Developing 21CC Through Band: An Exploratory Study of the Four Cs

Project Number
OER 17/15 TYC

Project Duration
December 2015 - November 2017


The importance of developing 21CC through CCA has been emphasised by MOE. The recently published “Handbook for the Co-Curriculum” states that there ought to be an “intentional design” of CCA activities such that they create “authentic opportunities” for students to “practise” the 21CC (MOE, 2014, p. 16). Sentiments on the ground, however, suggest that many band directors see the development of these competencies already implicit in current practice. During a paper presentation by the PI and first co-PI at a conference on 21CC organised by the Band Directors’ Association of Singapore (Tan & Dairianathan, 2014), a number of band directors expressed no real need to formalise and make the development of 21CC through band explicit as such competencies are already in place and practice. In an effort to uncover ground sentiments towards the development of 21CC through the school band, the PI began a study to sample the views of band directors in Singapore (Tan & Miksza, on-going). While data collection is still in progress, the responses that have been gathered thus far suggests that for many directors, 21CC are already being developed through their band programmes with no further formal intentional design needed. Clearly, there is a need for systematic observation and empirical data to determine if, how, and to what extent 21CC are being developed by school band programmes as currently practised. This would also render any form of formal intervention more organic, persuasive, authentic, and less “top-down.” Given that band is among the most subscribed CCAs in schools, research on the band and 21CC is timely and crucial. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the development of 21CC through the school band; it aims to render explicit what might already be implicit in current practice. In particular, through qualitative case studies of two exemplary Secondary school bands over a period of one year (January till December 2016), the research team draws on Shuler’s (2011) “Three Artistic Processes-Four Cs" framework to examine how the "Three Artistic Processes" (i.e., creating, performing and responding) enable the development of the "Four Cs" (i.e., creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration) through the school band. Additionally, student self-report questionnaires will be administered to determine the extent to which students’ self-report measures of the “Four Cs” and productive 21st century learning dispositions (i.e., motivational goal orientations, flow, grit, and commitment to band) within the band learning context differ at the beginning and the end of the school year. Based on the research findings, the research team will gather a “collection of practical strategies” for the development of 21CC through band that can be tested in subsequent intervention studies across a random sample of Secondary school bands. The ultimate goal of this proposed line of research is to impact education in Singapore by helping students develop 21CC through CCA in intentional and authentic ways based on research evidence.

Funding Source

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