Communication skills and music teacher effectiveness

Communication skills and music teacher effectiveness

In a study by Juchniewicz (2010), an investigation of classroom music teacher effectiveness was conducted based on the idea of social intelligence. For the purposes of this study, social intelligence was defined as verbal and non-verbal social communication skills. To clarify further, social intelligence ‘is an understanding and command of social skills necessary to manage personal relationships effectively” (p.277).

Attributes considered and rated on a scale as effective or ineffective in the study were classroom management practices such as discipline, student on and off-task behaviour and group involvement; instructional communication attributes such as conduct, modelling, questioning and explaining; non-instructional communication including eye contract, facial expression, personal affect; and instructional organisation attributes including organisation, pacing, and sequencing of activities.

The results of the study found that those teachers who demonstrated effective social skills were also rated highest as effective teachers, with effective communication skills the most often cited attributes in teacher effectiveness.

When teachers were evaluated as ‘challenged’ or ‘less effective’ in their music classroom teaching, the ratings of teaching effectiveness were lower, citing from the use or lack of social skills. In particular, how the use or lack of social skills was employed in classroom management. In these cases, lower ratings of social intelligence was a consistent finding in relation to poor classroom management.

The results show that highly effective classroom music teachers posses effective communication skills, demonstrating a clear relationship between social communication skills and teacher effectiveness.

Juchniewicz, J. (2010). The influence of social intelligence on effective music teaching. Journal of Research in Music Education, 58(3), 276-293.

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