A Longitudinal Examination of Music Teachers' Developing Vision for Music Teaching and Learning


Kimberly Lansinger Ankney, Christopher Newport University



TeachersŐ visions for teaching and learning are deeply personal and influential on their choices to stay or leave the field of education (Hammerness, 2006). Teachers that have vision and work toward their visions are viewed to be some of the most accomplished teachers in the profession (Shulman & Shulman, 2004). Therefore, the importance of developing and maintaining teachersŐ vision seems paramount to their continued success and satisfaction in the field.


Teacher vision is not a complex construct, but rather a visual image teachersŐ hold of their classroom setting, the activities within it, their roles, and their studentsŐ roles. Through longitudinal research Hammerness (2006) found that teachersŐ vision in disciplines outside of music tended to be subject-centered or student-centered. Over time, teachers with subject-centered visions had difficulty identifying studentsŐ needs and adapting their visions for their teaching settings. Teachers that were unable to negotiate their visions for teaching with the needs of their studentsŐ were more often dissatisfied and left the profession.


Music education researchers have not specifically studied the construct of teacher vision and its influence on teachersŐ satisfaction in the field. Rather researchers have focused on component parts that are important to preservice teachersŐ developing vision including whether they see themselves as performers or teachers (Dolloff, 1999; Haston and Leon-Guererro, 2008; Isbell, 2008), and their beliefs regarding effective music teaching (Austin & Reinhardt, 1999; Hourigan & Scheib, 2009). More recently, researchers have also focused on preservice teachersŐ shifting concerns for teaching using Fuller and BownŐs (1975) model of self, task, and student impact (Berg & Miksza, 2010; Campbell & Thompson, 2007). Berg & Miksza (2010) suggested that longitudinal work is needed to understand how teachers concerns shift through their preservice teaching experiences into their teaching careers.


For this presentation, I will present findings from an ongoing longitudinal study that follows the development of teachersŐ visions in relation to their teachersŐ shifting concerns. The study follows five preservice teachers from the beginning of their undergraduate career through their student teaching experiences and into their first year of teaching. In the first phase of research, participantsŐ visions were collected early in their music education coursework and were identified as being: (a) subject-centered, (b) community-centered, (c) or student-centered. Preservice teachersŐ visions were either strongly aligned with their secondary music experiences, or their visions were purposefully different.


This presentation will focus on findings from the second phase of research including data from second year follow-up interviews, student teaching experiences, and their first year of teaching. I examine shifts in participantsŐ visions in relation to experiences they have with students, curriculum, professors, cooperating teachers, and their K-12 school communities. Using narrative inquiry, I consider what concerns pull on their teaching vision, as well as how and why they choose to alter their visions, if at all. I will also discuss whether the categorizations of preservice teachersŐ visions in the initial phase of research remain appropriate descriptors for their developing visions.




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