Exploring wholeness in music teachers' lives
Fordice, Billy Donald
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This qualitative research explored how the retelling of a life story influenced teachers' self-understanding. Informed by the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, and philosophy I constructed a conceptual framework of life as a continuous narrative, reflected and focused by past and anticipated experiences. This framework was informed by Dewey's concept of continuous flowing life experiences, Bakhtin's understanding of the dialogic nature of those experiences, Husserl's explanation ofthe role of memory in that experiential dialogue and Bruner's writings regarding life-as-narrative. Through this lens, the potential for wholeness of identity was explored by making visible the connections between past and present life experiences and observing how each impacts understanding of the other. Using the narrative inquiry method, life-story interview, the researcher wrote guided autobiographies with three music teachers. Individual interviews with participants were conducted, facilitating their storytelling. From these interviews, each participant's life story was written in his or her own words. Interpretations from theories that arose from their stories were offered. Viewed through Bruner's metaphor of participants' canons (how they believed the world was) and exceptionalities (the ways their lives grew away from their canons), the research suggested that each lived experience informs and reframes another, making the aim not reconciliation, but accepting that the process of becoming is one's Self, and that our identity is not found in an event, or an understanding, but a continuous act of invention and discovery. Among conclusions was the importance of life reflections as a continuing tool in music teacher personal and professional development. Specific implications for music educators, music teacher educators and for future research were also discussed.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University