Learning Theories : Insights For Music Educators

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In the abstract of his article, Dan Isbell writes, “Effective music educators often recognize that there is more than one way to teach...and understand that a specific approach may be more appropriate than another in a given setting.” While there are different acceptable ways to teach, there are also times when it is important not to teach. In persuasive writing, a clear goal should be supported, not instructed. Isbell’s article “Learning Theories: Insights for Music Educators” contrasts that concept. Throughout the article, Isbell’s background as a teacher, although it provides a basis for rhetorical appeals, affects both the rhetoric and conventions of the article, making it ineffective within its discourse community. The article…show more content…
However, comparable to the majority of his appeals to ethos, the location of the appeal helps it contribute to the information but not the overall argument. Due to this dissipation of credibility, Isbell’s background in teaching starts to impinge his writing.
The author’s intended audience contributes further to the detrimentality of the lacking appeals to ethos. Throughout the piece, the focus on methods of teaching makes it obvious that Isbell writes primarily to music educators. The similarity between reader and writer could allow for strong rhetorical appeals, but the aforementioned lack of these appeals makes the audience seem out-of-place and irrelevant. To an extent, the article addresses the audience but does not captivate it. For example, Isbell suggests in his second paragraph that the reader consider her musical knowledge and its many sources. This speaks to the audience, but it does not appeal to or interest it. Therefore, this statement that Isbell uses, similar to many others, does not help to support the claim. Throughout the article, Isbell, being a teacher himself, misses the practical opportunities for connecting to the audience of teachers.
Consequently, the author’s perceived audience for the discourse causes Isbell to use ineffective viewpoints throughout the article. For the majority of the article, he writes in third-person point of view, a practical choice when writing to an academic community;
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