Original Research

Early childhood care and education educators’ understanding of the use of music-based pedagogies to teach communication skills

Deborah A. Arasomwan, Nontokozo J. Mashiya
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 11, No 1 | a896 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v11i1.896 | © 2021 Deborah A. Arasomwan, Nontokozo J. Mashiy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2020 | Published: 20 August 2021

About the author(s)

Deborah A. Arasomwan, Discipline of Early Childhood Education, School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pinetown, South Africa
Nontokozo J. Mashiya, Discipline of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Zululand, Empangeni, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) learners have unique needs, and specific pedagogies, therefore, need to be employed to support the acquisition of their essential skills. A great deal of research has been conducted on the use of music-based pedagogies to teach mathematics, life skills, civics and literacy at various levels of education. In South Africa, where ECCE is a relatively new educational sector, very little structure has been put in place to facilitate using music-based pedagogies to teach communication skills to ECCE learners.

Aim: The aim of this study was to explore ECCE educators use music-based pedagogies to positively impact children’s communication skills and language development.

Setting: The qualitative case study was conducted at two Urban ECCE centers in Durban, KwaZulu Natal Province, South African.

Method: The study was informed by a social constructivist paradigm underpinned by Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, focussing on ECCE learners’ interaction with the more knowledgeable other (MKO). Data were generated through semi-structured interviews and classroom observations with six educators, and through document analysis. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings: The study confirmed that the ECCE educators have some levels of understanding of using music-based pedagogies as a strategy for teaching communication skills to children aged from three to four, but there are constraints. These limitations include insufficient training, a lack of musical resources and the non-inclusion of music-based pedagogies in both the pre-service teachers’ curriculum and the ECCE curriculum.

Conclusions: The study recommended a comprehensive review of the content and implementation of the ECCE curriculum in relation to music pedagogy.


Keywords

early childhood care and education; urban setting; songs; music-based pedagogy; communication skills

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