Understanding pedagogy and its impact on learning


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            Pedagogy refers to the art and science which aims to fully equip human beings with skills. In this education strategy, the instructor’s philosophical principles of instruction are embraced by the pupil’s upbringing knowledge and experience, environment and situation as well as the studying objectives and goals set by both the teacher and the pupil. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a Swiss pedagogue introduced his revolutionary modern principles of education. In the early 19th century, his principles Pestalozzi principles and philosophy started to influence the education system in America. His approach of “educating the entire man” man was incorporated in the music education.

            In 1830s, Lowell Mason-a teacher, began to use Pestalozzi’s principles and philosophy in his methods of teaching and later came up with a new tactic to the music education. Lowell Mason later championed for inclusion of music curriculums in normal education. (Branscome, 2005; Mark & Gary, 1990, p.76; Sturm, 1998; Tellstrom, 1971). In schools for people with special needs in the United States, music was already incorporated in their syllabus in early 1930s. Such schools where music was taught include New England Asylum for Blind that is also referred to as Perkins School for Blind. Julia Ward Howe offered singing lessons and instructions to the blind and the people with mental disorders using a curriculum that was developed for the purpose of training students in singing and marching lessons.

            From 1900 music education was incorporated in the public school educations system. From 1960 to 1970 the music education, music education was fully encompassed in the special education syllabus whereby the music classes were taught by the special needs education teacher.

            More music teachers were delegated to teach students with special needs as from 1970. During the lessons, the teachers were required to visit the schools for two or three times in a month. The lessons were meant for listening to recordings, singing or movement engagement exercises. According Graham (1975 & 1980) and Mark & Gary (1990, there is enough evidence to show that music education was not mainly considered for secondary education but elementary level. The enactment of the law that ensured education was compulsory for all children with disabilities -EHA ensured participation of students with disabilities in the regular music program.


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Pestalozzi,J.,Banard,H.(1859). Pestalozzi and Pestalozzianism: Life, Educational Principles, and Methods of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. New York: F.C. Brownell press.

Mortimore, P.( 1999). Understanding pedagogy and its impact on learning. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.

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