A Case Study of Three Urban Music Teachers in the Second Stage of Their Teaching Careers.
Author(s)Eros, John D.
Second Stage Teachers
Teacher Career Cycle
Urban Music Education
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of three music teachers who teach in urban settings and are in the second stage of their teaching careers. Two participants had seven years of teaching experience while the third participant had nine years. In this descriptive case study, data were collected using a background survey, journals, interviews, and a focus group discussion. Data were analyzed using Merriam’s constant-comparative model. Research questions included: 1) What themes emerge as meaningful to participants when they describe their teaching experiences as second-stage music teachers?, 2) What do participants identify as major issues in urban music education and how do they discuss them?, and 3) How do participants perceive their career development from the first into the second stage and how do they discuss their anticipated career trajectory? Analysis of data for the first two research questions focused on three areas: 1) Participants created individual meanings of urban teaching and were strongly committed to urban music education, 2) Participants’ teaching priorities focused on their students’ personal needs, including physical and emotional needs, self-esteem, and preparation for future success in developing positive dispositions, facing cultural barriers, and going to college, and 3) Participants identified major challenges in urban music education as the unequal distribution of resources, the impact of a large bureaucracy, and a stigma that affected urban students from a personal and performance standpoint. Analysis of data for research question three revealed that: 1) Participants perceived a development over the course of their careers, including transition to a new stage, changes in confidence, and different professional development needs than earlier in their careers, 2) Participants had different perceptions of themselves as second-stage teachers, 3) Participants were unsure of their futures in education, and 4) Participants had concerns about withdrawal from teaching. This study adds to the growing body of research on the second stage of the teacher career cycle. The findings have implications for urban music education, teacher education and induction, professional development, and second-stage music teacher retention. Further research into the career cycle and the second stage is recommended.