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Evidence based teaching? (Read 1527 times)

Offline kevin69

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Evidence based teaching?
« on: November 04, 2013, 12:42:38 PM »
Reading through Hanon discussions, most of the arguments were anecdotal:
'i did X and it worked for me';
'i didn't do X and i came to no harm';
'Z did X and he was very good'.

Have there been any methodical studies comparing different teaching approaches?
I'm think of something like:
'We took 30 students of similar ability, and randomly assigned 15 to practise repertoire
for an hour a day;15 to practise Hanon for 15 mins, and repertoire for 45 mins.
After 3 months we compared their progress.'

It would appear reasonably straightforward to set up such a series of experiments,
and that having a such an evidence base would be generally useful for educators
but i can't find any sign of such research.

Offline rovikered

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:49:03 PM »
Reading through Hanon discussions, most of the arguments were anecdotal:
'i did X and it worked for me';
'i didn't do X and i came to no harm';
'Z did X and he was very good'.

Have there been any methodical studies comparing different teaching approaches?
I'm think of something like:
'We took 30 students of similar ability, and randomly assigned 15 to practise repertoire
for an hour a day;15 to practise Hanon for 15 mins, and repertoire for 45 mins.
After 3 months we compared their progress.'

It would appear reasonably straightforward to set up such a series of experiments,
and that having a such an evidence base would be generally useful for educators
but i can't find any sign of such research.
If you can't find any, perhaps there are none. It may be a suitable research area for a PhD. !
rk

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 04:00:58 AM »
I don't think this research exists yet.

Offline Bob

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 04:45:58 AM »
I don't remember any like that.  I'm thinking the most I've seen is pointing to the teacher being the influence and the parents.  Nothing Earth shattering. 

I wonder how possible it actually is to find 30 student of similar ability though.  And then...  They're all going to practice Hanon for 15 minutes each day? Uh huh...  Can they even practice pieces for an hour daily?  Even at the college level, piano class... Are they going to do that? 


"Case study results
It was determined that 100% of the students practiced Hanon for 15 minutes daily. Not surprisingly, 50% were found to be liars.  Five students were left at the end of the three month period.  Seven mothers complained. One piano teacher suffered from a black eye after an altercation with another piano teacher."

Study publication?   Rejected... due to an anti-Hanon-ite being one of the peer reviewers.

Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline j_menz

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 04:59:25 AM »
I wonder how possible it actually is to find 30 student of similar ability though.  And then...  They're all going to practice Hanon for 15 minutes each day? Uh huh...  Can they even practice pieces for an hour daily?  Even at the college level, piano class... Are they going to do that? 

Get ones with no ability - complete beginners.

The diligence of practice, though, I think need to just be left in. If the 15 who do Hanon all drop out because they hate it (as an extreme example only - pace! ), or avoid practicing as much as possible, surely that is relevant to the scientific basis of the approach.  Otherwise you wind up with a situation that the "best" method you find may kill all music interest in 99.9% of people who use it, rendering them useless, but for the 0.1% who persevere they turn out to be all geniuses (as only people in this category could bear it).
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 05:11:13 AM »

It would appear reasonably straightforward to set up such a series of experiments,


It's definitely not. Piano students are not lab rats :)

There are some observational and case studies about practice methods, (for example Sloboda et al 1996, Sozniak 1985). But the idea of studying the usefulness of different "methods" starts to get complicated even in the beginning. How to define and classify the methods? Method is not just a book to use, the teachers who use them all do it in their personal way. Teachers are not lab rats either  ;)

One way to approach this would be to use computer programs designed to teach piano from scratch to a group of beginners large enough to make a good sample of the general population. Not a cheap endeavour...

Offline j_menz

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 05:40:28 AM »
Piano students are not lab rats :)

But the converse is sometimes true....


"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline outin

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 05:42:51 AM »
But the converse is sometimes true....




I wonder if the rats would choose to study Bach if given a choice?

Offline j_menz

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 05:54:04 AM »
I wonder if the rats would choose to study Bach if given a choice?

Not sure about the rats, but the churchmice certainly would.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline kevin69

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Re: Evidence based teaching?
«Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 10:58:39 AM »
I think that you could get people with similar enough abilities by picking people
who had passed a particular grade exam with (for example) the previous 3 months.

If the teaching part of the experiment was free, then i doubt you'll be short of volunteers.

I agree that drop out rates for different methods would also be very interesting.

Oh well, back to the 'my dads bigger than your dad' level arguements then.... :)