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18036116 Jasmine Breeze 1

Using positive relationships in relation to fulfilling the needs and abilities of gifted and

impaired secondary students.

Emotional/Behavioral Disorder (EBD) Students and Gifted students are often left behind

or excluded from mainstream schooling. This creates distortion among equity of fulfilling the

needs and abilities of these young disadvantaged students. Within this essay we will be

criticizing the article “Establishing positive relationships with secondary gifted students and

Students with Emotional/Behaviour Disorders: Giving these diverse learners what they need.”,

and will explain the relevance of the educational issues to the key learning area of music. The

key educational issues elaborated within the article express ‘equity’ and ‘positive relationships

between teachers and students’, and ‘how this effects students’ outcome and progress’ among


Gifted and EBD Students

“One way to increase a students’ sense of belonging is to develop meaningful

relationships with teachers.” (Capern, & Hammond, 2014) Teacher and student relationships

have been proven through many mixed method researches to be a positive outcome on the

educational aspirations of students that are socially disadvantaged or academically increased.

Gifted and Emotional/Behavioural Disorder (EBD) students are both differentiated from the

mainstream society due to physical, emotional or social impairness. As explained and research

within the chosen article, gifted and EBD students may suffer the same inequality but show

variety upon the equity they seek from educators within the field. These gifted and EBD

students search for educators emerge as quite ‘opposites’ within the teaching practice. What is

meant by this is that these students draw for an education that is relatable to themselves as

individual students. For example, gifted students search for a teacher that shows “promotion

towards academic success” whilst an EBD student explores for “emotionally supportive

behaviour” shown by a teacher. (Capern, & Hammond, 2014) With both classification of students

entitled to the same opportunities as the mainstream classroom, they must be accredited to their

challenges and needs. This is provided through positive teaching practice.

In a broad spectrum ‘positive relationships’ shared among gifted and EBD students create

possibilities and chances in terms of future outcomes. Positive relationships allow those that are

impaired to bounce and reflect socially and mentally with someone who may be in the same

situation or may have influence to an impaired life. In terms of education, “daily interaction

between students and teachers affects students’ social, emotional and academic wellbeing.”

(Capern, & Hammond, 2014) In effect of creating positive relationships students engage with

others to understand and connect with themselves through experience of the factors mentioned

above. For gifted and EBD students ‘teaching practice’ matters, the quality of teaching and the

connection created between student and teacher should be the promoter of students’ potential and

their achievement. A teacher must be aware of the students within their classrooms and

accommodate to their needs and abilities. With relevance to gifted and EBD students, a teacher

must be able to communicate to the student and create a positive environment and impression to

assist in the students’ learning. This is encouraged through specialized pre-service teaching that

allows you to see, develop and engage with the ideas around teaching practice and how it can be

effective for not just mainstream students but for those that are impaired.

Chosen Article Methods and Findings in accordance to recommendations for teaching


Positive relationships allow teachers and students to communicate and cooperate in the
understanding of achieving the same goal being the students’ educational opportunities.

The process of research undertaken within the findings of ‘positive relationships’ was a mixed
method strategy that represented qualitative date through focus groups and quantitative data
through surveys. The purpose of these methods was to hear the students’ opinion to what they
need and want from teachers and what experience is derived from these perspectives. By
researching the needs and wants from the students, there is now more understanding to how
incorporation of these ‘aspects’ can widen the educational allowance among teaching these
impaired individuals. With mixed method research and reference to literature, EBD students
were found to be “less concerned with teacher competence and expertise”, and were more
“concerned in having an understanding and supportive relationship with teachers.” (Capern, &
Hammond, 2014) In comparison “gifted students valued teachers’ willingness to answer student
questions, teach to their understanding, help with academic problems and talk to the students
individually, and privately.” But overall applied a “larger emphasis on academic supportive
behaviours.” (Capern, & Hammond, 2014) Within the results of these findings ‘educators’ were
stated to have beneficial information as the importance of this issue can be used in accordance to
“improving the relationships of particular types of students and increase the effectiveness of their
practice.” (Capern, & Hammond, 2014) The significance of these positive relationships can be
used in terms of combining the use of “educational theory and practice”, and therefore, promote
engagement within the needs of ‘gifted and EBD’ students by enhancing “social and academic
outcomes” within a “positive learning environment”. (Capern, & Hammond, 2014)
The behavioural aspects identified within this article elaborate on the needs and wants
contributed by students with relevance to in-service teachers. These behaviours can be justified
as sensible occupational traits that can be used in order to help teachers to improve their
relationships with students. Pre-service teachers and in-service teachers should both be taught in
accordance to these traits in promotion of improving their professional relationship to students
that are gifted or may be impaired with EBD. In reference to the outcomes of this research
article, the most important behavioural factors for developing positive relationships in both
groups resulted with “teachers treating students with respect”, “being warm and friendly”, “and
helping them with their schoolwork.” These were all universally recognized by students from a
multitude of backgrounds. (Capern, & Hammond, 2014)

Creating Positive Relationship within Music Teaching

Pre-service music teachers were once opposed with “little consideration to the skills and

behaviours of a successful music teacher”. (Teachout, 1997) In reflection, these pre-service

music teachers within secondary education were more attained to the idea of a performer rather

than the role of a music teacher. Teachout has found within his research that previous mentors

and in-service secondary music teachers are influential in the deciding of becoming pre-service

music teachers. The pre-service teachers’ opinions of the skills and behaviours, and importance

of these behaviours draws on reflection to their own positive relationships between teacher and

student, and therefore can be speculative among results due to their own experience. Teachout in

states that his research draws priority focus within in-service teachers as they are more

resourceful due to pre-existing experiences and continuous issues within these positive

relationships of teachers and students. So how do positive relationships within music teaching

provide towards the needs of the gifted and EBD students? There is a “strong belief that teachers

maintain high expectations for their students”. (Fitzpatrick, 2011) This can be beneficial or

detrimental depending on the view that teachers draw from. For instance, there is a certain

dedication that must be provided within a music teacher to accept responsibility to help “improve

students’ lives in personal as well as musical ways.” (Fitzpatrick, 2011) Music is conveyed

through many elements and can have multiple effects on the human body. If teachers are able to

use this psychological factor to help students engage with learning outcomes, then they can also

attempt to teach an understanding of interrelation among music and society.

Music provides a learning tool throughout the key learning areas and can be used in order of

lesson planning, cultural understanding and social interaction. Providing music as a learning tool

in assistance to those that are impaired is important in creating positive relationships as it can

enhance a warm, friendly and inviting environment that engages with the students in course of

participation for learning growth. Music can be learned by any individual student. It is a learning

area that can be developed through skills, experience and knowledge, and therefore cannot have

a limitation to specific students as ownership falls within the students’ responsibility to

participate and keep motivation. Teachers also have responsibility in fulfilling the students’ needs

by being flexible, patient, teaching to student needs, understanding the students’ and listening to

their opinions, and lastly being supportive students’ throughout their school work. In accordance

to Fitzpatrick’s research, teachers reflected upon the ‘three most commonly answered rewards’,

these all reflect upon the students’ improvement personally and musically, and their progress and

success. The results show reflection of a teacher’s reward from providing these positive

relationships. For a student to understand the teachers teaching practice and reflect this through

musical outcomes as instated by a syllabus is an achievement for each individual student as

learning outcomes are acquired within music teaching. The success of the participants and the

experience that both teachers and students encounter, results in a positive relationship between

teacher and student.

Revising the methods of music teaching.

Music teachers have the role of creating engaging classrooms that incorporate the syllabus

requirements while maintaining the attention of the students. In relevance to special education

needs as stated among “Music years 7-10 Syllabus” (Board of Studies, 2003), students of special

education needs are accounted through inclusion of outcomes and content in syllabus, and are

also supplied specific support documents. On behalf of teachers that may come under

supervision of special education needs “additional advice and programming support are provided

to assist students to access the outcomes of the syllabus.” (Board of Studies, 2003)

Music syllabus objectives focusing on aspects of performing, composing and listening.

Teachers should draw among these objectives in their lesson plans to create positive relationships

with students. Using positive relationships within music and incorporating this in accordance to

lesson plans requires time and patience. As explored within the lesson plan “What is

improvisation?” ("Lesson Plans : Music Portal : Making Connections", 2017)

provided below. The lessons concentration on ‘improvisation’ objectifies the students based on

understanding, creativity and existing knowledge. The learning outcomes instate “students

should be able to make up their own rhythmic patterns and improvise as part of a group”.

("Lesson Plans : Music Portal : Making Connections", 2017) Therefore, a music teacher should

be able to associate themselves within a musical group and engage themselves within a positive

relationship as students are working with the teacher and other associates to achieve the set task

and goal. Those that are gifted students’ will not necessary want teacher incorporation within

tasks as the students’ needs is to be academically supported, whereas EBD students require

personal supportive assistance and interaction to engage understanding to musical concepts.

Figure 1. “What is Improvisation?”

Figure 1. “What is Improvisation?” Cont..


As seen in Mr. Stilwell’s lesson plan for “basic musical terms” (“Lesson Plan on Basic Musical

Terms”, 2012), the purpose of this lesson is to acquire understanding of the musical terms, and

compare the term according to the aural perspective. This lesson works by incorporating aural,

sensory and practical involvement, and therefore acts supportive within the positive relationship

of teacher and student through multiple styles of active learning. To add emphasis among the

teaching of this lesson, teachers should encourage working in groups or pairs to counter balance

workload among the students. This strategy also allows teachers to work more individually with

those gifted and EBD students and attain to their needs. Allowing these positive relationships

between teacher and student not only results in better outcomes and student understanding but

reflect positively among the students’ educational success and social development. In the

progress of delivering the lesson plan instated by Mr. Stilwell, there should be thought to other

ways of informing this information with relevance to special education needs. For instance, the

use of active learning as mention before would work in engagement with the gifted and EBD

students by teaching to their understanding and including examples that are relatable to the

students. This can be shown through a skill level divide within set work tasks.

Positive relationships between teachers and students creates beneficial outcomes that are

resourceful to understanding the needs of gifted and emotional behaviour disorder students.

Through equity implemented within the syllabus and curriculum, special education needs can be

fulfilled in association to mainstream students. This effects the students’ outcome by providing

the resources equally to all students and providing the extra support to students that may need the

educational resource. With relevance to positive relationships and equity within special education

students, teachers are able to participate and communicate with students to improve the

progression rate of the student through either academic or personal support.



Board of Studies NSW,. (2003). Music years 7 - 10 Syllabus. NSW: Board of Studies NSW.

Capern, T., & Hammond, L. (2014). Establishing Positive Relationships with Secondary Gifted

Students and Students with Emotional/Behavioural Disorders: Giving These Diverse

Learners What They Need. Australian Journal Of Teacher Education, 39(4).


Fitzpatrick, K. (2011). A Mixed Methods Portrait of Urban Instrumental Music

Teaching. Journal Of Research In Music Education, 59(3), 229-256.


Lesson Plan On Basic Musical Terms. (2012). Teach-nology.com. Retrieved 27 March 2017,

from http://www.teach-nology.com/lessons/lsn_pln_view_lessons.php?


Lesson Plans : Music Portal : Making Connections. (2017). Web.education.unimelb.edu.au.

Retrieved 27 March 2017, from


Teachout, D. (1997). Preservice and Experienced Teachers' Opinions of Skills and Behaviors

Important to Successful Music Teaching. Journal Of Research In Music Education, 45(1),

41. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3345464