that the acquaintance stole other electronics 2) Brainstorm possible solutions. - Talk to his parents - He could keep the PS3  59  - He would return the PS3 to the current owners 3) Establish criteria for successfully solving the problem. - Give the playstation 3 to his parents and tell them that it was a stolen playstation 3 - The stealer would go to jail for stealing all of those electronics 4) Create an action plan. - Police would search the acquintance’s house for stolen electronics/entertainment. Robert’s work was assessed as Not Yet Meeting Expectations (refer to Table 6.1, line 27) (p. 64). Even if his many spelling errors are overlooked, it is apparent he struggled to develop criteria for a solution and an action plan. Although Robert had difficulty articulating a coherent response to this situation, he was very communicative in his interview. Perhaps with more time and someone to scribe for him, Robert would have been able to more successfully complete the moral dilemma writing activity. Tom, his classroom teacher, asked for point form answers and this would have alleviated some of the need for Robert to write in complete and coherent sentences. However, even this adaptation was an inadequate means of addressing Robert’s learning disability. As a means of assessing social responsibility, the moral dilemma writing activity is not an instrument that can easily be used to measure all learners. Nevertheless, the participating teachers commented that the moral dilemma presented a formal and relevant means of discussing and assessing social responsibility. The instructional implementation ideas utilized by  60  participating teachers were varied and perhaps this is the strength of such an assessment tool. A rather limited and narrow assessment of a student’s level of social responsibility would be achieved if the moral dilemma were the only instructional tool used, but this could be said for any assessment exercise focused on students’ writing. The Performance Standards encourage teachers to use examples relevant to their classes, and Jim, Tom, Gina, and Diana seized upon this opportunity. 6.7 - Moral Dilemma Data Scores were created for the completed moral dilemma activity after assigning numerical values to each aspect of the performance standards rubric (e.g., 1 - Not Yet Within Expectations; 2 - Meets Expectations at a minimal level; 3 - Fully Meets Expectations; 4 - Exceeds Expectations) (refer to Table 6.1 for all assessed scores) (p. 64). In examining the data from the moral dilemma responses in Table 6.2 (p. 65), the averaged total scores reveal that musically engaged students received higher averaged scores (2.8 Averaged Score) than non-musically engaged students (2.3 Averaged Score). In order to statistically compare the scores of the two groups of students, a one-sided t-test (according to the directional hypothesis that music students score higher than non-music students) was used. The moral dilemma mean score is 2.8 (n = 9) for music students and 2.3 (n = 18) for non-music students, with a resulting mean difference of .5 with t(25) = 1.48, p = .08. The mean difference between the two groups corresponds to an effect size of d = .6 which is considered a large effect (Cohen, 1988). The ratio between males and females is the same for both  61  groups and the t-test results were thus not influenced by potentially confounding gender differences. As mentioned above, the samples sizes (9 and 17 for the respective groups) in this comparison are relatively small so that the probability of obtaining a statistically significant result was relatively low. Therefore, the large effect size and non-significance of the result need to be interpreted with caution.  62  Table 6.1 shows the scores of each of the 27 music and non-music student participants who completed the moral dilemma writing activity. Table 6.1 Summary of Moral Dilemma Data Participant Number 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) 26) 27)  Grade  Gender  6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8  F F F F M M M M M F F F F F F M M M M M F F M M M M M  Participation NM NM NM BB NM NM NM BC BB NM NM NM GC GC GC NM NM NM NM AB NM NM NM NM NM BC,AB BC  Moral Dilemma Average 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 4 3 1 3 4 1 4 3 2 2 2 2 3 1  NM denotes Non-Music BB denotes Beginning Band AB denotes Advanced Band GC denotes Girls Choir BC denotes Boys Chorus  63  Table 6.2 shows the averaged scores of the 27 music and non-music student participants according to grade and gender. Table 6.2 Averaged Moral Dilemma Data Grade NM Female Male 6 2.7 2.0  M Female 3.0  Male 2.5  7  2.3  2.3  3.0  4.0  8  2.5  2.0  N/A  2.0  Total Average  2.5  2.1  3.0  2.8  NM Average 2.3  M Average 2.8  NM denotes Non-Music M denotes Music 6.8 - Discussion of results and interpretations In light of the moral dilemma writing activity data, it seems plausible to suggest that musically engaged students received higher assessed scores as compared with their non-musically engaged peers. With inconsistency in terms of the final written product produced by students, I initially questioned whether this data was of value to my research. However, I would assert that the diversity present in the produced written material is relevant and reflective of the classroom environments in which these activities were taught. Teachers often create activities with the specific learning needs and interests of students in mind. The teacher generated dilemmas in the study also suited the curricular focus of each participating class (e.g., Gina’s dilemma was relevant to the class’s environmental studies while cleaning up and beautifying a courtyard at Hillcrest).  64  A more standardized approach (i.e., a multiple choice test) may have resulted in more direct responses to the dilemma, but this type of assessment would have potentially obscured the uniqueness of each response. Widely held expectations are used to assess students in all curricular areas and the variety in written responses featured in the study reflects the many ways in which students communicate. The moral dilemma writing activity is an opportunity for students to demonstrate some degree of moral reasoning and would be assessed as such. It is not each student’s mastery of written language that is of paramount importance, but instead the unique perspective that each student brings to such an exercise.  65  Chapter 7 – Interview Summaries 7.1 - Introduction Minimally structured interviews are said to “assume that individual respondents define the world in unique ways” and given the breadth of the topic of social responsibility, I elected to conduct interviews using this method (Merriam, 1998, p. 74). Using consistent sets of questions for each respective group of participants (e.g., classroom teachers, a music teacher, musically engaged students, and non-musically engaged students), the interviews featured broad, open-ended questions (Appendix D). In this chapter, I present responses to my specific questions and the unique perspectives that were shared in the context of interviews. 7.2 – Interview Participants Before presenting the findings of the interviews, I would like to reintroduce the student participants and their social responsibility data. As seen in Table 7.1 (p. 68), these six students represent various levels of social responsibility as expressed with office referrals, the SRQS, and moral dilemma data. The student participants are representative of the classroom teachers involved in the study, with Allison, Gerry, and Sally being in Diana’s class, Ramona being in Gina’s class, and Robert and Stan being in Tom and Jim’s classes. In discussing the findings of the interviews, I will begin with the music students and their teachers and then move to the discussions with classroom teachers and non-music students.  66  Table 7.1 Summary of Interview Participant Data Participant Allison  Quick Scale Average Self Teacher 2.8 2.9  Office Referrals 2006/2007  Moral Dilemma Average  1  Minimally Meeting  Ramona  3.4  4.0  0  Fully Meeting  Sally  3.3  3.4  0  Fully Meeting  Gerry  2.4  2.8  2  Not Yet Meeting  Robert  2.5  2.5  5  Not Yet Meeting  Stan  2.8  4.0  1  Exceeding  7.3 - Specific activities and the development of social responsibility In asking whether certain aspects of musical engagement foster social responsibility, I hoped that the music teacher and students would offer some insight into what is for them the most powerful part of this educational experience. Christine, the band and choir teacher, very quickly identified public performance as the most powerful of experiences for students. She said that “being out in the community … [at] community events … [and] performing [at] festival[s]” were important to her music program. She went on to say that social responsibility is essential for musical ensembles because “you have to look after each other or else it’s not going to happen.” The music students also commented about public performance, saying that this activity is the most important aspect of their musical engagement. Stan said that in “normal” classes students are concerned with grades, but in music classes students work toward a common goal of being able to successfully perform pieces for others. He also  67  indicated that seeing joy in the faces of others when he performs, builds social responsibility. An awareness of how individual and collective actions influence others is, in my view, an important component of social responsibility. Given the performance venues in which the public performances of students sometimes occur (e.g., long term care facilities and hospitals), musical performance becomes an act that has power and influence beyond the stage. Stan’s recognition of the joy in others as a result of music making supports the notion that musical engagement benefits both the performer and the audience, lasting beyond the duration of a particular performance. 7.4 - The Role of the Teacher in Fostering Social Responsibility Christine spoke of her role being different in musical and non-musical classes, saying: “In the musical context you’re more of a … a facilitator than a teacher. So, you’re bringing things out that the kids already have.” She went on to describe the process of music rehearsals as operating on two different “planes” in which the students have to be independent, but also working together. Christine said her role was being a coordinator who facilitates the intersection of the two “planes.” An example of Christine’s facilitator role is her use of leadership positions within her band ensemble. Section Leader positions are awarded to Grade 8 students on the basis of good attendance, responsibility, and musicianship. Her description of this group of students captures the important role played by these students in her ensembles. I have section leaders actually for both groups now. Band section leaders take attendance for each section and then for choirs there’s two girls and  68  two guys in charge of making sure attendance is done. So, they sit there … kids come and check in … especially with the girls … they check in with the section leaders and then that gets filed away. 7.5 - Lowered Office Referrals and Musical Engagement In reflecting on the rate of office referrals for musically engaged students, Christine felt that the rate of referral for music students was higher than usual during the 2006/2007 academic year. The behavioural profile of Christine’s various performing groups changes each year and sometimes within the academic year. Her impression of increased office referrals for her music students may have been formed due to the membership of several students who do, in fact, have higher rates of referral than is found in the rest of the music student population. Ramona, a Grade 6 music student, agreed with Christine’s assessment saying that “people who do go to choir and do musical stuff, they do sometimes get into the office.” Robert could be described as a music student who has at various times been referred to the office for misbehaviour. When asked about office referral rates for musically engaged students, he said: “Most of the people that really do get into trouble a lot … most of those guys aren’t in choir. But there are some people who get into trouble occasionally that are in choir.” When asked to elaborate on his comment, Robert said that he did not believe choir has an impact on the way he behaves at lunch. During unstructured time, he said, “you’re supposed to be having fun.” He went on to say that unstructured times at school and choir “are two very different things.”  69  Another interesting observation came from Gerry, a Grade 7 student, who does not participate in music at school. When asked about office referrals and music students he offered the following explanation: I think that the music people or people who participate in music aren’t usually sent to the office as much because they have to learn the responsibility to take care of their expensive instruments and that… might lead to a more higher class… gives you more responsibility not to break the rules because if you like are lazy and you break your instrument you’re going to have to pay a huge fine. It’s the same for school, if you just forget the rules or do something bad you’re going to have to pay for it. Gerry’s description of a “higher class” could refer to the various developmental stages of students in middle school and how musical engagement may foster such development. Responsibility for school supplies may seem trivial, but in a middle school, work habits grades and comments often focus heavily on this area of learning. An argument may be made that Gerry’s commentary about “expensive instruments” is more about personal responsibility than social responsibility. However, it seems as though he is suggesting that the ability of an individual to care for himself or herself, may heighten the capacity to care for and think of the needs of others. 7.6 - Social responsibility development from the perspective of classroom teachers By incorporating the voices of teachers who do not teach music classes, I hoped that a more comprehensive vision of the development of social  70  responsibility in students would be created. The two themes that emerged in these interviews were the use of specific instructional activities that foster social responsibility and the existence of personality traits that may impact the formation of social responsibility. Diana initially indicated that she does not use specific activities to foster social responsibility in her blended Grade 6 and 7 classroom. However, when given time to reflect on her own practice, it became apparent that Diana’s approach to teaching Social Responsibility uses both informal and formal strategies. This small excerpt captures the philosophy she uses in working with her students: We do lots of humour. I always joke: ‘But you guys are always good just because you are good. You’re good just because you want to be good.’ They were, like, sure, and I said, ‘Sometimes there’s a caramel thrown in,’ but for the most part and then they all just kind of laughed. She also explained that modeling responsibility is critical to bringing out such behaviours in her students and she spoke in particular about the number of students in her room who have unique challenges (e.g., one student with profound physical disabilities and another who is developmentally delayed). Diana indicated that she uses humour in addressing various issues that arise with the members of her class that have special needs. A buddy reading program is also used by Diana as a means of building connections between these exceptional students and their peers. Allison, a student of Diana’s, spoke of these authentic collaborative experiences in describing how Diana builds  71  responsibility in her class: “She helps you out by … putting you guys together when you didn’t choose to be.” Music students are also required to put aside individual differences in order to complete a meaningful task and rarely get to choose who occupies the space beside them. Also using structured activities in his class, Jim schedules frequent class meetings as a means of developing social responsibility. Jim’s description of these formalized dialogues with his students focuses on his goal of empowering students in their decision making: One of the things that I like to do is I hold meetings. You need to transfer responsibility to students. In order for them to be socially responsible they have to feel that there is actually a consequence to their actions beyond simply a teacher punishment or that sort of thing. And, in order to do that you have to let them have a say, they need to have a voice. And the way that I find to be the most effective is to have an actual, formal class meeting. So, we try once a week for a block or half a block to sit down and say, okay class meeting, and we call it to order, we have minutes taken, we have an agenda and well, the agenda isn’t always strictly followed. The kids get a chance to say we have a problem: People come in at lunchtime into our room and we come in and there’s crap all over our desks. What can we do about it? So, we’ll set up a schedule of who’s watching the room at lunch and if it doesn’t work, find a solution. If the solution doesn’t work, we’ll amend the solution and try and find something else.  72  Jim’s practice of allowing students to set the agenda for and speak freely at class meetings is not unlike Christine’s use of Section Leaders in managing her band’s records. In both instances, students are given opportunities to be leaders. 7.7 - Personality traits and social responsibility Despite the challenges associated with managing the educational needs of extremely diverse groups of students, the classroom teacher participants indicated that they can identify which students are musically engaged. Although these teachers did not feel that student performance in exercises such as the moral dilemma activity was impacted by musical engagement, they did speak of certain traits or behaviours that are fostered by this involvement. Tom gave this assessment of the benefits of musical engagement on his students: I think any involvement in, outside of your regular curriculum, be it sports clubs or music involvement, or even in the community… involvement in charitable programs or something of that nature. Just that it heightens the students’ awareness of a larger cause. I believe Tom is describing a correlation between musical engagement and an awareness of others, but Gina was more convinced that social responsibility is correlated with a specific trait. Gina indicated that awareness of others or situations is contingent upon an individual’s personality saying: I think if someone is more outgoing they may be more willing to stand up for what they believe in or stand up for someone who can’t stand up for themselves. They may be willing to speak their mind even if people disagree with them.  73  Sally, a Grade 7 student who does not participate in music, said that social responsibility is something that “you’re born with, from your parents and that it just kind of passes down on you; she also said this process is impacted by “how your friends react, who you hang out with, [and] the media.” Diana offered an alternative view of why some students become involved in music making and her role in this process. She commented about one young man who “had to be asked” to join the music program. Early in the year, this individual was struggling with decision making and Diana captured the malleable nature of his character and personal choices with this description: “He’s definitely a follower, but in both directions right? He’s really helpful as well and does do all those great things that we look for in someone who’s got a lot of social responsibility.” If Diana’s assessment of social responsibility formation is valid, musical engagement is a socialization process that serves to draw out preexisting strengths of character. Diana indicated that she felt musical engagement would result in this student making better decisions because he would be surrounded by peers who are participating in a positive, constructive activity. Another trait identified by classroom teachers and students as being important in the development of social responsibility is students having an awareness of their place in a family, the community, or a social setting. Tom mentioned the dynamics of family as being influential on the development of social responsibility. If students “come from a family with more than a few siblings, or are expected to do a lot of chores, are responsible and involved in the  74  community,” Tom feels individuals are better equipped to develop social responsibility. Jim offered an effective analogy that captured the essence of this awareness of others when he was asked about personality traits and their impact on social responsibility. Jim said: It’s part of that talking yourself out of your own movie. When you’re younger you’re in your movie and you’re the star and everybody else just kind of does these guest appearances. And as you grow up you realize that really it’s everybody’s movie and you have got to play your part just like everybody else does. And you can understand how in that person’s movie that’s how they’re feeling… in your movie you’re feeling slightly different. The root of the social responsibility thing is understanding how behaviour, your behaviour, other peoples’ behaviour, makes other people feel. Once you’ve got a kind of a handle on that it becomes easier to understand. Jim’s analogy of his classroom is especially appropriate if it is extended to musical engagement. The act of performing in an ensemble, like a movie, involves a cast of many, one director, and an audience. Consideration of others is critical if musical engagement is to progress and flourish and perhaps music making in a school context encapsulates this duality of awareness. Classroom activities can and often do require students to work in collaboration, but musical engagement relies upon this relationship at every moment of the experience. 7.8 - Conclusions Merriam (1998), states that interviewing is necessary “when we cannot observe behaviour, feelings, or how people interpret the world around them” (p.  75  72). Although the SRQS and the moral dilemma writing activity provided data about students’ level of social responsibility, individual attitudes and beliefs could not be examined in a direct manner with these evaluation instruments. By engaging in dialogue with teachers and students, many ideas pertaining to how students and teachers interpret social responsibility as it exists within school were shared. Specific activities such as public performance were said by some interview participants to promote increased social responsibility. The teacher’s role in fostering social responsibility was described as being that of a facilitator who sometimes manages behaviour and monitors attendance, and also that of a guide who assists students in gaining the independence necessary for musical competence. The question about musical engagement and lowered office referrals generated a variety of responses. Music students were perceived as being less likely to be referred due to their increased responsibility, but one participant viewed unstructured time (i.e., lunch) as being unrelated to music class. Classroom teachers shared a variety of strategies that they felt encourage social responsibility, and these ranged from formal meetings to the use of curricular programs (i.e., buddy reading). Although teachers indicated that they could identify musically engaged students in their classes, students and teachers recognized that personality traits are shaped by a variety of variables. In reviewing each of the topics discussed in the interviews, it is apparent that any discussion of social responsibility and its emergence generates a diversity of opinions. Although this study defined social responsibility according to  76  office referrals, the SRQS, and the moral dilemma writing activity, social responsibility and its definition is shaped according to the experiences of the individual; with this in mind, interviews were a necessary and important aspect of this study.  77  Chapter 8 – Summary and Conclusions 8.1 - Introduction Elliott (1995) interprets musical engagement as “a particular form of action that is purposeful and situated and, therefore, revealing of one’s self and one’s relationship with others in a community” (p. 14). To be musically engaged at Hillcrest Middle School is to be connected to a community within the school community. It would be tempting to point to the many performances of the bands and choirs at Hillcrest as being the most important aspect of musical engagement. However, each performance represents a collaborative process that was begun long before the show. In examining the development of social responsibility in middle school learners and any impact musical engagement may have on this process, it was important to examine office referrals, observable behaviours described on the SRQS, student responses on a moral dilemma writing activity, and perspectives shared in interviews with teachers and students. 8.2 - Office Referrals Although the office referral data provided evidence of a correlation between musical engagement and lowered office referrals, causation could not be demonstrated. Nevertheless, there is a difference between these two groups of students when comparing office referrals. Positive peer relationships could be cited as one factor in helping students to feel part of a community with rules and expectations, but such relationships are not developed only through musical engagement. Another argument could be that students who join music ensembles are already predisposed to being less likely to be referred to the  78  office. A preexisting trait could inhibit the likelihood of particular students being sent to the office; attempting to answer this assertion would require data that extends beyond the scope of this study. 8.3 - SRQS As an assessment tool, the SRQS is a standardized and efficient means of producing a numerical value for a student’s level of social responsibility. An examination of the SRQS data revealed differences in scores when comparing music and non-music students. The self assessments of the SRQS supported the notion that the music students in the study assessed themselves as being more socially responsible. Music students received higher scores from their teachers’ on the SRQS, but statistical significance could not be determined due to the small sample size. A larger sample would be needed in order to more thoroughly examine the assertion that any differences between these two groups of students and their SRQS results are a result of musical engagement. 8.4 - Moral Dilemma Writing Activity Although the moral dilemma writing activity is provided in the Performance Standards as one means of assessing social responsibility, the use of this strategy was problematic during the study. The written assignments produced with this exercise were diverse and reflected the teaching style and practice of participating teachers. Differences in terms of how teachers assessed students’ written work also emerged. The written responses produced by musically engaged students were given higher scores by their teachers, but there was inconsistency in the written pieces created by students. Nevertheless, the  79  assessed scores of musically engaged students were determined to be significantly higher after conducting a t-test. 8.5 - Interviews Engaging in discussions with teachers and students was a critical step in featuring the voices of those who teach social responsibility and those who are developing this area of their learning. Interviews with students representing various assessed levels of social responsibility were revealing. Students who might be described as lacking social responsibility according to the definition used in the study had much to share on this topic. Musically engaged students offered their perspective on how this activity impacts their interpretation of various events in their lives. Public performance and leadership opportunities were stated as being the most important aspects of musical engagement that influenced students’ development of social responsibility. Working toward a common goal in collaboration with mixed aged peers is, I believe, an important and meaningful aspect of musical engagement. The skills necessary for a student to perform publicly and work with others become a means of supporting the growth of social responsibility if it accepted that such development involves an awareness of others; this awareness is an arguably important aspect of social responsibility. 8.6 – Conclusions Based on the statistical data collected using office referrals, the SRQS, and the moral dilemma writing activity, and the differences that exist between musically and non-musically engaged students – especially in terms of the  80  lowered rate of office referrals for musically engaged students – it seems that music ensemble involvement in middle school plays an active role in the development of social responsibility. This inquiry into possible relationships between musical engagement and students’ development of social responsibility and musical engagement was inspired by my experiences as a musician and as a teacher. Perhaps some of the initial motivation for this study was a desire to consider whether my personal experiences might be replicated in the lives of others. My own development of social responsibility was, I believe, enhanced by musical engagement, but this study provided an opportunity to consider some other consequences associated with this relationship. An example of musical engagement and its capacity to impact the development and lives of children was shared in my interview with Gina, a Grade 6/7 teacher. She was commenting on a student who was in her class several years ago after attending a concert at the local high school. This student was also a former band student of mine and was performing at the concert. Gina said: Peter (a pseudonym) is having a wonderful year. He is on the honour roll (thanks to Band and Jazz band he openly admitted), he has friends, and he went on the band retreat in February. You will remember how he wanted to quit band in Gr. 7 and the challenges he had with school, band, and medication. Now he has friends that are also in band and they hang out in the band room at lunch. Another friend who was not in band felt abandoned  81  when the others left for band, so [he] ended up joining… and [now] everyone is happy! This story, for me, captures the many benefits of musical engagement. Performing music in public may appear to be a fleeting and insignificant moment to some, and yet, within this experience exists an opportunity to share and work with others in the creation of beauty. Social responsibility may be but one product of this creative process.  82  Bibliography British Columbia Ministry of Education. (1996). Music Integrated Resource Package, Grades 8 – 10. British Columbia Ministry of Education. (2001). Performance Standards for Social Responsibility. British Columbia Ministry of Education. (1995). Physical Education Integrated Resource Package, Grades 8 - 10. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Guidelines for social and emotional learning. Retrieved December 23, 2005, from http://www.casel.org. Elliott, D. J. (1995). Music matters: A new philosophy of music education. New York: Oxford. Jowett, B. (1888). The republic of Plato. New York: Oxford. (Original work written 360 B.C.E.) Kenny, W. R. and Grotelueschen, A. D. (1980). Making the case for case study. Occasional paper, Office for the Study of Continuing Professional Education, University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign, IL: College of Education. Labuta, J. & Smith, D. (1997). Music education: Historical contexts and perspectives. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. McCarthy, M. & Goble, J. S. (2002). Music education philosophy: changing  83  times. Music Educators Journal, 89(1), 18-26. Mark, M. L. (1996). Contemporary music education. New York: Schirmer. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Mursell, J. L. (1934). Human values in music education. New York: Silver, Burdett, and Company. Peters, D. G. & Miller, R. F. (1982). Music teaching and learning. New York: Longman. Popov, L. (2000). The virtues project educators’ guide – Simple ways to create a culture of character. Torrance, CA: Jalmar. Schaps, E., Schaeffer, E. & McDonnell, S. (2001). What’s right and wrong in character education today – Why three advocates are worried about the character education movement [Electronic Version]. Education Week, September 12, 2001, 1 – 6. Retrieved January 10, 2006 from http://www.devstu.org/about/articles.html. Schonert-Reichl, K. (2004). Promoting social-emotional competence and social responsibility through moral dilemma discussions: Theory to practice. British Columbia Teacher’s Federation presentation, Vancouver B.C. Volk, T. M. (1998). Music education and multiculturalism. New York: Oxford. Walhout, D. (1995). Music and moral goodness. Journal of aesthetic education, 29(1), 5-15. Wentzel, K. R. (1991). Social competence at school: Relation between social responsibility and academic achievement. Review of Educational  84  Research, 61(1), 1-24.  85  Appendix A First Name  Last Name  Grade  Division  Date  Description of your behaviour:  I am involved in Music Enrichment  Yes__  No__  I am involved in Sports Teams  Yes___  No___  I take the School Bus  Yes__  No__  ******************************  ______________________________________________________ Referring Staff Member  Incident Disruption Rudeness Theft  Harassment/Intimidation Fighting/Violence Vandalism  Defiance Horseplay Other  Work Completion Attendance/Late  Location Classroom Drama Stage Area Explorations Hallway School Bus  Multi Purpose Room Yellow Hallway Gravel Field Washroom  Gym Change Room Red/Blue Hallway Grass Field Other  Cafeteria Purple Hallway Courtyard  Time Before School PM Classroom  AM Classroom After School  Nutrition Break After 3:30 PM  Noon Other  Comments:  Consequences Warning Informal Suspension for Formal Suspension  Phone Call Home Days Level  Loss of Privileges Apology Days  Community Service for  RCMP  86  Appendix B Quick Scale: Grades 6 to 8 Social Responsibility This Quick Scale presents summary statements from the four categories in a one-page format for ease of use. In most cases, these scales can be used to evaluate student development anytime during the year. In the Elaborated Scale, each of the four categories is printed on a separate page.  Aspect  Not Yet Within EXpectations  Meets Expectations  CONTRIBUTING TO THE CLASSROOM AND SCHOOL COMMUNITY  ~ often appears to be unfriendly and negative  ~ usually friendly and, if asked, will include others  ~ does not take responsibility or work cooperatively  ~ with support, will take responsibility, contribute, and work cooperatively  SOLVING PROBLEMS IN PEACEFUL WAYS  ~ unwilling or unable to solve interpersonal problems; may be illogical or blame others, or become violent or sarcastic  ~ may try to solve interpersonal problems and consider others’ feelings, but often needs support; may become frustrated and blame others  ~ tends to view problems in black and white; has difficulty considering more than one perspective, generating strategies, and predicting consequences  (Minimal Level)  ~ can clarify familiar, concrete problems and issues, and propose some strategies; may misinterpret consequences  Fully Meets Expectations ~ routinely kind and friendly, and helps and includes others if asked ~ takes responsibility, contributes, and works cooperatively ~ tries to solve interpersonal problems calmly; often shows empathy and considers others’ perspectives ~ can clarify an increasing range of problems or issues, generate and compare potential strategies, and anticipate some consequences  Exceeds Expectations ~ kind, friendly, inclusive, and helpful ~ voluntarily takes on responsibilities and contributes; effective in groups  ~ uses a repertoire of strategies to deal with interpersonal problems; tries to be logical and nonjudgmental; considers others’ feelings and perspectives ~ can clarify increasingly complex problems and issues, propose and evaluate strategies, and weigh consequences  VALUING DIVERSITY AND DEFENDING HUMAN RIGHTS  ~ often disrespectful and may avoid or be negative towards those perceived as different in some way  ~ usually respectful to others and accepting of differences, but may not see the need for action on human rights  ~ usually treats others fairly and respectfully; tries to be unbiased; shows some support for human rights  ~ usually treats everyone fairly and respectfully; shows an increasing commitment to correcting injustices  EXERCISING DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES  ~ tends to be egocentric or apathetic; may show a sense of powerlessness  ~ shows some interest in making the world a better place, but ideas tend to be very general and follow-through tends to be inconsistent  ~ shows a sense of community and an interest in making the world a better place; tries to follow through on planned actions  ~ shows a growing sense of altruism and optimism – a commitment to making the world a better place  ....................................................................... GRADES 6 TO 8  87  Appendix C Grade 8 Moral Dilemma Writing Activity Jim and Tom’s classes The Cheap PS3 Andrew loves video games but there is no way that his family can afford the 1000 dollars a new Playstation 3 would cost. Then an acquaintance at school who knows of his hobby offers to sell him a used PS3 for 50 bucks. The acquaintance says he doesn’t use it anymore and doesn’t want it. Andrew agrees and gets the $50 from his birthday and Christmas money. A week later Andrew hears that the older brother of the acquaintance has been arrested for a series of break and enter crimes. Apparently the brother stole mostly electronic equipment from several homes, including televisions and video game consoles. Andrew realizes that his used PS3 is almost definitely one of the stolen items. What should Andrew do? Grades 6 and 7 Moral Dilemma Writing Activity – Diana’s Class Some students in David’s class have created an offensive website that spreads nasty rumours about teachers and students. The principal has learned about the website and is asking David questions. What is the problem and what should David do? Grades 6 and 7 Moral Dilemma Writing Activity – Gina’s Class  Sample 1: Salmon in the Classroom CONTEXT This activity was part of an ongoing study of salmon that integrated science, social studies, and personal planning. Prior to completing this activity, students had worked through other scenarios as a class, using the following process: 1. Identify the problem. 2. Brainstorm possible solutions. 3. Establish criteria for successfully solving the problem. 4. Create an action plan. PROCESS The teacher provided copies of the following scenario: Danny’s dad is a commercial fisherman. In the off-season he is a part-time mechanic. He has his own tools, and he works out of a shop located about 10 kilometres from their house. One Saturday afternoon, Danny decides to go with his dad to learn a bit about fixing cars. He feels it will save him a lot of money when he owns his own car – one day, he hopes. He watches his  88  dad and two other part-time mechanics as they change mufflers, test brakes, change oil, replace c.v. joints. He asks his dad if he can help. His dad takes him over to a pile of really grimy assorted car parts. There is a pile of rags and some cleaner by the parts. “Take these outside over by the creek bank and wash them up. Use the cleaner in this can. Be sure and get as much of the oil and grease off the parts as you can.” Danny hesitates. He’s not sure what to do. Source: Salmonids in the Classroom – Intermediate Package, Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Students worked in pairs to identify the problem, brainstorm possible solutions, establish criteria for successfully solving the problem, and write up an action plan. They had access to computers, but were not required to word process their work. After completing their action plans, students met as a class to share and discuss them. ....................................................................... GRADES 6 TO 8  89  Appendix D Music Student Participant Questions After giving the purpose and motives of the study, participants will be informed of the various steps being taken to maintain confidentiality. Then, the following questions will be asked: How many years have you been engaging in performing in musical ensembles at school? Do you participate in band, choir or both? Think about the way in which you work with others in an ensemble. Can you describe the ideal or best type of working situation for the members of a band and/or choir? Some people might suggest that certain activities in musical ensembles contribute to the development of social responsibility in students. Do you agree and if so, what types of activities might contribute to such development? Some would say that a teacher can play a significant role in the development of social responsibility in students. Do you agree with this statement and if so, can you describe the role of the teacher? Some people might say the experience of musical engagement in ensembles impacts whether a student is referred to the office for misbehaviour. What do you think?  90  Music Teacher Participant Questions After giving the purpose and motives of the study, participants will be informed of the various steps being taken to maintain confidentiality. Then, the following questions will be asked: What types of music ensembles do you direct? Can you describe a typical band and/or choir class? Some people might suggest that certain activities in musical ensembles contribute to the development of social responsibility in students. Do you agree and if so, what types of activities might contribute to such development? Some people might say the experience of musical engagement in ensembles impacts whether a student is referred to the office for misbehaviour. What do you think? Some people might say the experience of musical engagement in ensembles enables students to exhibit a higher level of social responsibility as reflected on survey questions measuring attitudes and perceptions of social responsibility. Do you think this is true? Is social responsibility heightened in students who are involved in musical engagement between grades six and eight as compared to those who are not? Some might say that certain personality traits in particular students affect the development of their level of social responsibility. Do you agree and if so, can you describe these particular traits?  91  Non Music Student Participant Questions After giving the purpose and motives of the study, participants will be informed of the various steps being taken to maintain confidentiality. Then, the following questions will be asked: Some people might suggest that certain activities in school contribute to the development of social responsibility in students. Do you agree and if so, what types of activities might contribute to such development? What do you participate in? Some would say that a teacher can play a significant role in the development of social responsibility in students. Do you agree with this statement and if so, can you describe the role of the teacher? Some people might say the experience of musical engagement in ensembles impacts whether a student is referred to the office for misbehaviour. What do you think?  92  Classroom Teacher Participant Questions After giving the purpose and motives of the study, participants will be informed of the various steps being taken to maintain confidentiality. Then, the following questions will be asked: Varying levels of social responsibility are evident in students’ written work that focuses on social responsibility. Do you believe these differences can be correlated with musical involvement or non-involvement? Would you say that you are aware of your students’ engagement in musical ensembles? If so, do you think this engagement impacts their development of social responsibility? What would be some ideal activities that foster the development of social responsibility in your students in your classes? Some might say that certain personality traits in particular students affect the development of their level of social responsibility. Do you agree and if so, can you describe these particular traits?  93  Appendix E Dear Parents/Guardians, This letter is a request for your child to participate in a study entitled “Middle School Students’ Engagement in Music Ensembles and their Development of Social Responsibility.” This research is required as a part of my Masters of Arts Program at the University of British Columbia. This research will focus on the development of social responsibility in middle school learners and how the experience of engaging in musical performance in school ensembles may impact this behaviour. Although Behaviour Incident Forms for the entire school population will initially be examined to determine the number of music students who are referred to the office, only four classes will participate (Two at the 6/7 level and two at the grade 8 level) in other parts of the study. Each participating student will complete a self assessment of their social responsibility on a Quick Scale (this is a set of criteria that describe various aspects of social responsibility) from the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s Performance Standards for Social Responsibility. Later, the classroom teacher will complete a Quick Scale for each child. In addition, this same teacher will conduct a moral dilemma writing activity that will be assessed according to Ministry performance standards. Observations of classroom activities in musical and non-musical settings will also be conducted. A small group of students will be asked to participate in interviews (these will be recorded and later transcribed). These students will represent various levels (e.g., Not Yet Meeting, Minimally Meeting, Fully Meeting, Exceeding Expectations) of social responsibility. Additional information will be sent home if your child is asked to participate in this part of the study. Student names will not be used when the study’s findings are shared and collated data will be shared in aggregate form. Each child’s written work will be transcribed into a Microsoft Word document to reduce any bias in assessment. All collected data will be stored in a locked cabinet for five years and subsequently shredded at that time. The information gathered will be shared with students and teachers when the study is concluded. It is hoped that by engaging in the activities associated with the study that students, teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians will learn more about social responsibility, its development in middle school learners, and any role musical engagement may play in this process. Please be assured that your child is not required to participate in the study. Participation is entirely voluntary and students and parents can withdraw at any time. None of the collected data will be used as part of any formalized assessment of your child’s progress.  94  If you have any questions or concerns about rules regarding the treatment and rights of research subjects, you may call the Research Subject Information line in the UBC Office of Research Studies at 604 822 8598. Please also feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I can be reached at 604 936 4237. You may also contact my Thesis Advisor, Dr. Scott Goble, at 604 822 5270. Please indicate your consent or refusal to participate in the study on the attached forms. Please return the signed copy as a soon as possible to your child’s homeroom teacher. Sincerely, Sean Della Vedova Vice Principal, Hillcrest Middle School District #43 (Coquitlam)  95  Consent: I have received and read a copy of the letter that describes the study entitled: “Musical Engagement in Middle School Music Ensembles and the Development of Social Responsibility in Students.” I understand that my child will participate in the study by completing a Quick Scale and be assessed by their teacher using the same Scale. I also understand that they will complete a moral dilemma writing activity that will be assessed by their teacher. Finally, I understand that any Behaviour Incident Forms my child has received may be used as part of the school wide data used in the study. I also understand that my child may be asked to participate in a smaller group relating to the study. In addition, I understand that none of the collected data will be used as part of any formalized assessment of my child’s progress. I understand that if I do not give my consent for my child to participate in the study, it will not in any way negatively impact my child. I understand that participation in the study is voluntary and that my child and/or I can withdraw at any time. Please check one: Yes  I consent to my child’s participation in this study.  No  I do not consent to my child’s participation in this study.  Your name (Please print)  Child’s name (Please print)  Signature  Date  96  Keep this copy for yourself Consent: I have received and read a copy of the letter that describes the study entitled: “Musical Engagement in Middle School Music Ensembles and the Development of Social Responsibility in Students.” I understand that my child will participate in the study by completing a Quick Scale and be assessed by their teacher using the same Scale. I also understand that they will complete a moral dilemma writing activity that will be assessed by their teacher. Finally, I understand that any Behaviour Incident Forms my child has received may be used as part of the school wide data used in the study. I also understand that my child may be asked to participate in a smaller group relating to the study. In addition, I understand that none of the collected data will be used as part of any formalized assessment of my child’s progress. I understand that if I do not give my consent for my child to participate in the study, it will not in any way negatively impact my child. I understand that participation in the study is voluntary and that my child and/or I can withdraw at any time. Please check one: Yes  I consent to my child’s participation in this study.  No  I do not consent to my child’s participation in this study.  Your name (Please print)  Child’s name (Please print)  Signature  Date  97  Appendix F The University of British Columbia Office of Research Services Behavioural Research Ethics Board Suite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3 CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - FULL BOARD INSTITUTION / UBC BREB NUMBER: DEPARTMENT: UBC/Education/Curriculum James Scott Goble H06-03730 Studies INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:  Institution  N/A  Site  N/A  Other locations where the research will be conducted:  Hillcrest Middle School 2161 Regan Ave. Coquitlam, B.C. V3J 3C5  CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl Peter Gouzouasis  SPONSORING AGENCIES: N/A PROJECT TITLE: Middle School Students' Engagement in Music Ensembles and their Development of Social Responsibility REB MEETING DATE: CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: January 11, 2007 January 11, 2008 DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: DATE APPROVED: February 16, 2007 Document Name  Version  Date  Consent Forms: Musical Engagement and Social Responsibility  N/A  Musical Engagement and Social Responsibility Assent Forms: Assent Letter Questionnaire, Questionnaire Cover Letter, Tests:  N/A  November 22, 2006 January 28, 2007  N/A  January 31, 2007  Quick Scale and Interviews  N/A  November 24, 2006  The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects. Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following: Dr. Peter Suedfeld, Chair Dr. Jim Rupert, Associate Chair Dr. Arminee Kazanjian, Associate Chair Dr. M. Judith Lynam, Associate Chair  98  

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