Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 4(1), pp. 011-022, March 2014
ISSN: 2276-7789 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 012714072
Teachers’ Perceptions on the Relationship between Mathematics and Music in Gweru Urban Schools and One Teachers’ College: Case for Integration?
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science and Technology Zimbabwe Open University, Midlands Region. PO Box 1810 Gweru.
Email: skchirume @ gmail .com
There is strong research evidence that children perform better in mathematics if music is incorporated in it and vice versa. Mathematics and music are school subjects that are also useful and important as languages of communication in daily life situations. Previous research and this study have shown that mathematics and music are related in various known (and possibly unknown) ways so much that not putting the relationship to good use in and out of school could only be to our disadvantage. This paper argues for the use of the integration teaching approach at school level and encourages further investigation of the math-music relationship in and outside of school settings. The recommendations of this paper are supported by literature and by the study findings. The sample in this study included 14 qualified teachers in 9 schools and 1 teachers’ college, 64 pupils and 36 college students all in Gweru Urban district. Using the survey design, questionnaires were administered to 10 teachers to tap their perceptions and suggestions while 4 teachers were interviewed. Using SPSS 11.5, mathematics and music marks of a total of 64 judgmentally selected primary and secondary pupils from 4 of the 9 schools, and 36 teachers’ college students were used to investigate the math-music relationship by way of correlations. It was found that there is a moderate positive correlation at school level but low positive correlation at college level. Teachers believed that such relationship is more pronounced at primary school level where the structured and integrated approach was recommended in order to improve pupils’ performance in the two subjects. Teachers and school authorities were challenged to equip their schools with different kinds of musical instruments and learning materials in order to improve performance in mathematics. The relationship outside the school setting involving mathematicians and musicians was also noted and recommended as an area for further research.
Keywords: mathematics, music, perceptions, relationships, correlations, music-math performance, integrated teaching.