Secondary music teachers' content knowledge and skill bases : implications for teacher education.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This thesis investigates nine student teachers' pre-course, through-course, and postcourse beliefs about the teaching of secondary school music. The study considers the nine student teachers' own experiences and views, and bases the points of reflection around their contextual experiences in schools during their one year post-graduate course of study at the Christchurch College of Education. It examines the skills and knowledge bases that the selected cohort of student teachers and their respective associate (supervising) teachers view as being essential for effective teaching and learning to occur in the secondary music curriculum. It also compares these responses to the competencies stated in the Music Education course outlines for the Secondary Programme at the Christchurch College of Education. The Music Education courses were taught by the researcher, and so a critical action research approach was employed. The research method involved the student teachers in completing three questionnaires, one after each practicum experience. The questionnaires determined each student teacher's perceived confidence with specific course competencies. Changes during the course of study are discussed and individuals are compared. Each student teacher also participated in a semi-structured interview after each practicum where they reflected on their teaching experiences in more depth. At the end of the course, the student teachers shared their views and reviewed the Music Education courses within the context of a group video, and through written course evaluations. Associate teachers, who supervised individual student teachers during their teaching practices, commented on student teacher progress through written reports. Other local secondary music teachers participated in a questionnaire aimed at investigating connections in perception between the "expert' and the "novice" music teacher. This thesis is based on a three dimensional conceptual model for teacher education: a personal dimension, where the student teachers articulate their beliefs, backgrounds and philosophies about music teaching and learning; a practical dimension, where pedagogical content knowing is put into operation; and a political dimension, where social, and cultural factors are considered in relation to their beliefs and practices. Tensions between these dimensions are discussed and analysed. Conclusions drawn, and recommendations made, focus on this construction of professional knowledge through the convergence of personal and ecological frameworks, and a vision for teacher education curriculum courses is given.