Creativity in music education, with particular reference to the perceptions of teachers in English secondary schools
This study is an investigation into six teachers' perceptions of creativity in music education. Adopting a qualitative approach, videotaped extracts of teachers' lessons on composition and improvisation were used as a basis for discussion with them during in-depth interviews. Three research questions were examined focussing on (a) how participants characterised creativity in their discourse, (b) the differences of their perceptions compared with the literature and (c) the influence of their musical and professional experiences in their perceptions. The study is divided into four parts: Part One is the theoretical orientation. The research questions are outlined in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 is devoted to an examination of the meanings attached to the word 'creativity', drawing on writings in the fields of psychology, education, philosophy, aesthetics and musicology. Different approaches taken by several studies on general creativity are examined and a four-fold framework for researching the teachers' perception of creativity in music education is put forward (Pupil-EnvironmentProcess- Product). In Chapter 3 specific music education literature is reviewed. Chapter 4 includes an examination of previous research on teachers' perceptions of creativity. Part Two focuses on the methodology. Chapter 5 is a review of the methodological assumptions underpinning the research with discussion of issues relating to ethics, data collection and analysis using the software programme NVivo. In Chapter 6 a pilot study with three teachers is described, explaining how this helped to refine the research methods used. In Part Three the findings are examined. Twenty-eight categories and subcategories that complemented the original framework emerged from the analysis of the interviews. In Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10 these categories are discussed with reference to the opening chapter's three research questions and the four-fold framework: the creative pupil, the appropriate environment for creativity, the creative process and its products. These teachers' perceptions indicate that there is frequently a substantial difference between their views and the recognised literature on various aspects of creativity. Findings also show that these teachers' comments on practical issues, such as the pupils' different learning styles and the problems related with under-resourced music departments, are to be rarely found in the music education literature. It is apparent that each teacher's musical background has a marked influence on his or her attitudes towards creativity in music education. Part Four deals with the implications and conclusions. Chapter 11 focuses on the relationship between theory and practice, curriculum documentation and practice, and teacher education. In Chapter 12 the main findings are summarised together with further methodological issues and suggestions for future research.