Using Science Songs to Enhance Learning: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
CBE life sciences education (Impact Factor: 1.89). 03/2012; 11(1):26-30. DOI: 10.1187/cbe.11-08-0068
Source: PubMed


Music is recognized as an effective mode of teaching young children but is rarely used in university-level science courses. This article reviews the somewhat limited evidence on whether and how content-rich music might affect college students' understanding of science and offers practical suggestions for incorporating music into courses. Aside from aiding memorization, songs may potentially improve learning by helping students feel relaxed and welcome in stressful settings, engaging students through multiple modes (verbal vs. nonverbal) and modalities (auditory vs. visual vs. kinesthetic) simultaneously, challenging students to integrate and "own" the material through the medium of song lyrics, and increasing students' time on task outside of class through enjoyable listening or songwriting assignments. Students may produce content-rich songs of good quality if given sufficient assistance and encouragement by instructors and peers. The challenges ahead include 1) defining the circumstances in which music is most likely to promote learning and 2) developing rubrics for evaluating the quality of songs.

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    • "Various scholars had also investigated the use of music in communicating and learning about science (e.g. Cirigliano, 2012; Crowther, 2012) but also engagement with science (McFadden, 2012). Here, it turns out that music is often used for affective reason and not solely as a learning or communication tool alone. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research showed that pop music bands in the Western world have sometimes included science imagery in their lyrics. Their songs could potentially be helpful facilitators for science communication and public engagement purposes. However, so far no systematic research has been conducted for investigating science in popular music in Eastern cultures. This study explores whether science has been regarded as an element in the creation of popular mainstream music, and examines the content and quantity of distribution through an analysis of mainstream music lyrics, to reflect on the conditions of the absorption of science into popular culture. The results indicate that expressions related to astronomy and space science feature very prominently. Most of the lyrics are connected to emotional states and mood expressions and they are only very rarely related to actual issues of science. The implications for science communication and further research are discussed in the final section.
    Public Understanding of Science 01/2015; 24(1):112-125. DOI:10.1177/0963662514542565 · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    • "No relevant text found Cox-Paulson et al., 2012 No relevant text found This paper barely mentions misconceptions, but cites sources (Phillips et al., 2008; Robertson and Phillips, 2008) that refer to " exposing, " " uncovering, " and " correcting " misconceptions. Crowther, 2012 " "
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    ABSTRACT: A response to Maskiewicz and Lineback's essay in the September 2013 issue of CBE-Life Sciences Education.
    CBE life sciences education 03/2014; 13(1):3-5. DOI:10.1187/cbe.13-11-0226 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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    • "Others, in contrast, seemed to use the term to reflect an ad hoc mistake or error in student understanding, one that exists prior to or emerges through instruction but, in either case, is not robust, nor does it interfere with learning (Jenkinson and McGill, 2011; Klisch et al., 2012). The authors who considered misconceptions to be " deeply rooted " spoke of instructional strategies designed to specifically elicit, confront, and replace students' incorrect conceptions (i.e., Crowther, 2012). In contrast, authors for whom misconceptions were more tentatively held and/or emergent, suggested that students' incorrect ideas can be amended through tailored instruction grounded in those ideas (i.e., Klisch et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: At the close of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research conference in July 2012, one of the organizers made the comment: "Misconceptions are so yesterday." Within the community of learning sciences, misconceptions are yesterday's news, because the term has been aligned with eradication and/or replacement of conceptions, and our knowledge about how people learn has progressed past this idea. This essay provides an overview of the discussion within the learning sciences community surrounding the term "misconceptions" and how the education community's thinking has evolved with respect to students' conceptions. Using examples of students' incorrect ideas about evolution and ecology, we show that students' naïve ideas can provide the resources from which to build scientific understanding. We conclude by advocating that biology education researchers use one or more appropriate alternatives in place of the term misconception whenever possible.
    CBE life sciences education 09/2013; 12(3):352-6. DOI:10.1187/cbe.13-01-0014 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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