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Interpersonal Dynamics in Learning Across the Lifespan

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Bio

Dr Andrea Creech is Senior Lecturer in Education at the Institute of Education, London, where she leads a programme of professional training for Conservatoire teachers. Following an international orchestral career Andrea was director of a Community Music School, developing programmes for learners of all ages. Since completing her PhD in Psychology in Music Education (focusing on interpersonal dynamics in teaching and learning), Andrea has led several funded research projects relating to musical engagement across the lifespan. Andrea has presented at international conferences and published widely on issues relating to musical development and music education across the lifespan. She is a Board member of the International Society for Music Education and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education (Practice). In addition Andrea is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Secretary for the Education Section of the British Psychological Society and is a member of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the European String Teachers Association.

Abstract

Small groups can be a powerful context for learning. With the right tasks and effective facilitation, students can learn to collaborate, develop interpersonal skills, explore new ideas and build new understandings together. Expert facilitators support groups in establishing social environments that are conducive for effective learning and participation, setting collective goals and staying on task. This session will explore some general principles and practices of facilitating small groups. We will discuss issues relating to the interpersonal and the task dimensions of group processes. Some theories of group processes and group dynamics will be introduced and participants in the session will be encouraged to consider examples from their own practice through these theoretical lenses. Illustrative case study examples from the context of music will be presented. Most musical genres involve communication and collaboration in groups, yet there has been little emphasis in instrumental music pedagogy on how facilitators may most effectively support learning in small groups. We will consider what facilitators in music might learn from other performing arts disciplines and will explore how facilitators, generally, might maximise the potential for creative, collaborative and effective learning in groups.

This talk is part of the Arts, Culture and Education series.

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