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Literature review of intentional teaching pedagogy in the Arts,

specifically in Music.
A major consideration in education is the relationship between teaching and learning:
how to strike the most advantageous balance between teacher input or guidance and
student self-direction and applied discovery. Intentionality plays an important part in
this consideration, in the first place as it refers to the conscious decisions about
pedagogy, methodology and curriculum a teacher makes and in the second place as it
refers to the Habits of Mind as a set of valued intellectual dispositions (Costa &
Kallick 2008, p.42), that a learner may employ in the pursuit of new knowledge or
This paper will describe the understandings of Intentional Teaching found in
education literature and go on to analyze perspectives on Intentional Teaching evident
in relevant music education literature specifically. Within this area, it will focus on
the understandings of this concept as revealed Kodaly music teaching and highlight
any evident misapprehensions and confusion.
Literature was selected in the following areas:

The concept of intention in teaching; which highlighted an interesting

dichotomy in that various constructivist and behaviourist texts both lay claim

to being intentional;
The Madeline Hunter model of intentional instruction, including its basis in
learning theory and application to arts education: The more we understand
the brain, the better well be able to design instruction to match how it learns.
(Wolfe, 200, p 2) The brain is what we have; the mind is what is does. In
other words, the mind is not a thing; its a process Its the process of

making connections that counts (Jensen, 1998, pp15,30);

Criticism of the Madeline Hunter model, specifically as it may apply to arts

education; and
Arts Teaching pedagogy and methodology texts which reveal varying levels of
compatibility with the Madeline Hunter model.

The purpose of this review is to inform an analysis of Intentional Teaching as it occurs

in arts subjects at Saint Stephens College (hereafter the College) currently and to

look ahead towards the introduction of the National Curriculum in The Arts. For this
reason, the conclusion will be situated in the context of the ACARA document for The
Arts and current practice at Saint Stephens College.
The concept of intention in teaching
Ian Nance, in his paper Intentional Actions: Explanation and Epistemology (2011)
explains peoples actions in terms of their beliefs, desires and intentions. He goes on
further to confirm a stable causal connection between mental states and intentional
actions (vii).

He argues that intentional actions, unlike those performed

unintentionally, [are] capable of explaining their parts. (viii) It follows from this that
a measure of intentionality in the classroom would be the ability of the teacher to
explain its parts. This definition of intentional action can include a variety of guided
teaching approaches. This review will focus on Madeline Hunters model which is
employed by the College as well a number of other approaches. This definition further
excludes various justifications for curriculum and pedagogy based on teachers
intuition or on variations of well, it just works for me. This premise also underlies
the research questions I will use to shed light on the intentionality of arts teaching at
Saint Stephens College.
Observers of the arts tend to hold a myriad of romantic notions: about talent, about the
intuitiveness of the creative process, about inspiration, and so on. Teaching, being an
art form on one level, is sometimes bundled in this pile. The notion of the talented,
gifted teacher is a persistent theme in popular culture: Mark Thackeray (Sidney
Potier) in the film To Sir with Love (Clavell, 1966), Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopie
Goldberg) in Sister Act (1992)

and Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) in Mr.

Holland's Opus (1995) are but three of the more popular examples. Somehow these
gifted individuals inspire their students to individual and corporate success intuitively,
via their charismatic personality and caring disposition. Not wanting to take away
from the importance of caring for our students and developing some classroom
charisma, I still agree with Madeline Hunter, who is quoted in Wolfe (2001, p.2)
commenting on teaching by intuition only: the problem with teaching intuitively is
that intuition is sterile: It cant be passed on.

What is intuitively appealing to us will depend on the worldview we have developed

either consciously or culturally, and may or may not, be compatible with the goals we
wish to pursue. Sometimes an idea may appear so logical, and/or so deeply related to
the values we hold dear, that it becomes an article of faith. A teachers beliefs about
who or what a human being is, for example, necessarily shape approach to pedagogy
and methodology (Hanisch 1992, p. 15; Gale & Densmore 2002, p. 3, Gardner, 1999,
This difficulty is not easily avoided. Major problems may arise when quality of
education is discussed purely on a philosophical basis and apart from a specific
context or desired outcomes. Abrahams (2005, p.63), for example, in contrasting the
music teaching approaches advanced by Karl Orff and Zoltan Kodaly with critical
pedagogy, cites the fact that no particular body of repertoire (content) or specific
teaching procedure is recommended in constructionism, as evidence for inherent
flexibility. Peter Hanisch would describe this lack of prescription as a lack of
intention (1992, p.13) as he quotes musicologist Wolfgang Stumme who comments
to this day, a general absence of method has become pervasive which has nothing
at all to do with freedom of methodology. [authors translation]

An explicit

philosophical basis for teaching is necessary in order to proceed meaningfully. The

question therefore is not whether a teacher is explicitly (or implicitly) biased one way
or another but which bias is the best way to be biased with anyway (Ham, 1987,
p.14) and how to recognize and negotiate this bias when making decisions about
Getting lost in our art and creating beautiful learning plans that satisfy our own
particular view of reality but are only vaguely connected to what students need to
learn is a real danger: An example of this type of romanticised thinking comes from
Frank Abrahams (2005, p. 64). He describes his lesson plans in the following
flowering terms: the model flows like a symphony. It has an exposition, a
development section with improvisation, and a concluding recapitulation. This
particular lesson will be discussed below. It stands out as a stellar example of how to
ensure that no music is taught and student motivation is damaged for the future.

Intentional Teaching, also known as Direct Instruction, Systematic Teaching and

Mastery Teaching (Hunter, 1985, p.58) has been described as behaviourist and as
such has been criticised as being too didactic, transmissive, narrow, teacher-centred,
and prescriptive. The critical alternatives have been described as discovery learning
(which Bruner called hypothetical teaching in contrast to expository), inquiry
learning (Dewey as cited in Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, p.14; Suchman as cited in
Moore, 2005, p. 304) cooperative learning (Slavin, 1995), constructivism (Vygotsky
as cited in Davydov & Radzikhovskii, 1985), and similar (Geelan, 1997; Leonard,
2002) - labels meant to denote an approach to learning which in its pure form, is
either unguided or only minimally guided.
On reviewing the literature around Intentional Teaching, polarization around these
two opposing areas is commonly found. The idea that all knowledge is personally
and/or socially constructed powerfully supports a relativist worldview and has been
described as "secular religion or at least a powerful folktale about the
origin of human knowledge." Phillips (1995, p.5), in using these
emotive terms, supports the notion of Kirschner, Sweller and Clark (2010):
in their paper Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction does not work: An analysis
of the failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential and Inquirybased Teaching, the authors recognize unguided or minimally-guided instructional
approaches as intuitively appealing while yet affirming the ineffectiveness of the
approach. They cite Handelsman et al. (2004, p 84), who, recognizes ideology as the
basis for decision making about teaching style and asks: Why do outstanding
scientists who demand rigorous proof for scientific assertions in their research
continue to use and, indeed defend, on the bias of intuition alone, teaching methods
that are not the most effective?


Both approaches begin from a basis of knowledge: the aim in both cases is to build on
what the student already knows and link this to new knowledge. At the risk of using a
concept from the black list of educational jargon, beginning with the end in mind is
quite securely common sense. Anyone who has baked a cake or build a shed will
recognise the wisdom in the approach. Wiggins and McTighe (1998) apply this to
education, encouraging "backward design": starting not with textbooks or favourite
lesson plans but rather with what students need to learn to take them onwards from
where they are to where they want to be in terms of understanding. Making
intentional decisions about teaching is not the prerogative of either the progressive or
the conservative side of education.
Intentionality, indeed, has been recognized as an important prerequisite to effective
teaching in areas across the curriculum. In literacy education, Pearson and Fielding
(1991) explained their concept of the gradual release of responsibility in reading,
Duffy et al., (1997) wrote on direct explanation, and Barton, Hamilton, & Ivanic
(2000) described literacy as social practice, including concepts of intentional
Siegfried Engelmann and Douglas Carnine developed the Direct Instruction (DI)
model, which is described as carefully developed and thoroughly tested by Heward
(2012). This approach features very intentional and specific communication.
Engelmann and Carnine differ from other approaches to instructional design in that
they do not assume the learner will learn regardless of the communication (Lally and
Price, 1997).
Engelmanns model of Direct Instruction was tested during Project Follow Through 1
with the outcome that

Coombs, M. K. (1998). Honest follow-through needed on this project. The Washington Times, March 24, 1998.
Also retrieved December 29, 1998 from the World Wide
Web:http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/honestft.htmWatkins, C. L. (1988). Project Follow Through: A story
of the identification and neglect of effective instruction. Youth Policy, 10, 7-11. Has a detailed

"The results make a mockery of current reforms, because Follow Through clearly showed that
some approaches work well and some flop; however, the ones that flopped the most
emphatically are still alive today and still promoted vehemently by teachers' groups like the
International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The approaches that did well were roughly the
opposite of the romantic notions and theories espoused by these groups. The better
performing sponsors presented highly structured instruction that had tight teacherperformance requirements and practices that are 'behavioral. (Engelmann, 1992, p. 4-5)

John Hatties meta-analytical research confirms the value of intention in instruction.

He concludes that students are best placed to learn at high levels when teachers clarify
learning intentions, select the most fitting strategies, and "provide appropriate
feedback to reduce the gap between where the student is and where they need to be"
(2009, p. 199)
Another analysis of 70 studies on intentional teaching, conducted by Richard Clark, a
researcher at the University of Southern California, found several experiments in
which lower-aptitude students taught with less-guided or -structured instructional
methods actually tested significantly lower on post-test than pre-test measures. In
other words, they experienced a loss of learning while exposed to unguided
instruction. Higher-ability students, on the other hand, achieve at higher rates with
less-structured instruction, presumably because they have already acquired their own
effective learning techniques. Clark (2012, p.6) confirms: Decades of research
clearly demonstrate that for novices (comprising virtually all students), direct,
explicit instruction is more effective and more efficient than partial guidance.
The Madeline Hunter model
Madeline Hunter set herself the task of creating a research-informed theoretical
framework for teachers wanting to take advantage of findings in learning theory and
psychology (1994, p. 87-95). She defined teaching as a constant chain of deliberate
professional decisions that take place in three realms: content, learning behaviours of
students, and teacher behaviours.
She is not the first educator who has emphasised intentional decision-making.
Planning for teaching dates back to Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776-1841), who was
building on the ideas of Pestalozzi (Rein,1896, p.347; Pollock,2007, p.61) developed
an educational method that systemized instruction (Ornstein, et. al, p.106). He

proposed five sequential steps for instruction, which gained much popularity
particularly in Japan. Herbart developed the doctrine of curriculum correlation, which
has become the foundation for much modern thought on curriculum, including a focus
on scope and sequence of concepts. The goal of instruction as proposed by Herbart
was to guide the student through the process of acquiring knowledge whereby the
learner would use the constant flow of ideas presented by the curriculum in order to
generate and process new understandings (Pollock, 2008, p. 61). Ironically, his ideas
were criticised by John Dewey and other progressives for supposedly turning
students into passive receivers of information rather than active learners. (Ornstein,
et. al.,p. 107). Ramsay (1990, p.477) traces what he believes be Madeline Hunters
adaptation of the Herbartian model.
Madeline Hunter developed a planning model based on teachers professional and
informed decision making. The model is called ITIP (Instructional Theory into
Practice). The model defines teaching as a series of decisions in three areas (Hunter,
1979, p.63) which in turn inform seven suggested elements of lesson planning:
Content: refers to the specific information, skill, or process that is appropriate for
students at a particular time. Teacher decisions about what content is appropriate are
based upon students' prior knowledge and how it relates to future instruction; simple
understandings must precede more complex understandings;
Student Behaviour: refers to decisions regarding learning behaviours, which will
indicate how a student will learn and show evidence of that learning. Decisions about
how students will learn must, of necessity, take account of the cognitive structures
which students have previously developed as these will affect how they will be
interpreting and making sense of, newly presented concepts.
Teacher Behaviour: Teachers must decide which research based teaching principles
and strategies will most effectively promote learning for their students (Hunter,
1994, p. 87).

Educational psychologist Robert Slavin asserts that, while there is no formula for
good teaching, the one shared attribute of outstanding teachers is intentionality, doing
things on purpose (Slavin, 2000, p. 160). He also supports Hunters emphasis on a
working knowledge of relevant research for teachers. (Slavin, 1987, p.17) This
knowledge will help teachers make analytical and critical decisions about their
teaching in order to be intentional. He provides the following questions as guides
(1987. p.11):

what am I trying to accomplish (purpose)

what are my students relevant experiences and needs (where are they)
What approaches and materials do I need to use to challenge every student?
How will I recognize when I need to change something?
How will I know when students experience success?

For all the similarities between Slavins approach and the Hunter model, Slavin was
vehemently opposed to what he termed the hunterization of Americas schools
(Slavin, 1987, p.1). His main contention was with the large scale of implementation of
a stripped down shallow formula version of Hunters principles. Mishra (xxx) also
refers to the misuse of Hunters principles via school administrators.
While the Madeline Hunter Model employs specific behavioural objectives for each
learning sequence (1994, p.90), it is apparent that teachers are encouraged to work
with, not against, their students current understandings and ways of thinking. Taking
this into account then, behavioural or outcome objectives are formulated before the
lesson. These clearly indicate what the student should be able to do when the lesson is
An engaging opening to each lesson, termed the anticipatory set, begins the
sequence of acts of input, modelling, and checking for understanding. Input involves
providing basic information in an organized way and in a variety of formats, including
lecture, videos, or pictures. Modelling is used to exemplify critical attributes of the
topic of study, and various techniques are used to determine if students understand the
material before proceeding. The teacher then assists students through each step of the
material with guided practice and gives appropriate feedback.

Closure reviews and organizes the critical aspects of the lesson to help students








accomplished at various intervals, helps students retain information after initial

instruction. (Hunter, 1994, pp. 90-95)
Criticisms of the Hunter model
Gibbony, Garmin and Slavin are the main critics of ITIP, according to Madeline
Hunter (interview in Zupan,1991, p.103): its a shame, but controversy sells stuff and
it is a very threatening programyoull find the people who are fussing are the
university people
Based on their perception of behavioural psychological theory, some educators
(Gibbony, 1987;Mishra, 2009; Garman & Hazi, 1988) have concluded that the Hunter
model is mechanistic and simplistic and is only usefulif at allto teach the
acquisition of information or basic skill mastery at the cost of stifling teacher and
student creativity and independent thinking. (Ramsay, 1990, p.482). Others,
including Rosenschein & Stevens (1986, p. 377) have described the Hunter Method
as a lockstep approach to instructional design. Hunter herself asserts that there is no
such thing as a Madeline Hunter lesson.
Claiming to base her method on research, Hunter may have succumbed to the very
mistake she would aim to prevent in the teachers she wishes to mentor: providing
advice (knowledge) based on intuition rather than evidence. Gibboney (1987, p.47)
claims that Hunter has not produced the research evidence to support her claims and
that her major works lack research citations and bibliographies. It is, of course, rather
ironic that this should bother a writer who himself is advocating a more intuitive
approach to teaching.
Ramsay (1990, p.477) and Gibboney (1987, p.49) both suggests that the Hunter model
consists primarily of technique. Both assert that this technique was uprooted
without much modification from the ideas of theorists such as Bandura (1977), Bloom
(1976) and Skinner (1968).

Hunters first trilogy of teacher-training books was

published in 1967 (Reinforcement/Motivation/Retention Theory for Teachers) and her

defining Teaching for Transfer in 1971. These dates so suggest that her writings

likely do contain some originality particularly in the application of theory, or

technique which the critics seem to dismiss as unnecessary.
Gobboney is most uncomfortable with the epistemological basis, which he suspects
underlies Hunters ideas. Any prescribed or suggested technique or application seems
to be suspiciously modernist to him. Finally, he has only two requests for
improvement, the first being that she needs to state the fundamental values that direct
the model (p.50) and secondly that more time be made available for discussion
within the learning model. Both of these concerns clearly reflect a clash of
epistemological worldviews more than any particular practical problem with
classroom application.
Unlike Kodaly, who, as a theorist, inspired Choksy (1974), Dobszay (1972), Tacka &
Houlahan (1971) and others, to work out the techniques for delivering education in his
spirit, and who himself never codified an instructional method, Hunter is often
presented as focussing on specific steps and sequences. This is despite the fact that
she has repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that she does not believe there is such a
thing as a Hunter lesson and that techniques of teaching have limitations, principles
of learning are not absolute and real life teaching has a way of blurring the neat
distinctions of laboratory theory (Hunter, 1985, p.60). Daniel Gursky quotes her in
the Education Week Teacher (1991, online)
I have come out loud and clear that anybody who uses a checklist in observing a lesson does
not understand teaching,'' she says. "There is nothing you should expect to see in every lesson.
If somebody told me I had to do all these things in every lesson, I'd say, 'I do not; I know
better.' There is no such thing as a 'Madeline Hunter' lesson. There's an effective lesson or an
ineffective lesson, but not a Madeline Hunter lesson.

In her interview with Mary Ann Zupan (1991,p.97), Hunter further responds to these
When the critics start talking about rigidity they start talking about lesson design. People have talked
about the seven steps.those seven elements were like a lifeboat that people clutched..and
thats where the rigidity came in. They were never steps, thats something somebody else
publicized. There was no rigidity. In fact one teacher went back to her principal and said
Madeline Hunter says these dont all have to be in every lesson and the principal replied I
dont care what Madeline Hunter says, theyve all got to be there!


According to Marilyn Heathss publication in the Gale Encyclopedia of Education,

Hunter is regarded by many as a "teacher's teacher" for her ability to translate
educational and psychological theory into practical, easy-to-understand pedagogy, and
her influence on classroom teaching techniques is still evident in the twenty-first
century. This assertion may be interpreted as somewhat condescending and may be
quite the opposite of Hunters intention. She believed that teaching [is] one of the
last professions to emerge.from witch doctoring to become a profession based on a
science of human learning, a science that becomes the launching pad for the art of
teaching. (1984, p.46) This seems to suggest that she understands findings from
psychology and related disciplines to have the function of informing teaching rather
than prescribing to them.
Noleen Garman has taken issue with the way the Hunter Model has been used to
supervise teachers in many school districts in the USA (Garman and Hazi, 1988) as
well as what she has termed the use and abuse of research, questioning the power
position in education which Madeline Hunter (and others) give to educational
psychology and cognition research (Nicholson-Goodman and Garman, 2007). She
agrees with Gibbony (1987, 1994) that this approach positions classroom teachers as
technicians who are required to apply research done not by themselves or their peers
but delivered to them from another discipline.
Gibbony cites Dewey as he criticises teachers using the Hunter model for separating
mind from activity (1987, p.49) and handing out models and recipes (Gibbony,
1987,p.49) leading to mechanical woodenness. He also emphasize that Hunters
model is often misinterpreted in practice, however, and quotes her as having
expressed horror (Gibbony, 1987,p.49) at what some people have done to her
decision making model (Gibbony, 1987,p.49).
Gibbony asks whether the Hunter model is the best method to help students
understand a complex text. This is a worthwhile and important question. Part of the
answer is that the skills to analyse a complex text (or re-write Mozarts Queen of the
Night aria as suggested by Abahams, 2005) need to be learned before independent
(and not slavish) analysis or composition can occur. An emphasis on skill


development is often lacking in my experience whether the text is a work of art or a

work of literature, or even an educational theory.
The critical ingredient is a focus on developing students understanding (of complex
structures which it is the aim to analyse and evaluate). Understanding of complex
texts however, is impossible without the ability to deconstruct said text. In order to
deconstruct, a student has to have experienced and practiced the use of the relevant
devices, which shape the text. Reporting on inquiry based science and mathematics
education, Roblyer, Edwards, and Havriluk (1997) state that teachers have found that
discovery learning is successful only when students have prerequisite knowledge and
undergo some prior structured experiences (cited in Kirschner, et al., 2006)

The following statement taken from a collection of resources aimed at pre-service

mathematics teachers currently attending State Universities in the US illustrates the
level of feeling which underlies both sides of the constructivist/un-guided,
direct/guided debate:2
Scientific research and professional standards recommend inquiry-based instruction because
such instruction elicits classroom cultures that support students' genuine sense-making, and
because such classrooms focus on the development of students' reasoning, not the
disconnected rote acquisition of formal, ready-made ideas contained in textbooks. However,
the critical ingredient in research-based teaching is the focus on fostering students'
construction of personal mathematical meaning. This focus suggests that inquiry-based
teaching that does not focus on students' construction of personally meaningful ideas is not
completely consistent with research-based suggestions for teaching. It also suggests that
demonstrations, and even lectures, might create meaningful learning if students are capable
of, and intentionally focus on, personal sense-making and understanding.

Berg and Clough (1991) in Hunter Lesson Design: the Wrong One for Science
Teaching propose that Madeline Hunters model is too narrow and relies heavily on
teacher directed behaviour(p.77) but go on to complain that the model is not directive
enough as it aims to inform teachers:
too many propositions in the Hunter scheme are NOT translated into procedures. The
propositions described are often general and vague they fail to delineate appropriate
teaching behaviors and strategies. (p.73)

It again becomes apparent that the polemic in the literature about the need for
maximum or minimum expert input or guidance in the learning process is
2 (http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2203/Mathematics-Learning-MYTHS-MYSTERIESREALITIES.html)


ideologically driven and polarizing. Madeline Hunters model of Intentional Teaching

is easily, and at times it seems intentionally, misunderstood and regaled into the
behaviourist box.
The dispute, which has preoccupied educational theory and particularly teacher
training, is traced from the pro-guidance side by Kirschner et. al. (2006,p.75). The
authors contend, citing many specific studies, that:
[T]he past half-century of empirical research on this issue has provided overwhelming and
unambiguous evidence that minimal guidance during instruction is significantly less effective
and efficient than guidance specifically designed to support the cognitive processing
necessary for learning.

Richard Slavin sensibly suggests that an intentional teacher should be familiar with
both constructivist and direct instruction models:
Constructivist approaches to teaching typically make extensive use of cooperative learning
the emphasis on the social nature of learning and the use of groups of peers[and] discovery
learning, in which students are encouraged to learn largely on their own through active
involvement with concepts and principles" (Slavin, 2000, p. 259). In direct instruction, on
the other hand, "the teacher transmits information directly to the students; lessons are goaloriented and structured by the teacher" (Slavin, 2000, p. 220).

Davidson and OLeary (1990,p.32) in speaking of cooperative learning and the

Madeline Hunter model state that the two models address different aspects of the
teaching-learning process. They propose that maximum and minimum guidance are
at opposite ends of a sliding scale, which begins with the acquisition of basic skills
and ends with the critical analysis of complex texts. A more didactic guided approach
is beneficial at the outset, when novices need to learn concepts and skills: If we are
going to teach a language, is would be abusive to try and let children discover it
without prescriptive guidance. Similarly if a chord progression is to serve as the basis
for innovative and original composition, the proper use of it has to be taught first.
This requires precise input and leaves almost no room for variation. When the concept
is mastered, however, critical analysis and creative application, can, and should,
follow. Abuses occur both ends of the scale if these approaches are not used in
harmony. In an apt musical analogy, Davidson and OLeary (1990., p.33) suggest that
mastery teaching provides the basic scales and traditional melodies in the repertoire


of teaching strategies, while cooperative learning brings in the harmonies, tonal

colours, rhythms, variations and counterpoint.
Kirschner et al (2006, p.75) concur, showing that the advantage of guidance begins
to recede only when learners have sufficiently high prior knowledge to provide
internal guidance. Hungarian-American psychologist Csikszentmihalyi and several
colleagues undertook a longitudinal survey of over 200 talented teenagers to discover
why some are able to develop their talents while others give up. In the publication of
their findings in 1993 (cited in Dietz, 2004,online), the authors suggest three
promising steps for promoting optimal experience in the classroom, one of which
pertains to the point under discussion:
Teachers must read the shifting needs of learners. The flow state is not a static
one: once a skill has been mastered it is necessary to add more complexity if
the student is not to become bored there must always be a close fit between
challenges and skills. The teachers sense of timing and pace, of when to
intervene and when to hold back, is therefore crucial. There must be freedom
wherever possible for the student to control the process, but teachers must
also draw on their experience to channel students attention.

In conclusion, we find what Jack Corbin (cited in Garman&Hazi, 1988, p.670) has
referred to as the love-hate relationship which educators have towards Madeline
Hunter and her teaching model.
Madeline Hunters main idea was to observe what good teachers did, synthezise this
with what emerging research in cognition provided and translate (Zupan,1991, p.98,
Goldberg, 1990, p.43) these observations and findings into a format that could be
applied to class room practice. In What is wrong with Madeline Hunter (Hunter,
1995, Educational Leadership), she lists what she perceives as myths which have
been created around her intentions and the problems which she admits have been
caused by compulsory and shallow implementation of scaled down versions of her
model. The is emphatic about the fact that her model is not suitable for teacher
evaluation (p. 58). She also reiterates the research connection which formed the basis
of her model: Every proposition of this model was derived from research in human
learning. (p. 57).


Even one of her fiercest critics, Slavin, writes that one of the first requirements of
effective teaching is that the teacher understand how students think and how they
view the world. (Slavin 2000, p.29) and that intentional teachers have a clear sense
of how they want students to behave. They consider behavioural learning theory as
one set of tools that can help to support positive change in students behaviour and
[] their learning.(p.160)
In this spirit, the Hunter model is a guide to pratice rather than a seven steps to
success short cut. It should also encourage educators to read into research on
cognition and brain-sciences. Working with this model far from absolves teachers
from thinking for themselves: it encourages reflective decision-making for every step
of the learning process. Without reflection, teachers must either implement every
single innovation and idea which administrators at school or state level throw their
way, implement a hodge-podge random selection of the same or jadedly decide not to
implement any new ideas or proposals. Evaluating what the Madeline Hunter model
might contribute to classroom practice could provide an authentic opportunity for a
teacher to model critical and engaged thinking rather than cynicism.

Clear and

rigorous inquiry into ideas should be particularly applicable to the Arts subjects.

Arts Education: Music, Drama, Art

What sets the Arts apart? the notion of talent
Intentionality in teaching and learning is an important tool in combatting the
unhelpful notion of talent, which pervades popular perception of the arts. The scope
of this paper does not allow a detailed survey of the different understandings attached


to concepts such as aptitude and talent, but it will take a look at the concept of
talent in arts education as discussed by David Elliott (1995). He believes that
effective arts education can be severely hampered by popular notions of talent,
which assume that ability in a creative field is more innate than it is taught:
Although musicianship is a form of knowledge that is applicable to and achievable by the
majority of children, some teachers and administrators base their decisions about music
curricula on the false assumption that music making is possible and appropriate only for
special students; namely, the so-called talented. (Elliott,p.235)

He goes on to explain that this irrational tendency to label music a talent instead of
a form of knowledge (1995, p236) becomes the justification for political and
financial decisions both in the classroom and at an administration level, causing music
(and by implication other art forms) to be deemed inaccessible and unnecessary for
the majority of school children. If only some children will benefit from music
education, goes the thinking, it may not be necessary to hire qualified specialist
teachers in the field or provide enough curriculum time to make sure skills are learnt
Intentional teaching supports the learning of all students, no matter what their
aptitude, because it takes stock of where students are and charts a course to the
desired outcome.

Careful decisions about repertoire to be used, concepts to be

introduced, presented and practiced and skills to be honed are made by an intentional
music teacher.
The notion of aesthetic subjectivity
Another difficulty intentional arts teachers have to overcome, is the perception of arts
education as aesthetic education and the notion of individual taste. There has been a
persistent emphasis on music/arts education as aesthetic education, such as expressed
by philosopher Susan K Langer. She defines art as the creation of forms symbolic of
human feeling and concludes that if the arts objectify subjective reality, then art
education is the education of feeling (cited in Smith and Simpson, 1991, p. 94).
Other and more recent writers, quoted at length in Elliott (1995), have recognized this
historical perspective as reductionist and diminishing the meaning of artistic product.
Arthur Danto (cited in Elliott, p.29) suggests that this aesthetic concept segregates
the arts from real life, implying that aesthetic pre-occupation relegates the arts to a
pedestal which is too lofty to have an impact on anything real. The insidious nature


of this philosophical position becomes clear when we examine Bennett Reimers

claim (2003) that music educations traditional emphasis on excellent performing
ensembles is askew and should be remedied. Reimer urges educators not to be
sucked into this professional whirlpool of setting high expectations in the classroom
(2003, p.104). This concern that music education has too much of an emphasis on
excellence in performance reveals the underlying belief that said excellence can not
be aspired to by the majority; that for this majority, music (and other arts) are not
about participating, actively making and negotiating meanings, but about passively
experiencing. To Reimer, creativity is a matter of exploring and discovering
expressiveness in relationship to feelingful qualities (2003,p.46). Writers like
Reimer have very low expectations of arts education and substitute romantic notion of
feelingfulness for realistic goals and guidelines. Arts educators face the challenge to
actively involve students in performing, arranging, improvising, conducting,
analysing and related activities, which are clearly multidimensional forms of thinking
and behaving and which therefore, require facility in a large array of individual
cognitive and practical skills all of which must be taught.
Teaching for skill how participation in the Arts becomes equitable.
Arts education is not art appreciation: the teaching about art. Arts education is not,
in the first instance, self-expression or therapeutic experimentation. These are
legitimate goals in their own right and may sometimes overlap with arts education at
the fringes. An analogy to sport will clarify the concept: learning to play tennis (or
golf, or soccer) and hitting a ball around in the back yard are two different pursuits
which may overlap at times but can not do so continually or progress will not occur.
Focussed training, consisting of instruction, example and practice, is necessary if
skills are to be developed. If teachers understand that arts education is based on skill
development in the areas of devising/composing/producing, performing/executing,
and deconstruction/evaluation/critical analysis, they will focus on helping students to
develop in these areas and not become side tracked by topics that could be more
fruitfully explored in the SOSE or English classroom.
Further to the intrinsic benefits of participating in music making, there is agreement in
the literature that music aids cognition, language acquisition (both native and second),
social competency, creativity, special awareness, mathematical ability (Curtis, 2007;

Pearson, 1998; Sacks,2007; Alluri et.al., 2012; Brandt et.al, 2012;Corrigall & Trainor,
2011; Rauscher et.al, 1997; Cuskelly, 2011). These benefits are qualified by the above
considerations about passive consumption and active participation however. Transfer
of cognitive benefits is only documented where young musicians were actively
involved in prolonged periods of music making, i.e. in programmes which take the
time to foster competency, even mastery, under the guidance of expert teachers.
Learning about music does not have these benefits: based upon hard-core research
data, meaningful learning occurs through personal encounters with music, rather than
through verbal substitutes. (Shehan 1985, p.43)
Teaching for skill development requires expert teachers. Bula and Szymanowsky
(1987) conjecture that arts teachers (specifically music teachers in this paper) are not
sufficiently well informed about learning theory as it applies to their subject, many
times basing decision making in the class room on intuition rather than on any
professional knowledge. While it has to be acknowledged that this assertion is
somewhat of a generalization, it may well be true where arts subjects are taught by a
generalist teacher who is perceived to be musical or arty, and is placed there by
administrators who have bought into the myth that the Arts are about passive
experience or personal experimentation and that talented kids will do well no matter
what they experience in the classroom.
The need for expert knowledge of both the subject to be taught and the process of
learning is recognized in the most widely used arts education methodologies. In
preparation for an analysis of arts teaching at Saint Stephens College, this paper will
look at the music teaching philosophy of Kodaly, although many others, including
Karl Orff and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze have much to offer in terms of adding to a
purposeful philosophy of music education. Music teaching at Saint Stephens College
is based on Kodaly principles, while the College as a whole has adopted Madeline
Hunters model of instruction.
Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), the composer and philosopher whose thoughts inspired
the Kodaly Method of music teaching, used newly emerging understandings of the
psychology of learning as a basis for his pedagogical considerations (Sinor, 1986).

The question from here then is how to best translate expert knowledge on learning
theory into arts teaching practice: in the words of Dr Max Kaplan in what way does
the Kodaly phenomenon constitute a significant component between the technical and
the humanistic?(in Vikar 1985, p.9)
Zoltan Kodaly was a composer, ethnomusicologist, linguist and philosopher (Choksy,
1981) who throughout his career turned his attention to music for younger and
younger children. He was convinced that any real appreciation for and skill in the arts
must stem from earliest beginnings. In 1941, in an article titled Music for the Nursery
School, he likened school to a total cultural wilderness (Russel-Smith 1976). This
controversial message has perhaps set the tone for his work from then forwards.
Kodalys approach to music education featured an emphasis on audiation, the
development of music in the inner ear, or being able to think in music. He also
considered musical literacy, specifically the ability to sing music at sight without the
aid of an instrument, the basis of all music making. He considered music education a
fundamental right of all children and believed that the rhythms and sounds of the
native language should be the first repertoire children learn to sing. Kodaly himself
was motivated to think about childrens musical education by the sorry state of
general education and in particular the state of teacher education he observed. He
believed that only the best repertoire and the best teachers were good enough for
young childrens music education.
Kodaly did not involve himself greatly in developing these philosophical concepts
into a method or pedagogy, a task he left to his colleagues and students. Most
prominent among these are perhaps Jeno Adam (1896-1982) and later others,
including Erzsebet Szonyi (1973) Lois Choksy (1981,1986,1999,2001) and Philip
Tacka and Micheal Houlahan (1995).
According to Choksy (1986, p.8), what makes Kodalys ideas so significant in the
world of music education is that they are ideas: the embodiment of something much
larger than a bag of tricks by which to teach.
If one were to take away rhythm duration syllables, and hand signs, if one removed all the
visual aids that have become appendages of the method - if one removed even the solfa,
the ideas would remain:


that music literacy is something everyone can and should enjoy

that singing is the foundation of all music education
that music education must begin with the very young
that the folk songs of a childs own culture is in his musical mother-tongue and should be
the vehicle for early instruction
that only music of the highest artistic value should be used in teaching children

Choksy (1986, p.8) goes on to point out that any pedagogical technique may be
misused in the hands of a poor teacher, but that a philosophy cannot be. This harkens
back to the problems that some have described with the implementation of Madeline
Hunters teaching model.
Misinterpretation of Kodaly as a method is quite frequent, however. Patricia Shehan
identifies Kodaly correctly as a deductive method of learning music and lauds this,
but , then goes on to extol the effectiveness of a creative-comprehensive approach
versus a more traditional folk song method. (1985, p.43)
Peter deVries (2001, p.26) is another writer who takes issue with the Kodaly
method, stating that one of the most limiting aspects of this approach is
its emphasis on specific musical skills, namely sol-fa, time-names, notation and in-tune
singing. Developing reading and singing skills is often emphasized to the detriment of helping
children behave as performers, composers and listeners of great music.(deVries, 2001, p.26)

Aside from the fact that behaving as a performer of great music (deVries, 2001,
p.25) is something which will come naturally to a well-trained young musician but
will never happen without the audiation and literacy skills discussed above, we have
seen that Kodaly did not intend for these skill development activities to stand in the
way of great music. He saw them correctly, as the keys, which unlock great music to
the understanding of children. No authentic artistic or critical engagement with any
music (great or otherwise) can occur without these keys (Kodaly 1941, 1957, cited in
Kodaly & Bonis, 1974).
Mary Anne Zupan (1991) has traced the similarities of the Kodaly approach to music
education and the Madeline Hunter model. She concludes that the methodologies
share the following principles of learning:
-Active Participation; -Motivation; -Reinforcement; -Whole vs Part Learning;
-Retention; -Transfer and -Practice Theory.


Zupan interviewed Hunter (Zupan 1991,pp.90-99) as part of her work on the

alignment of Kodaly and Hunter. Speaking about any possible differences that may
exist as to the application of the Hunter model to different learning areas, Madeline
Hunter recognized The thing that is unique about music or drama or dance is that
you can see, or [] hear, whether the kid understands. thats the advantage of
anyone working with action performance subjects.(Hunter cited in Zupan, 1991,
Checking for understanding is indeed easier in a performing art than it is in other
curriculum areas. Practising needs to become an activity that is full of purpose and
intention if it is to be enjoyable and fruitful. Because outcomes are so public in the
performing arts, teachers and students have this special challenge: to create a learning
environment which is warm yet demanding, safe yet rigorous, repetition driven but
purposeful, supportive yet challenging. In order for this environment to become a
reality, very careful planning of all aspects of the learning process, is required by the
expert teacher.
Unguided experimentation, as is suggested in the incoming National Curriculum for
the Arts, is as counterproductive in this curriculum area as it is in the mathematics and
science class rooms discussed above (Berg & Clough,1991). Musical experience
moves from more imitation via competence to free. Kodaly educators choose texts
(repertoire) which are specifically analysed to present the best possible model
(somewhat as in Engelmanns concept of Faultless Communication (1991) discussed
above) of each concept to be presented. Having included the concept in question in
preceding lessons on a sub-conscious level, it is presented very clearly once using this
special piece. In subsequent lessons, the concept (as well as a host of others) is
carefully practiced in very many different contexts until competence is achieved. As
children approach competence, they will use each concept they have mastered in their
own improvisation and composition, sharing their creativity as they perform for their
peers. Because this will not occur until the teacher can see that it will be successful,
each performance, each improvisation and composition will be a success experience
and build confidence and self-efficacy for the success of future learning.


Sadly, Shehan (1985) finds herself in good company, as researchers line up to testify
to the effectiveness of active music making, learning by doing, deducing meaning
from context and experience, and so forth, but then turn on what they perceive of as a
traditional method which looks like it is teacher or subject centred. Kodaly comes in
for the same kind of ideology-based and logic-defying criticism that was discussed
above in terms of the Madeline Hunter model: ideological bias preventing teachers
from getting the most out of either model. Hanley and Montgomery (2005, p. 18) for
example, feel this way of thinking about curriculum is based on positivist
assumptions They do not believe that a view which is subject centred and
hierarchical in its organisation of knowledge meets the needs of a world that is
rapidly changing. Why developed skills are not seen as something other than tools
specifically appropriate for a changing world is unclear.
They propose a new, reconceptualised curriculum but admit that the idea they are
about to promote started to gain momentum among educators in the 1980s a full
25 years before their paper which terms this approach new! Hanley and
Montgomery (2005) feel that music education has been slow to engage in the
paradigm shift called postmodernism (p.18). They go on to provide a clearly political
summary of postmodernism in education and society, allowing us to see from whence
their motivation hails. While there is of course nothing wrong with political discourse,
in the case of the literature about Madeline Hunter and Kodaly, we find that ideology
seems to cloud the issue and cast a shadow of doubt over whether teachers who wish
to use intentional, sequential skill development in their classroom can at the same
time be encouraging creativity and critical thinking.
Hanley and Montgomery (2005) set up a number of false dichotomies as they contrast
what they term a Positivist quest for improvement with the reconceptualised quest
for understanding; the process of action and results with the process of inquiry; a
focus on how with a focus on why and right and wrong answers with multiple
answers. Why, it must be asked, can we not have improvement through
understanding? Inquiry action with results? Multiple right and wrong answers? The
learning of how so that we can analyse why?


They quote Thomas Regelski who in this call for Action for change in music
education (n.d.) writes about the need to steer away from methodolartry and
taken-for-granted recipes as he concludes that this will be working towards an
endullment of students. He is correct of course, but the context in which he is cited
mitigates against a fair reading of his premise and again leads to a clouding of the
relationship between the technical and humanistic aspects of teaching in the arts.
Beckmann-Collier (2009) suggests that the why of music should be emphasised
along with the how (not instead of) by encouraging the analysis of pieces being
performed. In an analysis, the how (deconstruction) has to be abundantly clear
before the why can get an intelligent answer, and again, deconstruction is not
possible without the correct tools of understanding.
Hanley and Montgomery (2005, p.18) ask should we be trying to improve our
students personal musical taste (highly emotive language which is indicative of a
certain political position). Taste will undoubtedly be educated as students benefit from
a teachers remit to introduce new and exciting possibilities to students. We all like
things known better than things unknown in teaching, we begin with the known
and link to a new concept. This is the same principle we would use as we expand
students musical experiences and in doing so, inevitably, their tastes.
Abrahams (2005, p.66, advocates an approach to music teaching which takes into
account students musical tastes and breaks down the barriers that exist between
what students enjoy listening to outside the classroom and the music their teachers
want them to learn. I have to interject the observation that this is quite an
assumption; even if such a barrier should exist (emotive language again), why would
we not want to supplement and extend our students with music we want them to
learn? If students enjoy reading cartoons, will we give up on Shakespeare because it
is associated, in some peoples mind, with Western imperialist ideas? Or will we
provide access to these ideas, this cultural capital, on equitable terms in order to
empower learners to interact with this type of knowledge?
Abrahams (2005,p.63) dislikes the popular approaches of Orff and Kodaly,
contrasting them unfavourably with critical pedagogy. He advocates NOT using a

particular body of repertoire or specific teaching procedure. I am guessing this

includes any Intentional Instruction. He advocates a flexible pedagogy which he
says questions, challenges and empowers students. We have seen from the review
so far that intentional methodologies do challenge, and intentionally so. They also
empower, via making exclusive knowledge and skills available to all learners
through expert guidance and scaffolded learning which result in competency, selfefficacy and motivation to keep learning.
According to Abrahams, flexible pedagogy
places music in a social, political, and cultural context that results in informed opinions and
something Freire calls conscientization. When this moment of revelation happens, one may
claim that music learning has occurred.(Abrahams, 2005, p.62)

I would contend that learning about music in a social, political and cultural context
may have occurred, but that Music learning has not occurred and will not occur until
someone sings or picks up an instrument, at the very least.
It is instructive to study the specific example of a lesson which Abrahams provides in
the above article (2005, pp.64-67): a Madonna tune (provided by the students) is
contrasted with the Queen of the Night aria by Mozart (provided by the teacher).
The learning experiences in order are:

Select, share, discuss Madonnas music

Introducing Queen of the Night aria
listening to or viewing many times
discussion on Mozarts life
students create a chart comparing and contrasting cultural influences
students RECOMPOSE the Queen of the Night aria by changing melody,

texture, style, etc.

the new arias are performed
discussion about their effectiveness
students present their arias in public performance
attend a performance of The Magic Flute.

In my opinion, no music learning has occurred during this sequence and students have
been presented with a task which sets all but the most experienced and gifted up for
failure as the composing tasks assumes detailed knowledge about


score reading
chord analysis (do they have to deduce these aurally?)
melody reading skills
arranging skills (notation included?)
knowledge of genre
understanding of German and ability to translate to English
performance skills to sing and perform an aria (even re-written)

Before I can ask a student to rewrite Mozarts Queen of the Night aria for a
performance by Madonna, I have to ensure that the group has the background
knowledge and skills required. If I simply provide some class-room instruments,
software, and stationery, hoping the backwards and forwards process of real
thinking (Gibbony, 1987, p.50) will produce a quality rock arrangement of a classical
masterwork, I am irresponsibly kidding myself and my students. No amount of
collaboration will produce a musical arrangement if learners have been denied access
to the acquisition of the skills the task requires. Young people are not insensitive to
false praise. Being quite au fait with rock music by experience, they will quickly
realize that what they have produced will not be on Madonnas playlist for her next
world tour.
A well-known concept of motivational theory states that learners will be motivated to
strive if they believe that effort can make a difference to outcome (Dweck 2006). A
purely constructivist/experimental approach to such a complex task will condemn
those without a relevant skill background to failure and let those who happen to have
had the social or financial capital available to provide music lessons, succeed. The
success will have nothing at all to do with the teacher or the programme. The success
will, however, be unjustly interpreted as innate talent and demotivate all those who
were set up to fail by a teacher who could not, or would not, teach the skills necessary
before setting such a complex task or amend the task to suit the skill level of high
school students.
Abrahams also feels that if students do not have the skills to notate their
compositions, thats okay (p.65). No mention is made of the possibility of perhaps
teaching them how to notate their ideas. Is it really okay if students leave our
programmes illiterate in the discipline they have studied?

Knowledge (in the form of literacy) is power.

If teachers do not teach for subject specific literacy in the Arts, they will not empower
students to become intelligent consumers of Art, much less creative producers of the
Pulittzer prize winning author Thomas L. Friedman wrote The World is Flat in 2006
(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and in it highlighted the following futureproofing attitudes which employers had nominated as essential:

ability to learn how to learn;

possession of passion and curiosity;
being able to play well with others; and
right-brain qualities such as artistry, empathy, vision, creativity.

Music teacher Aimee Beckmann-Collier (2009) wrote a response to Friedman in

which she pointed out that
Many students leave high school unable to effectively read pitch and rhythmic notation with sufficient
facility to learn how to learn music independently. More likely, they leave high school able only to sing
or play their part for whatever number of pieces they learned. They do not possess the fundamental
musician- ship skills necessary to learn music on their own. In other words, they have not learned how
to learn.(Beckmann-Collier, 2009, p294)
Programs in which students learn how to count accurately and read pitch notation in the context of
becoming independent musicians are helping them to learn how to learn for a lifetime. Implementation
of the Kodly method, emphasis on singing in instrumental ensembles, and use of hand-sign solfge in
choral rehearsals, taught in a logical, sequential manner in which students are led to appreciate the
struggle and the joy of becoming independent and engaged musicians, are examples of teaching toward
the goal of helping students learn how to learn. (Beckmann-Collier, 2009, p294)

Specifically her article supports the notion of intentionally teaching for skill
development in order to affect the qualities Friedmann suggests:
Beckmann-Collier (2009, p.29) cites the Kodaly method as an example of teaching
towards the goal of helping students learn how to learn and chamber music,
sectionals, and singing inn ensemble as the way toward teaching authentic
collaboration (2009, p.28). Students who have the benefit of a teacher who is prepared
to plan learning experiences that are sequential and skill-oriented will be able to
participate ever more competently in these types of musical activities; as a result,
right-brain qualities such as artistry, empathy, vision, creativity develop through
successful engagement.


Friedmann cites the instance of the Georgia Institute of Technology, whose president
G.Wayne Clough (1994-2008) decided that the best engineers were not those who
could solve the calculus equation better than anyone else, but those who were







disproportionate number of the most talented students were those who were interested
and active in creative endeavours. As a result, Georgia Tech changed its admission
policies, specifically recruiting excellent students who in addition to possessing good
grades also had ensemble music experiences in high school (cited in BeckmanCollier, p.28). Unfortunately it seems that the literature critiquing Intentional
Instruction (as exemplified by Madeline Hunter and specifically Kodaly) believes that
creative and multi-dimensional thinkers can be created without the input of people
who are experts both of subject matter and pedagogy.

The National Curriculum for the Arts

Madeline Hunter and others who have been discussed promote professional decision
making by classroom teachers with respect to 1. What students should know 2. What
students should be able to do with the knowledge and 3. How teacher and students are
going to go about moving towards that place.
The National Curriculum for The Arts as proposed by ACARA does not specify any
of the above. Instead, it relegates the arts to an ill-defined nether region, ostensibly
leaving decisions about time allocation to individual schools while ordering that
whatever little time is found must be shared among the creative art forms. Giving the
increased time demands for mathematics, History, Geography and English, which this
curriculum also demands, students are denied any opportunity to build skill in an Arts
area. The arts carousel is the best way to kill of the Arts in schools altogether as a
cursory, experimental, fleeting visit to each art form will result in disengaged students
who believe that they just dont have the talent. Their frustration as they struggle in
vain to participate meaningfully and competently in an art form will fail and their
conclusion will be that the skill is probably impossible to learn, difficult and boring.
Students will not choose to pursue the arts in senior classes and administrators will
conclude that The Arts are just not popular anymore and will cut funding accordingly

and thus the political purpose of making sure education is securely based on
utilitarian outcomes is served. Friedman will have to wait for the curious, passionate
and intelligent Lebensknstler 3 he sees shaping our future for a while yet.
ACARA sees the five arts curriculum areas - Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and
Visual Artsas distinct but related(ACARA The Arts Curriculum Foundation 10,
p3). The document does not describe this relationship further. In this literature review
we have seen that there are distinct differences between various areas of the arts
(Zupan 1991), particularly between performing and visual arts and further between
aurally orientated and visually or movement orientated arts. The contention that there
is a particular connection between the arts is spurious and can only refer to the
aesthetic component they share. This aspect was discussed in detail above and is
seen as educationally weak.
Combining The Arts and making the curriculum accessible to the generalist teacher
will undoubtedly save money. This, however, is a saving which impacts on the equity
of arts/music learning opportunity in our State, where, thus far, every child had the
opportunity to be taught by a qualified musician (for example) and develop significant
practical skills (both aurally and instrumentally) which opened the doors for an
authentic lifelong engagement with music as a performer or audience member.

Confusingly, the curriculum recognized the special status of Music later on in the
document as not having a direct relationship with the other Arts (p.19). Drama, Visual
Arts and Media, make use of our common language (English) for communication.
Music however, has its own language, which must first of all be experience and
learned before it can be used successfully and authentically in a creative context. The
preamble acknowledges this by stating that: Learning the language, skill,
techniques, processes and knowledge of each Arts subject is sequential and
cumulative. (ACARA 2012, p.3)

Lebensknstler.- a German word which connotes a person who approaches life with the zest and inspiration of
an artist, although he or she may not be working recognizably as an artist.


The way that this draft curriculum is organized lacks indication as to how levels of
achievement are to be arrived at. I am left wondering how a generalist teacher will
achieve aims such as:
By the end of Year 4, students sing and play music demonstrating pitch and rhythmic
when the only stated learning activity which may lead to this outcome is in 4.4
Practising music to develop skills in singing and playing by EXPLORING and
TRIALLING sound possibilities, working together to sing in tune, keep in time and
listen carefully to blend their sound with other[emphasis mine].(ACARA, 2012,
The pitch and rhythm accuracy do not develop by exploration and/or trial. Like the
ability to speak well, it depends on much excellent modelling and/or explicit teaching.
Students may have had these in their family or cultural background, but they may not
have. This is not an equitable road into musicianship because it relies too heavily on
students being lucky enough to come from a certain cultural background. If families
do not read at home, reading development will be hampered, if families do not speak
well, language skills will be hampered we know this and we address these
difficulties carefully in our curricula. We train our teachers well in order to facilitate
the equitable teaching of reading and language. We explicitly teach our students how
to do these things in our schools. Equally, if families do not sing and/or dance,
children will not be able to sing or dance unless we teach them. Is the generalist
teacher able (or confident enough) to provide an excellent model?
The content descriptors in this draft curriculum do not offer a sequential pathway for
skill development, despite the encouraging mention of sequential development in the
preamble of the document. The draft curriculum tests childrens cultural and
economic background in terms of what musical knowledge they are able to
demonstrate in the classroom. It does not provide a sequential strategy for
(particularly the generalist) teacher, which might give all children equitable access to
this knowledge. The draft curriculum at present is focused on childrens cultural
capital, not teacher skill. This is unacceptable and makes a mockery of recent and
legitimate emphases on thorough teacher training. In order to ensure equitable
provision of arts education, the curriculum should outline specific skill sequences in


every Arts subject, particularly if it is envisioned that these areas be taught by nonspecialists. At present, the draft document seems to expect skills to appear due to
natural talent or rely on cultural and economic circumstances of a students home
ACARAS rationale for learning Music encouragingly speaks about intention. The
rationale refers to the fact that Music enables students to listen with intent. In fact
this statement needs to be corrected to read musicianship enables students to listen
with intent (ACARA, 2012, p.91). Music itself does no such thing. Developing
listening skills enables listening with intent.

Finally, the draft syllabus features a lack of regard for embedded content knowledge
and skills, while foregrounding personal emotional responses. While it is important to
include the formation of authentic and intelligent personal responses, these will not be
possible unless one has first acquired the tools for aural analysis and then listened
with intent.

In my literature review I was not able to discover many examples of extended and
well-argued examples of professional discourse about either Intentional Teaching or
arts pedagogy. Publications tend to address one particular philosophical or theoretical
perspective and only rarely give voice to an opposing or contrasting point of view.
Careful, respectful and nuanced discussion of important concepts seems to become
lost in political and ideological entrenchment. Instead of a jostling for intellectual or
philosophical superiority, a desire for a real understanding would support our (surely)
shared aim to identify the implications of content, challenges, extensions,
redefinitions, and the refocusing of arts education as it is presented to us in the
incoming National Curriculum. Each of the teaching approaches I reviewed briefly
comes with its own set of problems, yet the analysis of these in the context of
classroom experience was shallow at best. If it is the continued standing of arts
education, as an academically valuable addition to students education, that we have at


heart, our discussion needs to become less partisan, less panicked and more deeply