University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Society of Music Educators
Place of PublicationPontificia Universidade Catolica do 31st ISME World Conference on Music EducationRio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2014

Abstract

This presentation addresses issues of professional development in primary music education with particular reference to a one year ‘In-School’ programme of training provided by a nationally renowned music education charity. Using a case study approach the study focuses upon teachers’ thinking, practices and development in the context of a learning community of early career practitioners. This form of community can be described as a school wide culture in which collaboration is expected and critical practice is ongoing. The presentation aims to identify ways in which the development of teachers’ attitudes, musical understanding and practices are supported through the implementation of a singing-based curriculum supported by in-service training, in-class mentoring, team-teaching, post lesson discussion and a package of related teaching and learning resources. The data collection for the case study is being undertaken using semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 12 primary class-teachers at regular intervals throughout the year. Initial themes are informed by survey data. In addition a number of teachers have been interviewed further and observed teaching in their usual working environment. The ‘In-School’ Programme advisory teacher has also been observed working collaboratively with teachers and interviewed, with narrative reflection and interviews conducted with the music subject specialist and head-teacher of the school. The pupil voice is captured through filmed school-council discussion with pupil representatives of each class at the end of each half term sequence of training, with reflections upon their developing experience of musical teaching and learning. Insights gained from the initial stages of this study, suggest that teachers, if encouraged and provided with the resources, education and training they need, can overcome their hesitations with regard to singing and effective musical practice. The richness of ‘feedback in action’ in relation to participative practice, though challenging, may be particularly valuable. Implications for supporting generalist primary teachers and the provision of professional development will be discussed.

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