An Analysis of the Selection and Distribution of Knowledge in Massachusetts Music Teacher Preparation Programs: The Song Remains the Same
Contributor(s)Borek, Matthew Michael (Borek, Matthew Michael) (Authoraut)
Hargreaves, Andrew (Hargreaves, Andrew) (Thesis advisorths)
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AbstractMusic teachers occupy a conflicted and contested position in many secondary schools, and music teacher education programs have been given the task of preparing students to enter this challenging environment. This qualitative dissertation study examined the explicit, implicit, and null curricula of music teacher preparation programs in Massachusetts, the processes involved in determining those curricula and the consequences of selecting certain music education content over others. Degree requirements and course descriptions were analyzed across all undergraduate music teacher preparation programs. In addition, a survey was administered to music and education faculty in all programs and members of five institutions participated in interviews. The explicit curriculum in most music teacher preparation programs emphasized the knowledge and skills of performance, specifically the performance of Western art music, as well as the isolation of music content knowledge from pedagogical knowledge. The implicit message delivered by the explicit curriculum was that advanced musical study was intended for the few, and that popular music, world music, and other genres that deviated from the western art music tradition (i.e. - the null curriculum) were of less value. Using Bernstein's and Young's theories from the sociology of knowledge, Goodson's theory of the status and evolution of school subjects, and Siskin's and Ball and Lacey's work in the culture of secondary school subjects as the theoretical framework, the position of music education was explained as a conflicted content area that demonstrated traits of both high- and low-status subjects. Music education's geographic isolation from general education faculty was magnified by the conflicting views that music educators held when compared with their music performance counterparts. The knowledge boundaries of music content had been defended for centuries, and music education's attempt to redefine what counts as valid music and music education knowledge was met with resistance from those who benefited from the familiarity offered by the conservatory-style model of postsecondary musical study. One outlier was identified, a program whose performance emphasis was not based on western art music. Tradition and reform proved to be challenging dual goals for music educators.