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Title: "Help, I'm worried about music!" : perceptions of generalist primary teachers in the context of the National Curriculum for music in England
Author: Stunell, Gillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 0087
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Since the introduction of a National Curriculum in England in 1988 generalist teachers in primary schools have been expected to be able to teach music to their classes. Teachers have frequently experienced major and sometimes disabling problems in this aspect of their teaching, which neither initial teacher education nor continuing professional development have been able to overcome. A model of the teacher in the music classroom was used to structure an exploration of teachers' perceptions of their working context in relation to music. The model proposes that the teacher's context is socially constructed and of a complex nature. Within the classroom the teacher operates in a variety of roles, each of which interacts with aspects of the contextual structure. Case studies of four teachers uncovered high emotional engagement with the professional environment and its musical dimensions and suggested that teachers perceive three particular areas of difficulty when teaching music. The content of the National Curriculum for Music is problematic; self-perceived non-musicians found both the language and the content to be daunting, and those with some musical knowledge encountered difficulties in relating the National Curriculum to their own musical experience. The teachers all regarded themselves as confident and successful generalist primary teachers, but experienced varying degrees of discomfort and distress caused by the disjunction between this image of success and perceived failures in the field of music. Thirdly, the teachers felt themselves to have limited relationships with groups or communities of practice which they believed could enable them in their music teaching. In the light of these findings the original model was refined to indicate the perceived problematic links between the teachers and their practice in curricular music. The thesis argues that if generalist teachers are to be enabled in music all three disjunctions must be acknowledged and overcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available