Formative assessment in England: Multi-site case-studies exploring the effects of using an audio device during the Key Stage 3 group composing process.

Booth, Nikki (2023) Formative assessment in England: Multi-site case-studies exploring the effects of using an audio device during the Key Stage 3 group composing process. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Nikki Booth PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Oct 2022_Final Award Aug 2023 .pdf - Accepted Version

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Exploring formative assessment and the effects of using an audio device during the Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14) group composing process is currently an under-researched topic within music education literature. In order to address this gap from multiple and diverse perspectives, quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analysed from music teachers (n=4) and focus group students (n=16) across a composing unit-of-study (n=16 composing sessions) from four state-funded, comprehensive case-study schools located in the English midlands.

Several key findings emerged which can be considered important to both music education research and music teachers. First, through episodic sequencing (Fautley, 2002; 2004; 2005) of video recorded composing sessions, two additional phases were identified during the composing process. Second, through systematic observation discourse analysis (MacDonald, Miell and Morgan, 2000), summative assessment, through teachers and students giving comments, was found to occur in every composing session. Contrary to previous research, however, these summative comments were being given as a means of support, encouragement, and positive praise. Third, through further observation and systematic observation discourse analysis (MacDonald, Miell and Morgan, 2000), formative assessment, as defined in this thesis, was found to occur in most case-studies. Despite their occurrence, however, the formative process was often found to be strengthening the performance of the composition rather than developing the groups’ composing. Fourth, through applying a phenomenological lens to post-study interviews to better understand participants’ lived experiences, the audio device should not be considered a replacement for live teacher feedback. This is important so that feedback can be understood, digested, engaged with, and acted on, with teacher support as appropriate, for it to enhance musical learning further. Fifth, during live feedback interactions, teachers should be cautious about giving some groups too many proposals; despite their good intention, they may well reduce students’ need to think creatively for themselves. Teachers can afford, where appropriate, to take a more laissez-faire (Fautley, 2002; 2004) pedagogical approach. Sixth, through applying and utilising Bourdieu’s (1971) Field Theory, students who had more symbolic and/or cultural capital were not only deemed to be the leader of the group by their peers but were also found to share more formative comments in developing the composition further. Seventh, through a modular integration of Activity (Engeström, 1987) and Field (Bourdieu, 1971) theories, several contradictions, both emergent and historical, were identified and were found to have impacted on the composing process. The audio device was found to help resolve some of these tensions. This led to a proposed extension of the 3-Dimensional Activity Theory model. Finally, through Thematic Analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) of pre- and post-study teacher and focus group interview data, the audio device was found, overall, to be a valuable teaching and learning tool. For students, including those with a Special Educational Need and/or disability, it was a valuable aide memoire which provided them with increased autonomy and independence. For teachers, it afforded them the time and space to ‘step back’ to engage in reflection with regards to current practices of classroom-based composing whilst maintaining a positive workload balance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
October 2022Submitted
16 August 2023Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Formative assessment, group composing, Key Stage 3, audio device, feedback
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2023 08:48
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2023 08:48

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