ON PREPARING CROSS-CULTURALLY COMPETENT MUSIC EDUCATORS

 

Constance L. McKoy

Music Research Institute

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

clmckoy@uncg.edu

 

Recent discourse in teacher education has focused on developing teachers who are cross-culturally competent, i.e., who can function effectively in, and have positive attitudes toward, culturally diverse educational environments, and who can use the differing cultural knowledge bases and experiences of their students to enhance, inform, and impact academic achievement. In part, the dialogue stems from recognition of the disparity between the cultural backgrounds of public school students and those of the teachers who instruct them, a decrease in the racial and ethnic diversity of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs, and pre-service teachersŐ lack of knowledge about and commitment to teaching multicultural populations. In this position paper, the author proposes that the concerns of the general teacher education community signal a parallel need in music teacher education to expand the current curricular focus on multicultural instructional materials, repertoire, and performance practice to include a simultaneous focus on the development of pre-service music teachersŐ cross-cultural competence. Suggestions for changes in traditional approaches to curricular structure, course content, and field experiences that could address this inconsistency are offered.