Music education in Zambia : using game songs in early childhood learning
KeywordsCultural play songs
Early childhood education (ECE)
African indigenous education
Socio-cultural learning theory
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AbstractCultural play songs are a world wide phenomenon in which children participate. The current research explored settings where such cultural play songs occur; both in and outside of pre-schools. Despite the availability of play songs in most cultural contexts, combined with children's natural inclination to be actively involved in playing and singing games, these cultural assets are generally not considered as a pedagogical tool in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Therefore, the aim of this research was to investigate the pedagogical significance of cultural play songs found in and outside of pre-schools for ECE. In this study, I investigated how play songs take place in both settings in order to reveal commonalities and differences so that, when taken together, this knowledge would enhance the understanding of how educators could optimally use play songs in ECE contexts. An ethnographic research design was conducted within a qualitative paradigm, incorporating non-participant observation, complete participant observation, video recordings, and face-to-face interviews. For the first part of data collection within pre-school settings, participants included thirty teachers from twenty pre-schools in seven provinces of Zambia. During the second part of data collection in a simulated out of school setting, participants included eighteen pre-school children and an expert on cultural play songs. This resource person facilitated sixteen cultural play song sessions in which the children and I actively participated. Video recordings were made of all cultural play song activities in both settings, supporting non-participant as well as complete participant observasions. This empirical data provided evidence regarding the pedagogical value of play songs as a cultural resource. As a result, play songs were collected in order to be preserved and promoted for future use in ECE, thus defying the simplistic view that they are mere entertainment. By drawing on Vygotsky's socio-cultural learning theory and African traditional education perspectives as theoretical framework, the study equally makes a scholary contribution towards play songs as a valuable indigenous tool for teaching and learning in ECE. The results of the study indicate the following concerning cultural play songs: Firstly, there is limited to non use of these songs in Zambian pre-schools compared to English rhymes and Sunday school songs; secondly, they are not currently considered as valid resources for teaching and learning; and thirdly, their use in ECE depends on the teacher's knowledge, skills and perceptions, as well as on the attitudes of school administration and parents. Recommendations are made for flexible methodologies which nurture linkages between music practice in and outside of school settings. Play songs as cultural resources support teacher and learner interactions in musically and playfully stimulated environments.
Thesis (DMus)--University of Pretoria, 2017.
Kalinde, B 2017, Music education in Zambia : using game songs in early childhood learning, DMus Thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/60369>