Meet the researchers: Silje Meling Bjørnevoll

Silje Meling Bjørnevoll is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Arts Education, at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. She has a master’s degree in music pedagogy and general teacher education, specializing in music. In addition, she has an education in music therapy and performing music studies at the Grieg Academy, UiB. Bjørnevoll has worked as a music teacher in primary school for ten years, teaching music and other subjects. Her research interests concern the role of musical experience in education, both for children and preservice teachers, as well as investigating how teaching practicum contexts promote future music teachers’ agentic skills. These research interests are also in line with one of the FUTURED project aims, which is to promote student voice and agency in music teacher education.

How did you get involved in the FUTURED project?

I was encouraged to apply for the Ph.D. research fellowship by FUTURED`s associate professor, Silje Valde Onsrud. Even if my project investigates preservice music teachers within a teaching practicum context, I am very happy to be a part of FUTURED to develop both personally and professionally.

How would you describe what you are doing in the FUTURED project?

I am connected to WP2 who have been conducting participatory action research with preservice music teachers, aiming to explore how music teacher education can provide educational spaces that encourage critical reflection and promote future music teacher agency. In my Ph.D. project, the overall aim is to explore how preservice music teachers experience their teaching practicum at the five-year general teacher education (GTE) in Norway, and which competencies they develop that can be relevant for the future. Agency is also an important part of my project, and currently, I am working on my first article that investigates how preservice music teachers experience possibilities or limitations to act agentic in a music teaching practicum.

What do you find interesting about the work in your study?

Exploring preservice music teachers’ agentic development is very interesting and of great importance to gain more knowledge of the awareness and inclusion of agency in teaching practicum contexts.

What is your favorite aspect of your FUTURED work?

As a Ph.D. candidate, I find it both inspiring and developing to be a part of the FUTURED project and to be able to engage with experienced researchers within the field of music teacher education.

This interview is taking place in the last year of the project. Where are you headed in the future?

Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to continue to participate in future projects when the doctoral degree is completed aiming to improve the quality of the teaching practicum as a part of music teacher education.

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