Background and knowledge needs

Education worldwide has had a strong emphasis on goal attainment and basic skills in the new millennium (Winner et al., 2013), which has resulted in a lack of emphasis on arts in education, as well as qualified arts teachers (Bamford, 2006). Norwegian research reports (Espeland, et al., 2013; Bamford, 2011) as well as policy documents (Ekspertgruppa for kunst og kultur i opplæringen, 2014; NOU 2013:4) have discussed this discrepancy, and recent political developments signal a greater attention to the arts (Meld.St. 28, 2015-2016, p. 49). Curricular changes were initiated by two Norwegian Official Reports about education in the future (NOU 2015:8; NOU 2014:7) and followed by a white paper about learning and education (Meld.St. 28, 2015-2016). A new national curriculum for all school subjects is in the making. At heart of the policy changes lies the concept of 21st century skills and broad, interdisciplinary concepts like citizenship, critical thinking, and innovation.

FUTURED primary research objectives

1. Challenge the status quo of music teacher education in Norway.

2. Develop innovative and collaborative practices that could foster students’ collaborative, critical and democratic capacities.

FUTURED starts from the following claims:

a) Music teacher education needs to relate to societal needs and challenges, and b) Music teacher education needs approaches that can cater for versatile musicianship and learning styles, as well as critical reflection.

Music, as part of the new 5-year teacher education, must contribute to developing contemporary and future competence. However, music education research suggests that existing general music teacher programs may not yet be up to this challenge. Norwegian GTE music programs are strongly influenced by conservatory structures and discourses, manifest through fragmentary course structures with performanceoriented and musicological disciplines as well as a traditional pedagogical discourse. Consequently, Norwegian GTE music programs resemble miniaturized music conservatories to which educational and research perspectives are added (Sætre, 2014). Similar results are found in comparative international studies: The relation between educational policy reforms and music teacher education programs is almost non-existent (Aróstegui, 2011).

Music teacher education programs thus seem to be designed with a focus on musical content and the transmission of such content. Scholars have pointed to music teacher education functioning as so-called “silos” reproducing and sustaining musical values, beliefs and practices (Väkevä, Westerlund, & Ilmola-Sheppard, 2017; Gaunt & Westerlund, 2013; Bowman, 2007), thus also failing to prepare future music teachers for the diversity they will certainly meet later in their teaching careers. The preparation of preservice music teachers thus tends to ignore “young people’s changing needs in a society driven by a knowledge-based society and economy” (Rusinek & Aróstegui, 2015, p. 82).

Key research tasks

Three key research tasks are investigated through secondary research objectives in three work packages (WPs):

Work Package 1

Mapping the current situation in music teacher education. Sætre’s (2014) study of music teacher education focused on educators’ musical and educational values. Additional information is needed to build a comprehensive picture of Norwegian music teacher education. Preservice music teachers’ backgrounds, values and motives, as well as educational ideologies and structures must also be studied.

Work Package 2

Developing spaces for critical reflexivity and agency within music teacher education. Following from the discussions above, preservice teacher involvement and open-ended educational forms are necessary. Essential, then, is to “remix the classroom” (Allsup, 2016) so that preservice music teachers’ voices could be heard, and their competence recognized. Part of such “remixing” should then include development of new curricula and assessment approaches within music teacher education.

Work Package 3

Developing collaborative, innovative and interactive music education practices within schools. If music education is to actively take part in, take responsibility for and respond to larger issues, music classrooms must open up to communities, to society and to the world (Jorgensen, 2007). Actively connecting schools with the larger community would be essential, for example by developing models for multi-professional interaction and learning within the music classroom as well as for digitally mediated musical interactions between schools and the outside world.

Secondary research objectives

1. Map preservice teachers’ socio-economic backgrounds, their motivations for choice of education, as well as the values, beliefs and ambitions they display for future work life.

2. Identify manifest values and ideologies in Norwegian GTE music programs’ curriculum, in recruitment measures and job advertisement.

3. Explore how music teacher education can provide educational spaces that encourage critical reflection and promote future music teacher agency.

4. Following from SRO3, discuss implications curriculum, learning outcomes and assessment.

5. Explore how multi-professional collaborative teaching can be developed between teachers, student music teachers and musicians within the classroom.

6. Explore how digital tools can promote interaction between music classrooms and the outside world.