The Use of Music Elements in the Lessons by Teachers of Students with Mental Disabilities and Their Music-Based Competencies
The field of special education for people with mental disabilities is a discipline that is constantly evolving and changing as well as being inclusive. Teachers working in this field are guiding the way as long as they improve their professional qualifications. Even if special education processes are under state guarantee, it is always a lifelong process that brings a financial obligation for families. Therefore, the field teachers should be a complementary element for the student in many areas such as development, change, education and rehabilitation. Music elements also find a prominent place among these complementary elements. However, the field teacher can only support this process on the basis of music to the extent that he/she realizes his/her own music-based competence professionally. In this direction, it was aimed to determine the music-based competencies of field teachers and their utilization of music elements in their lessons and the data were collected for this purpose. Because music is present in all areas of special education. However, it is not possible to employ a music professional for every special education institution. Therefore, the field teacher is expected to handle the process within the framework of inclusiveness. Within the framework of this idea, the study was conducted with 10 volunteer teachers who were reached during the 2021-2022 academic year. In order to obtain the data, 26 three-point Likert-type instructions were prepared and online interviews were conducted with each participant teacher. This study is a case study. The data were described on the axis of interpretive paradigm and categorized in the findings section. The validity and reliability of the instructions were ensured in line with the opinions of special education experts. As a result, it was found that the field teachers who participated in the study have music-based competence and consciously utilize music elements in their lessons. However, it was also seen that field teachers need music-based professional development. Therefore, it is an evident that they need professional development trainings on how to use music elements more effectively for non-musical purposes. It is essential to conduct this study with a group of more participants. Nevertheless, it is believed that the findings obtained have a quality that will pave the way for new researchers.
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