Event Title

Deciding to be a Music Teacher: A study of New Teacher Education Students' Life-Narratives

Start Date

29-5-2011 10:00 AM

End Date

29-5-2011 10:30 AM

Description

This paper describes a qualitative study of undergraduate music education students' life-story accounts focused on experiences that motivated them to become music teachers. Asmus (1994), Vispoel (1994) and Rickels (2009) suggest that teaching and learning experiences during childhood are highly influential in this decision-making process. Sources also support the theory that a key factor motivating music students to pursue a career in music education is prior experience in a teaching role. This paper reports on a grounded theory (Charmaz, 2005) study addressing the research question: What are the factors that influence music students to pursue a career in music teaching? Ten participants were selected from students in year one and two of a five year music education program. Data were elicited by requesting students' to create life experience maps (Bernard, 2004), engaging students in presentations of their life-narratives in groups of five participants, group discussions of commonalities among their stories, small focus group interviews, and individual interviews with two selected participants. Final data consisted of artifacts of the 10 students' visual presentation of their life stories, video recordings of their verbal presentations, recordings of the group discussions and individual interviews, and presentation and interview transcripts. Analysis involved constructing individual narratives and then doing thematic life-story analysis (Creswell, 2005). This analysis resulted in emergent themes from their life-narratives and the identification of hierarchies and relations of factors that appear influential in their choice of teacher education. Presentation of the findings draws strongly on the constructed participant narratives. Relevance of this research lies in its potential to understand potential music educators' decision making. This may help inform the selection of candidates in music teacher education programs. Findings highlight the importance of the teaching and learning discourse, and may provide opportunities for increased relevance in the field of music teacher education.

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May 29th, 10:00 AM May 29th, 10:30 AM

Deciding to be a Music Teacher: A study of New Teacher Education Students' Life-Narratives

This paper describes a qualitative study of undergraduate music education students' life-story accounts focused on experiences that motivated them to become music teachers. Asmus (1994), Vispoel (1994) and Rickels (2009) suggest that teaching and learning experiences during childhood are highly influential in this decision-making process. Sources also support the theory that a key factor motivating music students to pursue a career in music education is prior experience in a teaching role. This paper reports on a grounded theory (Charmaz, 2005) study addressing the research question: What are the factors that influence music students to pursue a career in music teaching? Ten participants were selected from students in year one and two of a five year music education program. Data were elicited by requesting students' to create life experience maps (Bernard, 2004), engaging students in presentations of their life-narratives in groups of five participants, group discussions of commonalities among their stories, small focus group interviews, and individual interviews with two selected participants. Final data consisted of artifacts of the 10 students' visual presentation of their life stories, video recordings of their verbal presentations, recordings of the group discussions and individual interviews, and presentation and interview transcripts. Analysis involved constructing individual narratives and then doing thematic life-story analysis (Creswell, 2005). This analysis resulted in emergent themes from their life-narratives and the identification of hierarchies and relations of factors that appear influential in their choice of teacher education. Presentation of the findings draws strongly on the constructed participant narratives. Relevance of this research lies in its potential to understand potential music educators' decision making. This may help inform the selection of candidates in music teacher education programs. Findings highlight the importance of the teaching and learning discourse, and may provide opportunities for increased relevance in the field of music teacher education.