Wichita State News
Photo: Shae West
Lisa Lutz, in the third year of her doctoral program, wants to add global interaction to USD 259 classrooms.

WSU doctoral student globalizes Wichita music class

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wichita State University grad student Lisa Lutz is interested in globalization; more specifically, she is interested in making relationships and communication global for students in her district.

Lutz works in the USD 259 district office in secondary curriculum and instruction.

“If I’m going to be a leader in education, then I feel I should educate myself to the highest degree that I can,” Lutz said.

Her doctoral project is focused on global education and building lasting relationships between Wichita students and students in other countries.

Her research subjects are high school students in a USD 259 music class. The students will work with others around the world to compose a piece of music.

She is studying how they work together and how their perceptions of each other change over time.

Graduate School Assistant Dean Mara Alagic said Lutz put a lot of time and careful thought into the design of her project.

“(The project) aims to help us understand more about how collaborative music performance can improve the development of a global mindset,” Alagic said.

The other schools participating are in Spain, Austria and Japan. Lutz traveled to each country to set up her project. The Ollie A. and J.O. Heskett Graduate Fellowship funded her travel.

Lutz wants to expand her project through the K-12 curriculum in Wichita classrooms to offer all students global interaction before they enter the work force, which she said expects such skills.

She hopes the experience will give the students a global mindset as well.

She said globalization is “beyond an understanding.” To her, globalization is “to have a compassion for the human spirit regardless of where” it is.

“As a result of the multiple communications they have, they will gain a broader understanding and acceptance of others with the potential to develop some sustainable relationships,” she said.

While there is the ability to globalize the curriculum of every subject, Lutz chose music because it doesn’t pause at language barriers.

Language is a challenge, but Lutz said it is a give-and-take opportunity and fully part of the global experience. Connections will be made in multiple time zones, and students will have to work through that.

Lutz doesn’t want her project to be a one-year, one-classroom event in Wichita. She wants to see it implemented in every classroom in the district.

“This could go somewhere,” she said. But she needs someone to facilitate the project to expand it community wide.

Her desired outcome would be to have global concerts, occurring at the same time in each participating country, where students can play the music they’ve composed.

Regardless if Lutz’s concert happens, Alagic said: “The outcomes of her project will inform further global learning initiatives, particularly in the area of music education, in USD 259, and broader as she’s intent to publish her findings at national and international levels.”

This story has been tagged Students, College of Education, Faculty/Staff, Graduate School, Student Profiles. See all RSS feeds here
Created on Tuesday, September 15, 2009; Last modified on Tuesday, September 15, 2009