Perceptions and perspectives of music teachers in urban settings: Isolation, conversation and collaboration

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Abstract

Seven teachers from three schools in a major metropolitan community in the upper Midwest region of the USA participated in this case study designed to better understand the nature of music teacher isolation and interaction in the urban setting. Data analysis revealed several themes: experiences of isolation, urban factors, mobility, experience and evolution in the teacher, and towards a culture of collaboration. Mobility of staff was described as among the most significant causes of isolation for participating teachers; their self-designed efforts towards forming a culture of collaboration took multiple forms and were viewed as extremely valuable. Findings indicate a multilayered and complex landscape that echoes the general education literature: problems of isolation persist and a need for more consistent and relevant opportunities for teacher interaction and collaboration continues. Additional challenges faced by music teachers in urban schools were balanced with a strong commitment to teaching music in this particular setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalMusic Education Research
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2014

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Collaboration
  • Isolation
  • Professional development
  • Urban music teacher

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