Music teacher education in the United States and the Republic of Korea: a comparison of music teacher licensure policies and their implementation in two contexts
Kang, Joo Hyun
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Teacher preparation programs have played a major role in developing candidates’ knowledge and abilities in teaching. These preparation programs have been designed according to the policies and regulations of national and state governments, accrediting agencies, and universities. Moreover, cultural contexts influence practices and educational systems. Investigating education policies and their implementation in the United States and the Republic of Korea would shed light on music teacher training in each context, and help officials understand and diagnose local problems. The purpose of this study was to analyze documented policies and procedures for music teacher licensure programs in two countries, to explore their implementation, and investigate candidates’ learning during both programs. The perspectives of two types of knowledge, subject matter knowledge and general pedagogical knowledge, also guided the study. Massachusetts policies and regulations were analyzed. Tito University in Massachusetts and Quinn University in the ROK were selected. Document analysis, individual interviews with professors, and focus group interviews with student teachers in licensure programs in each context were employed. Both Massachusetts and the ROK required music teacher candidates to possess knowledge and skills in Western Classical music. While Massachusetts regulations included what kinds of music and music education knowledge teacher candidates must have, the ROK regulations indicated how many credits teacher candidates must complete in music, music education, and general education areas. In both contexts, interviews with professors revealed that these programs followed policies and standards of the national, state, and accrediting agencies. In planning curriculum, all professors must consider policies. However, at Tito, professors reported paying closer attention to training students in classroom expertise, whereas Quinn professors paid closer attention to preparing students for the national exam. Teacher candidates wanted to have more field-based experiences in both contexts, although students in Massachusetts worked at practice for a longer period than those in the ROK. Candidates at Tito needed to learn a variety of music from other traditions besides Western Classical music. Candidates at Quinn were overwhelmed due to preparation for The Examination. Individual policy interpretation produced different outcomes. Further research is needed regarding implementation of policies in other licensure programs.