“It’s about how we move together, and how we influence each other’s practice”: the actions in Action Research that helped build a SALTMusic community of practice

Pitt, J. (2019) “It’s about how we move together, and how we influence each other’s practice”: the actions in Action Research that helped build a SALTMusic community of practice. In: Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children (MERYC) Conference, 26-30 March 2019, Belgium. (Unpublished)

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This paper presents findings from a two-year action research project – SALTMusic - that combined the expertise from speech and language therapy and early childhood music practices, to develop a new pedagogical approach to working together with families with young children (aged two to four-years-old) with communication difficulties using music. At the heart of the project was communication. We became aware that words and talk have become more dominant in the world than the referents they stand for (Barad, 2007). Communication comprises more than words. Inter-action (in our case, musical inter-action) as described by Susan Blum (2015) was positioned as the primary signifier of communication in this project. The first two research questions focused on how the two different professional disciplines combined their practices and understandings to form a community of practice, and to discover the characteristics of the new pedagogical approach that emerged as a result of their joint-working. Action research was selected as the most useful design for the study. With an underlying tenet of influence or change (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2008), this philosophical position fitted well with the desire to discover a new pedagogy. Through interdisciplinary team-working changes in practice occurred through collaboration and the establishment of a self-critical community of practice (Pitt, Arculus & Fox, 2017). We adopted cyclical action research processes of: planning, acting, observing, reflecting, then planning afresh in the light of the discussions, then repeating the cycle (Schön, 1983). Five such cycles allowed for deepening reflections in and on action and opportunities to think about, amend and develop new pedagogical processes (Huhtinen-Hilden & Pitt, 2018). Using Etienne Wenger’s (1998) three dimensions of practice required to form a community of practice: Mutual engagement, Joint Enterprise and Shared Repertoire, this paper describes and discusses the two-year joint-working process, the tools and artefacts that were influential in helping practitioners and parents metaphorically shift and move in their approach to interacting with children with communication difficulties. New ideas about young children’s communication emerged. Co-delivery and reflecting together has resulted in a trans-disciplinary communicative approach that could be used in a variety of contexts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Music, interdisciplinary, communication, parents, action research, two-year-olds
Subjects: Music Education
Division: Music Education
Depositing User: Ms Katharine Liley
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2019 09:48
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 09:48
URI: http://researchonline.rcm.ac.uk/id/eprint/774

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