Music teacher practice and identity in professional development partnerships
Conkling, Susan Wharton
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CitationSW Conkling. 2004. "Conkling, S.W. (2004). Music teacher practice and identity in professional development partnerships.." Action, Criticism, & Theory for Music Education, Volume 3, Issue 3,
Since 1995, the author has been the university music educator responsible to a professional development partnership. Over an 8-year span, she has collected narratives of experience from approximately 100 pre-service music teachers, following, to some extent, the research model of Connelly and Clandinin. In developing their notion of "personal practical knowledge," Connelly and Clandinin discovered that teaching practice questions and teacher identity questions were closely linked. They argue that identity is not a fixed entity, but is "storied." In this paper, the author re-presents the identity stories of pre-service music teachers as they were shaped by experience inside professional development partnerships. Her aim is to use the stories to illuminate and inform people's present understanding of the social construction of music teacher identity, and to suggest how music teacher identities may be shaped differently inside professional development partnerships than they are shaped in traditional music teacher preparation. Obviously, not all of the narratives she has collected can be re-presented here. Methodologically, she has selected stores that exemplify recurring phenomena, but she has refrained from forming composite characters, settings, or plot lines. In selecting and interpreting the stories, she has heeded Britzman's caution that the narrative of lived experience and the lived experience itself "can never be synonymous."