Grant will help fund project investigating culturally relevant and responsive teaching in music
Dr. Jason Vodicka, associate dean of Rider’s College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of music education at Westminster Choir College, was recently awarded a grant from the National Association for Music Education. He is part of a research group that is investigating culturally relevant and responsive teaching in music.
“Culturally relevant and responsive teaching has been part of the field of education since the early 1980s, but it has recently come into prominence as a means of addressing systemic racism in the classroom,” says Vodicka. “Schools and districts nationwide require teachers to use culturally relevant and responsive teaching methods, but most teachers do not feel that they have a comprehensive understanding of the model, especially those in music education.”
Culturally relevant and responsive teaching is a model that recognizes the importance of including and embracing the different cultural backgrounds of students in learning and encouraging them to make connections between their culture and the subject matter.
Vodicka has been working with Dr. Elizabeth Palmer at the University of Southern California and the Palmer Research Group to investigate ways to move forward teaching music in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and the pandemic.
“We started meeting weekly during the pandemic to discuss what was happening in the world and decided to investigate culturally relevant pedagogy together,” says Vodicka. “As a result, we created a literature-based framework that aims to help musi …