Date of Award

8-2020

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Committee

Kaitlin Bundock

Committee

Christa Haring-Biel

Committee

Karen Hager-Martinez

Abstract

Students with disabilities often struggle with comprehending material and performing at grade level, and teachers often find new ways to help their students comprehend the curriculum. A common challenge for special education teachers is incorporating different learning styles and various instructional strategies to better assist their students. One teaching strategy and resource that many teachers incorporate is the use of music in their instruction. This research project examines how incorporating music teaching strategies into daily instruction impacts the level of engagement and the academic achievement level of sixth-grade students with and without mild/moderate disabilities within inclusive science classrooms. The study used a pre/post group design to evaluate the changes in student achievement and engagement prior to, during, and following a four-week intervention in which two special education and general education co-teaching pairs implemented musical mnemonic strategies during the daily warm-up portion of their lessons. Results were compared with two control classes taught by the same co-teaching pairs. The results indicated that students in the experimental condition made greater academic gains on the pre/post-tests than students in the control condition, and students with disabilities in the experimental group made the highest gains of all students in either condition.

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