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Title: Transformation through learning : an ethnographic case study of practices in a music-infused school
Author: Arvind, Pavithra
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 7176
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2016
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Many countries across the globe are undergoing rapid economic and social change; and there are increasing efforts to reform, revamp and revitalise education – to equip students for the ever-changing future. Education is considered to be transformative; but the area of transformative learning has been mainly theorised in the field of adult education. Comparatively, teaching approaches designed to bring about such transformation or transformative teaching has been less explored or understood. Connecting various related literature, this study places deeper learning at the centre of transformation through learning. Aiming to fill a gap within the literature, this study explores transformation through learning in a comprehensive school setting at a K-5 School in the North East of the United States by asking the following questions, ‘What are the teachers’ and students’ lived experiences of transformation through music and arts infused creative learning as practiced at an Elementary School in Northeast of USA?’ and ‘What is the role of the arts and music in this process?’. Located within the interpretive paradigm, this ethnographic case study included 7 – 14-year-old students (Grade 2 – Grade 5) and staff, aimed at investigating the phenomenon of ‘transformation through learning’ through a range of sources within its natural environment. Various data collection methods were used, including semi-structured interviews, observations (field notes, video-recordings, still images), conceptual drawing and learning walks. These provided rich, in-depth data, permitting triangulation which strengthened the findings and allowed for an illuminating understanding of the topic. An iteratively developed framework representing elements or behaviours relating to transformation was utilised as a lens to identify relevant critical incidents during the data collection process. Employing thematic analysis on the data collected resulted in eight themes that represent the lived experiences of transformation through learning. These thematic findings highlight that relevance, mindsets and placing arts at centre of the school culture are key to providing transformative learning experiences. The study connects two arguments, that fostering deeper learning enables students to meet new expectations and demands of the changing future; and that it is vital to provide students with a well-rounded curriculum with rich arts education to prepare them for success in the future. Thus, the findings of this study develop the understanding of ‘transformation through learning’ and offer a model framework from the practice at this research site from which others could create their own.
Supervisor: Wilson, Anthony ; Craft, Anna ; Hennessy, Sarah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Deeper Learning ; Transformative Teaching ; Creative Learning ; Transformative Learning ; Music Infusion ; Arts Integration