Assessing affective elements in New Zealand secondary school general music education: The development of a music attitude assessment instrument based on a taxonomy of affective educational objectives
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The purpose of this study was: (1) To examine the issue of assessment in the affective domain, with particular reference to New Zealand secondary school general music education; and (2) To make a practical contribution to the assessment of elements in the affective domain, by addressing problems and concerns raised by the examination of affective domain issues. The affective domain was described as incorporating "positive and negative feelings, as well as emotionally toned attitudes, values, interests and appreciations ... ". It was suggested that too often there is a wide discrepancy between stated affective objectives for a particular course of learning, and any subsequent evaluation of that course . . Specific problems and issues were identified, and these were to form a linking thread throughout the thesis. The taxonomy of affective objectives, developed by Krathwohl, Bloom and Masia, was introduced and discussed, with particular attention being drawn to the position of 'attitude' on the taxonomy continuum. The proposal was to base a music attitude assessment instrument on the model: this forming the "practical contribution" component of the study. A pilot study was undertaken using a previously developed, affective taxonomy-based assessment instrument; the purpose being to gain some indication as to the viability of the proposed project. Using carefully formulated item statements, a New Music Attitude Assessment Instrument (the NMAAI) was constructed and administered to students in New Zealand secondary schools. A particular characteristic of the NMAAI is that, unlike previous Instruments designed according to similar principles, its underlying definition of 'music' is nonspecific. The resultant data were analysed, and validity and reliability studies were undertaken. The "specific problems and issues" introduced in the opening chapters of the thesis were revisited in the light of the NMAAI project, and the findings were detailed. It was concluded that the NMAAI, as an instrument for use in secondary school general music education, contains demonstrably beneficial properties. It has the potential to aid the assessment of objectives from the New Zealand music education syllabus for schools. Implications for further research were identified, both with regard to the NMAAI itself, and for affective domain assessment in general.