General Music Teachers' Perceptions of District-Mandated Professional Development and Its Impact on Teaching Practices01/01/2018
Meaningful professional development has long been a concern of the teaching profession. This extends into the field of music education, as K-12 music teachers desire professional development opportunities that will add to their knowledge base and also assist them in their daily teaching practices. General music teachers may feel this need more strongly than their instrumental and choral music teacher counterparts. This may be due to the distinct differences of general music teachers’ responsibilities and isolated environments, with fewer opportunities to collaborate with peers. If professional development within districts was specifically aimed at meeting the needs of general music teachers, this might help to alleviate issues of isolation and promote collaboration with peers. For this reason, it is important to consider what professional development exists for general music teachers within their districts. This quantitative study considers general music teachers in two northeastern Ohio counties and seeks to answer the following: What percentage of general music teachers in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties have had district-mandated professional development focused on the needs of general music teachers within the last two years? How do these teachers view specialized versus generalized professional development? Were there differences in general music teachers’ feelings of isolation for those who collaborated with others outside of professional development versus those who did not? It is hoped that a better understanding of the professional development needs of general music teachers as related to issues of isolation and collaboration will be more fully realized as a result of this study.