Room for Everyone: The Practical Application of Standards Based Grading in the Choral Classroom
College of Fine Arts and Communication, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
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Utilizing Grounded Theory based in phenomenology this study attempts to answer the question “Why should music educators use reassessment practices in their ensembles and how does it work utilizing a standards-based grading model?” This study focuses on the student’s perspective of transitioning to a standards-based grading model in the choral classroom, specifically asking the students if they believe using this method benefited them as students of music and if they preferred the method of assessment over previous forms of grading done in the music classroom and core classes. The students responded positively to the standards-based grading model and most students believed the system worked in their best interest. The student responses were coded using a Grounded Theory method of initial coding, sub-theme coding, and major theme coding over three rounds of analysis. The data analysis revealed three major themes resulted from the student's answers to a Likert Scale questionnaire and a focus group with a smaller sample of volunteers. The participants revealed that the three areas that were most impactful as a result of using standards-based grading were: 1) Clear Communication from the Teacher, 2) Student growth mindset, and 3) Room for Everyone (Differentiation).