Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

James R. Austin

Second Advisor

Margaret H. Berg

Third Advisor

John Drumheller

Fourth Advisor

Ben Kirshner

Fifth Advisor

David A. Rickels

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of practices characteristic of introductory music teacher education courses including timing (when offered), content, and types of teaching experiences. Further, the purpose of this study was to investigate the music teaching efficacy beliefs and commitment to teaching of preservice music teachers when enrolled an introductory music education course. Research questions addressed the status of introductory music education courses with respect to content, teaching and field experiences, and year/semester offered, the status of preservice music teachers’ music teaching efficacy beliefs and commitment, and preservice music teachers’ perceptions regarding the types or characteristics of experiences that contributed to their music teaching efficacy beliefs or commitment.

This study was conducted in a sequential explanatory mixed methods design, organized into two strands (Strand I-Quantitative; Strand II-Qualitative). Forty-two music teacher educators and 684 introductory music education students from 41 NASM accredited institutions completed researcher-created Strand I questionnaires. Twenty-four preservice music teachers participated in Strand II interviews. Descriptive statistics and principal components analyses were computed for Strand I variables. Group differences and correlational analyses of music teaching efficacy beliefs and commitment were explored. Strand I analyses informed Strand II sampling and data collection methods. Interview transcripts were analyzed using multiple levels of coding. Aggregate pattern codes and cross-case themes emerged from Strand II data analysis.

Results indicate that introductory music education courses are typically offered during the freshman or sophomore year and include a wide variety of course content. Preservice music teachers’ efficacy beliefs can be interpreted as having two dimensions: personal music teaching efficacy beliefs and classroom management efficacy beliefs. Mixed methods analyses indicate that introductory music education students’ music teaching efficacy beliefs can be impacted by a variety of experiences, including mentoring, peer interaction, and field experience. Commitment may also be strengthened by mentoring, though instances of weakening influence were rare. Additional qualitative themes address the experiences perceived by participants as influential to music teaching efficacy beliefs or commitment, as well as qualities of productive field experiences and mentoring relationships.

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