Experiences in practicums of women music educators training in Colleges of Advanced Education (CAEs) in Adelaide 1973-1990

Year: 2012

Author: Lauer, Helena

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to outline some of the training experiences in practicums of women music educators in CAEs in Adelaide from 1973-1990 and to narrate how this affected their subsequent professional lives. The research for this paper is qualitative and feminist based on Institutional Ethnography (IE) (Smith 2006). The methods employed were semi-structured interviews and analysis of archival data from historical texts such as handbooks, curriculums and annual reports of the CAEs. Nineteen participants were interviewed from July 2011 to September 2011 comprising fourteen students and five staff.  The students who completed the Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) usually ended up teaching classroom music and the practicums as part of this training form the main focus of this paper. Teacher identity (Britzman 1990)is conceptualised as the set of dispositions, competencies and personal qualities which students develop and internalise in order to view themselves as able to  teach, in this case classroom music. It is individual personality formed out of theoretical learning and applied practical experience.  The practicums were a test of teaching in the classroom. After studying the narratives (Clandinin 2006) of the participants it was found that the practicum impacted in ways that both supported and impeded the development of a strong classroom teaching identity, depending on the individual. Examples will be given of both positive and negative impacts. Cases described include that of the student who found after the practicum that she could not face class music teaching and contrastively the woman who although nervous about the practicum viewed it as a test of how effective her theoretical training was and put this into practice.