Summit 2016
April 1-2, Washington DC

Session 7: Saturday 8:00
Moderator: Wesley Bulla

Joe Miglio
Associate Professor of Music Business/Management
Berklee College of Music

Going for the Gold: Articulating Standards and Best Practices for Experiential Learning

The purpose of this session is to offer an overview and methodology for assessing the current instructional practices and program designs associated with Problem/Project-Based and Experiential Learning. Recognized as authentic or real-world learning, problem/project-based learning and experiential learning are used in a variety of “next gen learning environments” to help students apply the core content they acquire. Through an interdependent design built on inquiry, project-based learning, internships, service-learning, and entrepreneurial innovation, students directly witness the relevance of academic content and simultaneously develop their skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These “4 C’s skills” are integral in student learning, providing a cognitive connection for theory into practice, and in their demonstration of employability preparedness. Are there unifying principles and practices that are essential and imperative to this model of learning? Can we create a model of excellence in experiential learning that insures the comprehension, application, and synthesis of knowledge that is both person- and profession-centered?  These questions will be addressed in this session and will also include an analysis of my Music Business Management course – Advanced Management Techniques – that has been redesigned to investigate these areas of investigation.

Todd D. Gardner
Associate Professor of Music Business/Management
Berklee College of Music

Educators Achieving Reflective Competence in Music Related Instruction

The purpose of this paper is to make educators aware of a theory of stages in which students learn new skills and the associated risk of educator complacency. This learning theory is known as, “Conscious Competence Learning Model.” This model has been reported for several decades and is equally helpful in understanding how students learn to play a musical instrument or how they learn any other subject, such as taxation or accounting, in music business. This paper will also attempt to outline potential skills and strategies to overcome educator complacency.

The theory of Conscious Competence Learning Model suggests that there are four stages that an educator should be aware of to help facilitate the teaching of a new skill to a learner. Learners usually begin at stage 1 or, “unconscious incompetence.” This stage states that the learner does not even know that the skill exists. Learners then move onto stage 2 or, “conscious incompetence.” In this stage the learner is aware of the skill, but cannot yet do the skill. Learners then pass to stage 3 or, “conscious competence.” With this stage learners know or can achieve the skill but have to fully concentrate in order to achieve the skill. As learners progress, the goal is to pass to stage 4 or, "unconscious competence.” With this stage learners can achieve the skill without concentration and in a sense cease to be learners. The theory also holds that none of these stages can be skipped and that a learner may actually regress to lower stages at times.

Unfortunately, many educators, because of their high competency and mastery in a given skill or subject, run the risk of less than optimal instruction or complacency. Ironically, this may be due to the fact that they have mastered the very subject they are teaching and have become “unconsciously competent” themselves. This has led some educators to suggest that there is or should be a 5th stage. This 5th stage is sometimes termed as, "Conscious Competence of Unconscious Competence” or, “Reflective Competence.” This describes an educator’s ability to recognize and develop unconscious incompetence in learners as well as being “highly conscious" or “enlightened” of their own consciousness such that they become better educators.

By identifying the four or possibly five stages of learning, educators of music, with all of its various appendages, can hopefully eliminate the assumption that all learners are actually learning what is being taught. Further, by being aware of these stages, educators can develop skills and strategies to help them become highly conscious of what and when instruction is needed so that the educators themselves do not become complacent or unconscious due to their mastery. This allows for more individual consideration of learners and may direct future research on how students learn and teachers should teach.