An Examination of the Presence of Schön's Concept of "Reflective Conversation" as a Defining Component in the Applied Studio Music Lesson
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the presence of Schön's concept of reflective conversation as a defining component in the applied studio music lesson. The research problems were (1) to determine the presence of complete and incomplete reflective conversations; (2) to determine the verbally exhibited knowledge base within complete conversations in relationship to conversation length; and (3) to establish an instructional profile of stable behaviors based on reflective conversation as a distinguishing characteristic among selected teachers. Videotapes of twenty-six applied studio music lessons of thirteen university teachers were analyzed according to problem solving, on-the-spot experimentation, and evaluation. An observation form was developed and was a reliable tool to collect information concerning number and type of reflective conversations, conversation length, and the teachers' verbally demonstrated knowledge base. Knowledge base was obtained by using the procedural model of Flanagan's critical incident technique. Reflective conversations existed and were a distinguishing characteristic of the teachers. With the exception of two teachers, a stable use of both number and length of reflective conversations, and knowledge base areas, was found. A discernible difference in the teachers' knowledge base within conversation length existed, and thus established instructional profiles for the teachers. Complete reflective conversations ranged from one-sixth to over half of total lesson time. Within instrument categories, teachers generally revealed a dissimilar knowledge usage. Some teachers exhibited fast-paced problem solving, in one minute or less, and named one or two knowledge areas. Others had longer conversations, up to five minutes, with more deliberate problem solving, and as many as twelve knowledge areas named. Results indicated that a practically significant situation can be examined by establishing teacher instructional profiles based upon reflective conversation. Methods employed in this study could be used to document teacher problem-solving and teacher knowledge in a variety of settings.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Murphy, Vanissa B. (Vanissa Braswell)