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Beyond the Workshop: An Interpretive Case Study of the Professional Learning of Three Elementary Music Teachers

  • Author / Creator
    Stark, Jody L.
  • The purpose of this collective case study was to develop a more nuanced understanding of the experiences and professional learning of three elementary music teachers who taught for the same large school board in Alberta, Canada. The interpretive inquiry sought to respond to the following two research questions: 1. What does teaching music mean to elementary music teachers? 2. How do music teachers experience professional learning? Three participants were purposefully selected based on their differing career stages, background, and teaching situations, and each participant was interviewed five or six times over the course of the five-month study. Additional data sources included transcripts from classroom observations, a variety of artifacts provided by the participants, and responses to Pre-Interview Activity prompts, a hermeneutic data collection activity that allowed the researcher to access participants’ preoccupations and experience in a holistic manner. Through analysis of data related to each participant’s teaching, musical, and professional learning experiences and processes, three significant themes emerged in relation to music teacher professional learning: The instrumental nature of the teachers’ learning, settling issues of practice over time, and the sociality of professional learning. This study potentially provides valuable insights for music teacher educators and for those designing structures and events for music teacher professional learning. Rather than focusing on the effects of specific professional development programs and practices, this inquiry provides three portraits of teacher professional learning as a process. It is part of a small but growing area of scholarship in teacher education that attends to the individualized learning of teachers as agentic professionals, and, as such, it offers a more complex understanding of how teachers grow and change their practice throughout their careers.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2018
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Education
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3BC3TC17
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Stanley, Ann Marie (Louisiana State University)
    • Pegg, Jerine (Elementary Education)
    • Anna Kirova (Elementary Education)
    • Ellis, Julia (Elementary Education)
    • McClay, Jill (Faculty of Education)