Issues Facing Music Teacher

Education in the 21st Century
Developing Leaders in the Field

The Author
¤  A professor of music education at
the University of Michigan, School
of Music, Theater and Dance.
¤  She has presented at national and
international conferences
(including NAfME and ISME) and
has published more than 80
articles on these topics in all of the
major music education journals.
¤  She is currently editor-in-chief of
Arts Education Policy Review.

Colleen M. Conway

Music Teacher Education Research Context ¤ SMTE – Society for Music Teacher Education (1982) ¤ NAfME – National Association for Music Education ¤ Journal of Music Teacher Education (1990) .

SMTE Areas of Strategic Planning and Action ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  Teacher Recruitment Assessment and Alignment Preservice Teacher Development Restructuring the Curriculum Cultural Diversity in Music Teacher Education Cultural Diversity in Music Teacher Education School and University Partnerships Policy and Association Partnerships Professional Development for the Beginning Music Teacher Professional Development for the Experienced Music Teacher Teacher Retention Preparing Music Teacher Educators and Supporting Current Music Teacher Educators Alternative Licensure .

Topics of Interest to the Organization ¤  Student-centered instruction ¤  Developing comprehensive musical understandings in every student ¤  Changing the culture of instrumental music education ¤  The importance of the teaching/learning process in a productdriven profession ¤  Lifelong musical participation ¤  Increasing the influence of instrumental music education methods instruction/instructors ¤  Defining/describing pedagogical content knowledge in instrumental music teacher education ¤  Recruiting instrumental music teachers and instrumental music teacher educators ¤  The ongoing professional development of teachers in ways that move them beyond the traditional instrumental music education paradigm .

2005) ¤ P-12 music teachers are encourage to work with local Tri-M Chapters.Recruitment of Music Education Majors into the Preservice Program ¤ “Current music teachers may be the best recruiters the profession has. ¤ “apprenticeship of observation” . They exert a great deal of influence that could positively affect the recruiting of future music teachers” (Fredrickson and Burton.

.Observation of Teaching with a Teacher’s Lens ¤  A focus on getting music education students out to schools early in their teacher education experience. ¤  Fieldwork observations are often cited by beginning music teachers as both the most and the least valuable requirements in the music teacher education program. ¤  Learning to view the classroom from the teacher’s perspective is an important benchmark in the journey to become a teacher.

¤  Most music students experience a conflict of identity as they try to develop as a musician and a teacher simultaneously. ¤  Most music education students take longer than four years or attend in the summers to complete the degree.General Issues in Music Teacher Education Curriculum ¤  Managing to fit all the coursework deemed necessary into the degree program along with general music requirements as well as general studies requirements. .

¤  There is a delicate balance between fieldwork that provides good first teaching experiences and fieldwork that is a “trial by fire” approach to the profession. .Preservice Fieldwork ¤  Faculty loads. student schedules. ¤  “Immersion Fieldwork” refers to placing students in a diverse setting for an extended time period during which they live in the community as well as teach. availability of local schools and other resources affect the nature of field placements.

. ¤  Questioning techniques need to be practiced by methods instructors and skills for facilitating classroom dialogue explored. ¤  More frequent testing and the use of alternative grading procedures will provide a methods course atmosphere more conducive to the learning of reflective thinking skills.Music Education Methods Courses ¤  Music Education students need to learn to reflect “in” and “on” the action in music classrooms and they must consider multiple strategies for solving classroom dilemmas.

¤  Have open lines of communication between the co-op teacher and the university supervisor regarding the student and the placement details. . ¤  To view student teaching as a “spot” on the continuum of learning to teach and not as the “end point”. ¤  To think beyond the given context instead of telling them how to teach or what to do.Student Teaching ¤  The most valuable component of the teacher education process.

methods courses and student teaching.Graduate Certification Models and Alternative Certification ¤  These programs typically have the same coursework and sequence as an undergraduate degree including preservice fieldwork. ¤  The disadvantage is that there is no research in music education on alternative routes and it is unclear in the general research if teachers stay in the field in the long term. ¤  The major advantage is the potential for alternative routes to attract a more diverse teaching force. .

¤  The first years of teaching are an intense and formative time in learning to teach. ¤  The first encounter with real teaching occurs when beginning teachers step into their own classroom. . there are some things that can only learned on the job.Supporting Beginning Music Teachers ¤  New teachers have two jobs – they have to teach and they have to learn to teach. ¤  No matter how good a preservice program may be.

The Four Stages of Teaching by Kevin Ryan ¤ Fantasy ¤ Survival ¤ Mastery ¤ Impact .

The new teacher feels that she/he would make a fantastic teacher because of various reasons. This is usually the period before a new teacher walks into the classroom.The Fantasy Stage ¤  Some people call this the idealistic stage. teaching will be hard. . and that every school day will be fun. the teacher knows that it would be easy. fun! The new teacher might voice the idea that. “Certainly.” Inwardly. that the new teacher is there to save the world or at least save the children. fun.

and take no responsibility for the students’ learning. many teachers never leave this stage. whiny voice. most ineffective. . Their conversations in the lunch room begins with “These kids …” in a high. Many Survival teachers begin to whine and make excuses. Unfortunately. Because the Survival teachers do not succeed in teaching their students. to get through the day. They make fun of professional development meetings and never actually develop as a professional. give busywork. some effective. Teaching becomes a matter of getting through one day after another and holding on till paycheck day. they will try to convince the teachers around them that it’s not possible and make fun of teachers who are working hard.The Survival Stage ¤  The Survival teachers begin to rely on practices that they see other teachers use.

. the Master teacher uses effective practices. have high expectations. The Master teacher may not yet be t h e m o d e l t e a c h e r. The Master teacher is not afraid to ask for help or “How did you do that?” This is where true enjoyment of teaching begins. The Master teacher is very threatening to the Survival teachers because they are living proof that “these kids” can learn.The Mastery Stage ¤  The Mastery Stage begins when teachers take responsibility for what goes on in their classroom and hold themselves accountable for their students’ learning. Suddenly. and strive to improve professionally at all times. b u t t h e i r a t t i t u d e a n d professionalism will soon lead them there.

fun and in a real sense. The students may view this as fun. The teacher has come full circle and teaching is an everyday joy. the award winning teacher who makes an impact on his/her students’ lives. fun. . and in an engaging manner.The Impact Stage ¤ This is the ultimate teacher. Every day is focused on learning effectively. the Impact teacher has achieved the dreams of the Fantasy teacher. rigorously.

Experiences of the Beginning Music Teachers Isolation Loneliness Culture-shock In-service and administrative help Community relations Feelings of failure Feelings of being in a “sink or swim” situation Feeling overworked and overburdened Feeling overtired Being confused by or in disagreement with administrative policies and evaluations ¤  Dealing with parents and feeling threatened ¤  Insecure and vulnerable ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  ¤  .

but it may also help foster more reflective teachers.Supporting Beginning Music Teachers ¤  The first step in supporting beginning music teachers is to recognize the inability of many school districts to provide appropriate support. ¤  Recognizing the need for professional development support beyond the first year will help not only to retain the reflective teachers. ¤  Beginning music teachers are often “inducted into a school by being provided with “this is how it works around here” information. ¤  Music educators must become more active in the policy arena so that music teachers may receive professional development credit (in-service credit). .

state music organizations and other contacts rather than “formal” mentors. ¤  The beginning teacher might start the year by observing the mentor in the mentor’s classroom first then. ¤  Beginning teachers value the mentor more if they have had an opportunity to interact in informal ways (social gatherings) at the start of the mentoring experience. the mentor might come to the beginner’s classroom and do some teaching. .Mentoring Beginning Music Teachers ¤  Beginning music teachers secure “informal” mentors through their buildings.

district and state) ¤ Personable but professional .Characteristics of Mentors ¤ Excellent musician ¤ Strong knowledge of music subject matter ¤ Exemplary teacher ¤ Similar philosophy of music education ¤ Proactive in establishing relationship ¤ Good listener ¤ Organized ¤  S t r o n g k n o w l e d g e o f p o l i c i e s a n d procedures(building.

¤  Beginning music teachers need assistance in dealing with the messy issues in school change and curriculum reform that they encounter once they begin working in schools. policy-makers in music education and P-12 music educators is still in its infancy. .CONCLUSION ¤  Music teacher education is often the effect of attacks regarding lack of preparation for teaching. ¤  True collaboration in music teacher education between higher education faculty.