Identifying Factors for Integrating Math and Music Education at Primary Schools in Namibia

Local children using Harmony Hippo

The Namibian school system puts little emphasis on art subjects such as music and emphasizes STEM subjects instead. Despite heavy focus on math teaching at primary schools, many students are not learning. This study investigates how the rich music oriented indigenous culture of Namibia can be leveraged to assist in math education by teaching math via music. First, previous findings from literature are discussed in the Namibian context. Second, three focus groups (n=12, n=2 and n=3) are interviewed and consulted in order to find the potential benefits and barriers of starting to teach math and music together. The results indicate significant potential in crossdisciplinary math and music education for both learning and motivation. However, equally many barriers for implementing the new form of teaching were discovered. Currently the lack of support from the national school curriculum and teachers hesitation to adopt new teaching methods are the biggest challenges.

Laato S. et al. 2019. Identifying Factors for Integrating Math and Music Education at Primary Schools in Namibia. 2019 IEEE International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Education (TALE).