Jessica C. Vaughan-Marra, University of Michigan
Margaret Berg, University of Colorado
General education researchers have investigated content specific new teacher support (Shores & Stokes, 2006) and digital environments that connect teachers (Cheng, 2008; New Teacher Center, 2013). Music education researchers have established that new music teachers need music teacher mentors to assist with their specific challenges and concerns (Vaughan-Marra, 2017; Bell-Robertson, 2014; Conway, 2015) since “new teachers need to talk with other professionals who are familiar with their classroom situations as they interpret their new roles as teachers” (Krueger, 2001, p. 93). Despite the empirical research, the isolated nature of music teaching can leave new music teachers without viable mentors within their district or region (Conway & Zerman, 2004).
Recent review of literature on current trends in new music mentoring, BellRobertson (2015) discussed the need for alternative forms of new music teacher support. While general education literature on online support for novice teachers is growing, there is limited music education research on this topic. Bell-Robertson (2015) concluded that “there appears to be some potential concerning virtual avenues for the support and induction of novice music teachers” (p. 45). Therefore, research on programs that utilize digital mentoring for music educators is warranted. Digital mentoring is defined as the use of synchronous and asynchronous digital technologies to remotely connect mentors and mentees. These often include: (a) video conferences, (b) written digital communication, as well as (c) video and audio footage. If content specific support is ideal for new teachers, it might be beneficial to investigate avenues for connecting educators that do not live in close proximity. National organizations like NAfME and SMTE have a responsibility to support early career teachers through considered use of digital mentoring environments to connect mentees with mentors who can meet their specific needs regardless of their geographic location (Correia, 2015). Furthermore, discussions within the Supporting Beginning Teachers ASPA meetings of 2016-2017 acknowledged a need for collecting information on effective models of mentoring that could serve as ‘best practice’ models to be used when designing mentor training. The first step in this initiative is to provide resources for the preparation of mentors; this may include examples of how mentors communicate with and support mentees remotely.
This session, in alignment with the SMTE Symposium theme “Imagining Possible Futures,” is based on three programs in which music teacher education occurs in a digital context. The ASTA Mentor Program (Mentoring Program, 2016) as well as two pilot programs in Michigan and California will be the sources for digital mentoring examples provided in the session. During the presentation we will: (a) provide an overview of each program, including demonstration of digital tools (b) present program evaluation data on the mentee’s and mentor’s experiences within digital mentoring environments; (b) discuss the importance of video-based shared reflection compared to stimulated recall during conversations surrounding teacher practice; (c) present the challenges and benefits of various digital mentoring environments being used formally and informally in these three programs; and (d) offer recommendations for effective mentor training for digital mentoring.
Achinstein, B., & Athanases S. Z. (Eds.) (2006). Mentors in the making. New York: Teachers College.
Bell-Robertson, C. G. (2014). “Staying on our feet”: Novice music teachers’ sharing of emotions and experiences within an online community. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(4), 431-451. doi:10.1177/0022429413508410
Bell-Robertson, C. G. (2015). Beyond mentoring: A review of literature detailing the need for additional and alternative forms of support for novice music teachers. Update: Applications for Research in Music Education, 33(2), 41-48. doi:10.1177/8755123314547910
Benson, M. A. (2008). Effective mentoring for new music teachers: An analysis of the mentoring programs of the mentoring programs for new music teachers as described in the literature. Update: Applications for Research in Music Education, 26(2), 42-49.
Cheng, Y. (2008). Socio-cultural influences of face to face and electronic mentoring of new teachers learning to teach. (Unpublished Dissertation). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, IL.
Conway, C. (2001). What has research told us about the beginning music teacher?. Journal of Music teacher education, 10(2), 14-22. doi:10.1177/10570837010100020104
Conway, C. (2015). Beginning music teacher mentor practices: Reflection on the past and suggestions for the future. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 24(2), 88-102. doi:10.1177/1057083713512837
Conway, C., Eros, J., Hourigan, R., & Stanley, A. M. (2007). Perceptions of beginning teachers regarding brass and woodwind instrument techniques classes in preservice education. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 173(3), 39-54.
Conway. C., & Holcomb, A. (2008). Perceptions of experienced music teachers regarding their work as music mentors. Journal of Research in Music Education, 56(1), 55-67. doi:10.1177/0022429408323073
Conway, C., Krueger, P., Robinson, M., Haack, P., & Smith M. V. (2002). Beginning music teacher induction and mentor policies: A cross-state perspectives. Arts Education Policy Review, 104(2), 9-17. doi:10.1080/10632910209605998
Conway, C., Micheel-Mays, C., & Micheel-Mays, L. (2005). A Narrative study of student teaching and the first year of teaching: Common issues and struggles. Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, 165, 65-77.
Conway, C., & Zerman, T. E. H. (2004). Perception of an instrumental music teacher regarding mentoring, induction, and the first year of teaching. Research Studies in Music Education, 24(2), 72-84. doi:10.1177/1321103X040220011001
Correia, M. (May, 6, 2015). Embracing and mentoring the new music educator [Web log post]. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.nafme.org/embracing-and-mentoring-the-newmusic-educator/
Hunt, J. H., Powell, S., Little, M. E., & Mike, A. (2013). The effects of e-mentoring on beginning teachers competencies and perceptions. Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(4), 286-297. doi:10.1177/0888406413502734
Mentoring program. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.astaweb.com/Public/Member_Resources/ Mentor_Program/Public/Member_Resources/Mentor.aspx?MemberResour ces=1&hkey=6306cf92-000f-4c73-bf4f-8bf6e5423222
Shore, L., & Stokes, L. (2006). The exploratorium leadership program in science education inquiry into discipline-specific teacher induction. In B. Achinstein & S. Z. Athanases (Eds.). Mentors in the making (pp. 96-108) New York: Teachers College.
Tochon, F. V. (2007). From video cases to video pedagogy: A framework for video feedback and reflection on pedagogical research praxis. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron, and S. J. Derry (Eds.). Video research in the learning science (pp. 53-65). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Vaughan-Marra, J. C., & Conway, C. (2017). Retired teachers as mentors in the American String Teachers Association national mentor program. Paper presented at the 2017 American Education Researchers Association (AERA) Conference, San Antonio, TX.