Music education scholarship has long called for a more critical, socially just approach to teacher preparation. These include curricular opportunities to work with students from diverse contexts in practicum settings, social-justice-oriented readings and professional development, and guided reflection opportunities. However, scholars also note that practicing educators often revert to “traditional” methods of teaching once they enter the field, suggesting a disconnect between music teacher education and practice. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the experiences of three recent alumni of one music teacher education program, paying particular attention to the ways in which these teachers engage or do not engage in socially just practices in their music classrooms. In particular, we focused on how their experiences as music education students impacted their practices as they relate to social justice. We also examined possible barriers that may make socially just engagements challenging. Findings suggest that engaging in both theoretical and contextually applied approaches to critical pedagogy is particularly important. Findings also suggest that practicing educators may face challenges including navigating accountability measures and finding a balance between meeting the needs of students in the classroom while simultaneously challenging oppressive structures. This project has the potential to inform how we can best incorporate a more inclusive and critical pedagogy in ways that are practical for teachers as they enter their first year of teaching and may also result in resources to support critical pedagogy and social justice in music classrooms.
Harkopf, Isabella and Bylica, Kelly
"Critical Pedagogy in School Music Programs: Examining the Connections and Disconnections Between Teacher Preparation and Active Teaching,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 44, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol44/iss1/2