Thursday, January 17, 2008
Grad student's paper published in journal
The Music Educators Journal, one of the leading practitioner journals for the field worldwide, published an article authored by an Oakland University graduate student.
Jackie Wiggins, chair of the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance and professor of Music Education, suggested that John Barron expand on his final paper for a course in Psychological Foundations of Music Education and submit it for consideration for publication in the journal.
“The work he did on the paper was truly outstanding, and I thought it could form the basis for an article that would be informative to the profession at large,” said Wiggins. “He decided to give it a try and did an excellent job. It is clear that the journal editors agreed, as they named it the featured article for that issue.”
Barron, certified as both a music and an elementary classroom teacher, is currently teaching first grade at Ottawa Elementary School in the Chippewa Valley School District. He was surprised his article was accepted and published in the November issue. He has received positive response from readers including music teachers and music teacher educators.
“I doubted I would get published, but I thought I would go through the process for the experience,” said Barron. ”I was pleasantly surprised when I heard they would publish it.”
Barron is a jazz musician who also teaches jazz guitar and bass part-time at the University of Windsor.
The article suggests and explains a constructivist approach to the teaching of jazz. A constructivist approach is holistic and contextual, inviting students to solve musical problems on their own, with peers, and with teacher support, to begin to form basic understandings of the principles of jazz.
Wiggins reviewed the article before Barron submitted it. “She offered advice and guided me along the way,” he said.
After Barron graduates this year, he is considering pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education and, if he decides to do so, hopes to be accepted into Oakland University’s doctoral program.
Barron said the process of writing the article has made him a stronger educator.
“It allowed me to reflect on my own teaching, my experience as a student, and how I’ve been teaching,” he said. “Reflecting on how I teach and comparing that to what I believe is a more ideal way of teaching has helped me become a better teacher.”