A study of select college music education professors' assessment practices regarding knowledge of background musical experiences of preservice elementary classroom teachers enrolled in elementary music methods courses
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thesis / dissertation description
This study was designed to investigate college music education professors' assessment practices regarding background musical experiences of preservice elementary classroom teachers prior to enrollment in the elementary music methods course. Participants were 55 college music education professors who attended the Colloquium for Teachers of General Music Methods in 1 or more years, 1991, 1993, 1995. Professors were currently teaching at least one elementary music methods course. The four-part questionnaire gathered the following data. Part I asked questions pertinent to the methods course(s) taught in the institutions. Part II sought information regarding background musical experiences of the preservice elementary classroom teacher in the curricular design of the elementary music methods course; Part III obtained demographics describing institutions and professors' teaching loads. Part IV gave professors the opportunity to add comments. Data findings were presented through frequencies, percentages, and professors' comments. Analysis revealed a trend for elementary music methods courses to have common knowledge bases but great diversity in content and delivery. Reasons professors did not assess background experiences included they did not think background musical experiences were applicable to course design. A majority of professors did assess background experiences and used great variety in course design in attempting to meet needs of preservice teachers with strong musical backgrounds. Conclusions included: about one-third of professors did not assess background musical experiences; the majority of professors who assessed considered background musical experiences in development of content and delivery of the methods course; professors who assessed background experiences were divided in how to use the information collected; professors differentiated course delivery and content regarding background musical experiences; common themes were taught throughout the knowledge base of the methods course; there was great diversity in actual content and delivery of the methods course at local, state, and national levels. Further research which addresses music training of the elementary classroom teacher for the purpose of establishing a national standard for teaching the elementary music methods course could be timely. Development of a course other than the traditional methods course could meet needs of preservice teachers with strong musical backgrounds.