Itinerant teachers of music : a state of flux.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
Teachers who are itinerant contend with many factors that complicate their ability to deliver programmes. This thesis investigates the experiences of one such group of itinerant educators, Itinerant Teachers of Music (ITMs). They are responsible for the teaching of instrumental music in secondary schools in AotearoalNew Zealand. I used a case study to examine the phenomenon of itinerancy and considered the experiences of ITMs and ITM Co-ordinators in the Canterbury region and the views of the Heads of Music Departments (HoDs Music) with whom they work. This included observing ITMs at work and interviewing ITMs, ITM Co-ordinators, and HoDs Music about being itinerant. I consulted strategic documents such as music education reports, curriculum statements and job descriptions to examine the place of ITMs in official music education discourses. A social constructionist perspective underpins the research. Social constructionism emphasises the socially constructed reality of ITMs' experiences and raises issues of power and access to those discourses that define itinerancy. I argue that itinerancy as encountered by ITMs is characterised by three main themes: temporality, invisibility and adaptability. Time dominates itinerant work. Teaching is compressed into twenty minute blocks, travel times are minimised. An ITMs day is intensive, with scarcely a wasted minute. This influences the quality oftheir work and interactions with colleagues. Their present situation is affected by historical discourses of itinerancy, their future determined by current restrictions. To be itinerant, with multiple work sites and frequent travel is to be largely invisible. This invisibility, as ITMs engage in their work, impacts on their identity, status, relationships and place in schools and educational discourses. Adaptability and flexibility are essential ITM traits. ITMs are required to conform to the demands and expectations .of diverse school systems, HoDs Music and students, as well as their own employers, as they work within systemic constraints. They are multi-skilled musicians and teachers.
ITMs work in conditions intensified by itinerancy where temporality, invisibility and adaptability are the criteria by which they are defined and they have defined themselves. I conclude with nine recommendations for change that involve a review of the operational structures regulating the practice of itinerancy in the ITM programme and an examination of the resources allocated to it.