Improving Teaching Practice Through the Cross-Disciplinary Pairing Of Mathematics And Music

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Francom, John
Music , Mathematics , Cross-Disciplinary , Interdisciplinary
For a variety of reasons, there are many high school aged students who underachieve in their mathematics studies. There is some research that suggests that low mathematics motivation and self-efficacy could be responsible for part of this underachievement, and other research that found that combining mathematics with music in a cross-disciplinary style improved mathematics motivation and self-efficacy in their participants. The goal of this research was to further explore cross-disciplinary pedagogical approaches and to understand the experience of participants as they learned mathematics concepts through the framework of musical instrument design and construction. Through this understanding it was also my goal to improve my teaching practices, and to better facilitate this goal I chose Action Research as my methodology for its focus on professional development and finding solutions to everyday problems. This research found that there are some benefits to participants’ feelings of motivation, competence, and confidence for mathematics when placed in this musical framework and that there are many ways in which the teacher was able to improve their teaching practices through designing and executing these cross-disciplinary lessons.
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