Dissertation Topics for STEM & Music

Presented by
Tiffany Getty, Wilkes University

Music has long been recognized as an effective tool to help young children learn, but this teaching/learning strategy is rarely used at the high school and college levels. As a doctoral student of education (and a high school chemistry teacher) I am currently in the beginning stages of exploring topics to research for a dissertation. At this point in the process, the only idea I am passionate about is the general concept of using music to teach and learn STEM-related content. However, below I have included a few areas of possible research interest with respect to this general topic. I am hoping that VOICES participants will provide me with feedback on the following research ideas. In addition, I would also invite the audience to provide me with suggestions they might have regarding possible research topics related STEM and music. How does the use of music as a learning tool affect retention time of information? What are the long-term impacts of using music to teach STEM content? How does the use of music as a learning tool affect student attitudes of STEM-related content/classes? What are the long-term effects of these attitudes on STEM majors, and non-STEM majors? Can music be an effective tool to teach higher levels of thinking and more complex cognitive skills (rather than simply being used for lower-leveled skills such as recall)? Can student-generated STEM songs be used to measure achievement with respect to the secondary-level state standards for science, technology, engineering, or math?