What is going on in early years music planning? A study of early years teachers’ weekly plans
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Arts education is an important element of the early years curriculum. Children first learn to express themselves through the arts (dance, drama, media, visual arts and music). Furthermore, numerous studies provide evidence that quality learning experiences in the arts contribute in significant ways to social success and impact positively on a child's academic achievement and long-term education. In Australia, early years teachers are expected to teach arts education. This study explored the weekly planning of 76 early years teachers across kindergartens, preparatory classes and Years 1, 2 and 3 in Queensland, Australia. Settings took a structured 'curriculum-focused' approach to learning in the early years, which made the exploration of planning important. Our study looked for segments of time devoted to music throughout the week. Content analysis was used to interpret the weekly plans, with three themes emerging: (1) The majority of the weekly plans were dedicated to literacy and numeracy; (2) Little time was devoted to the teaching of music apart from the scheduled 30-minute music lesson with a specialist teacher in some schools; and (3) Of the limited number of weekly plans that featured music, activities were teacher-directed. These results provide insight to the current understanding and value of music education in the early years curriculum. Key messages can be drawn about the importance of professional development, music advocacy in the early years, and curriculum and policy planning.
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood
© 2012 Early Childhood Australia. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori)