1 University of Girona (SPAIN)
2 Autonomous University of Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN23 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Page: 5409 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-52151-7
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2023.1421
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
This work highlights the benefits of music and songs, including the adaptation of the lyrics to the content of each lecture, as support in understanding the contents of Environmental Technology, a non-optional subject within the Chemical Engineering Degree. This is hypothesized not only to ease the understanding of the lessons but also to address the diversity of the classroom. We aim to improve learning and innovate, including the design of new musical resources with didactic purposes.
People listen to music on a daily basis, and they may do so to create an atmosphere, to think, to distract themselves, or for other reasons. Therefore, we believe that the use of music in class as support for classical lecturing (not replacing it) can bring the content closer to the reality of students and increase their motivation towards learning by making it more relatable, useful, and approachable. The use of music in the classroom is justified for several reasons: it creates a positive environment, the lyrics can serve as a vehicle for the information to be conveyed, and the song can be understood as a complement to other materials. Furthermore, it is worth remarking that today's students are born in a context of musical globalization, in such a way that finding a song they can relate to is an easy task. Additionally, songs may have an emotional charge that boosts the students' interest and identification, becoming a tool that allows the integration of current topics and content from various curricular areas. Music allows for reflection, analysis, and interpretation, uniting its cognitive and emotional aspects to give rich and varied representations and discourses.
In the case of Environmental Technology, an example is adapting Kansas' song "Dust in the Wind" to teach the separation of dust from a gaseous effluent (for instance, from the furniture industry) by means of inertial separation. The lyrics could go: "I feed flue gas / Through the upper inlet of a steel cyclone. / Air goes out / And solids fall down to the bottom zone. / Dust in the wind..." Likewise, "The Lion King"'s "Cycle of Life" could be adapted to the nitrogen cycle: "Ammonia oxidizes to nitrite, / Which will get oxidized as well. / The nitrate that results / Will be used by some cells / To produce once more our N2..."
The present contribution collects this and other examples, aiming to serve as a motivational element for the students' active participation in classroom activities; to improve understanding, creativity and reception, and to promote creativity, originality, self-expression, enhancing self-esteem and a feeling of belonging. It could also help STEM degrees reach those students with aphasia or other language disorders, by providing a solid alternative to purely declarative lecturing.
Music, song lyrics, pedagogical innovation, inclusion, STEM, environmental technology.