Music and Arts Education Textbooks for Primary School Students. A Linguistic and Statistical Analysis Cover Image
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Podręczniki do muzyki i plastyki dla uczniów szkół podstawowych. Analiza lingwistyczno-statystyczna
Music and Arts Education Textbooks for Primary School Students. A Linguistic and Statistical Analysis

Author(s): Anna Łobos
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Education
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: language layer of Music and Arts Education textbooks; text readability and clarity; defining terms; conveying facts; dialogicality; stylistics; linguistic statistics;educational discourse;
Summary/Abstract: A textbook, as the primary tool of both the teacher and the student, is an immensely important didactic tool as well as a source of academic inquiry for scholars coming from various fields of study. Appreciating the importance of culture and its function in the human life, it has become necessary to propose a comprehensive study of artistic school subjects (Music Education and Arts Education), and particularly their language, which exerts a significant influence of the teaching and learning processes. The topic of this monograph concerns the selected linguistic issues which allow to ascertain to what extent the construction of the linguistic level of the text facilitates the learning process. The study has been based on the analysis of two kinds of excerpts from Music and Arts Education textbooks: an expository text and a practical component. The answers to the research question have been obtained through the analysis of the clarity of text, the style of the text which reveals itself in the analysis of the parts of speech, the way of defining terminology, the construction of the ascertainment of the cognitive function and the dialogic nature of the rhetorical function. Methodologically speaking, the monograph is situated within the schools of style studies and linguistic statistics. The research material has been compiled from the currently used Music and Arts Education textbooks for the 4th‑ 6th grade of elementary school. Those issues are of a significant importance for the scholars who study the broadly‑understood education discourse. The monograph constitutes a compendium of sorts when it comes to the advantages and shortcomings of 18 Music and Arts Education textbooks, since the research area is unusually vast, due to the peculiar role played by music and the arts in the school curriculum. The content conveyed to the students in those classes at the same time broadens the students’ knowledge and shapes their aesthetic and ethical sensibility. The understanding of stylistic tools used by the authors of textbooks for school children is of particular importance due to the fact that the vocabulary, idiomatic expressions and syntax absorbed in the early childhood significantly influence the ways in which people express themselves in their adult life. The quality of the language of textbooks according to their clarity as well as the percentage of the particular parts of speech in the text are measured via objective statistical tools. They allow to evaluate the communicative potential of the text, which influences the degree of understanding and knowledge acquisition in the student. The statistical study – both qualitative and quantitative – allows to characterize the language in very precise terms.The study presents the current state of research regarding school textbooks, their function and role in the education process as well as the methodology. The conducted in‑depth statistical analyses concerned the clarity of the text in each of the 18 textbooks (10 Music Education textbooks and 8 Arts Education textbooks) approved for use in the education system. The clarity of the textbooks has been evaluated according to the Carl‑Hugon Björnsson index. Apart from the readability index comparison, the variables which influence the index have been evaluated as well (i.e. the average length of utterance, measured with the number of words, as well as the fraction of at least nine‑letter words considered difficult in the Polish language), and in addition, the monograph has defined and studied a new index – the index of readability for a single sentence, informing about the clarity of a particular sentence. The percentage contribution of the parts of speech in the corpus, the indexes of the nominality of the text and the relationship between the fractions of the parts of speech have also been studied. The research findings of the statistical analysis have broadened the knowledge regarding the linguistic and stylistic structure of textbooks, including their clarity and readability (which affect the potential communicativeness and comprehensiveness of the text). Due to that, they can contribute to the improvement of the writing technique of textbook authors, particularly because all those comparisons take into account the margin of statistical error (while such additional analyses have not been heretofore performed in the linguistic studies). Moreover, the monograph focuses on the ways of presenting new concepts, defining terms and introducing factual knowledge, touches upon the important issue of the communication between the sender (author) and the receiver (student) of the message in the textbook, and presents the results of empirical studies on the retainment of knowledge in artistic subjects, which have been confronted with the curriculum regulations regarding Music Education and Arts Education. The monograph, due to its vast scope, engages with issues important for linguists, pedagogues and Music and Arts Education teachers. It is, moreover, pragmatic in its solutions, as the didactic implications can be useful in the process of writing new textbooks. The readability index comes to the fore as the most important aspect, since it allows the textbook to be beneficial to the reader – the clearer the text, the easier it is to learn and retain the information. The informational component can be enriched through implementing various ways of introducing concepts, defining terms and conveying facts – the numerous examples presented in the monograph showcase that in most situations, it is possible to avoid both monotony and encyclopedic tone. The value of the dialogic relationship in the expository segment should also be underscored, because the use of linguistic means of persuasion allows for easier acquisition of knowledge and prolongs its retainment, at the same time as it contributes to the process of empowerment for the student.

  • E-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-3504-9
  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-83-226-3503-2
  • Page Count: 232
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Polish