Publications from the FUTURED project

The results from the FUTURED project will be communicated to various audiences. On this page you will find an overview over our publications.

Navigating between traditional and innovative music teaching: Analyzing practicum conversations through practice architecture theory (article)

There is limited research on the practicum component of music teacher education in Scandinavia. I address this gap by investigating practicum conversations preservice music teachers (PMTs) engage in during their practice-based placements in Norwegian primary and lower secondary schools. Through an analytical lens based on practice architecture theory, I illuminate how differing discourses, expectations, and relationship patterns among PMTs and teacher educators (functioning as mentors) influence the selection of certain music activities. The main findings indicate how differing discourses and expectations led to continuous negotiations about which repertoire and content to choose. At the same time, musical interaction and engagement in spaces of “shared” knowledge between PMTs and mentors served as alternative ways to select activities in practicum conversations. Based on the findings, I emphasize the importance of providing more spaces for PMTs’ voices and resources to renew and change the content and repertoire of the music subject in schools.

Reference: Silje Meling Bjørnevoll (2024). Navigating between traditional and innovative music teaching: Analyzing practicum conversations through practice architecture theory. Nordic Research in Music Education 5. 4-22.

MusikkPed Podden

Feed fra MusikkPed Podden på Transistor

Based on the FUTURED-project, the research group Culture, Criticism, Community has started up the Norwegian Podcast “MusikkPedPodden” to spred findings from this project and other studies in music education. The podcast is targeting pre-service teachers, teachers in schools, community music workers, teachers in higher education, researchers and others who are interested in music education. From time to time episodes in English will accure with international guests. The podcast is available on Spotify:

Music teacher education for the future: Reflections on change (article)

This article conceptualizes and discusses change in music teacher education. Results from the FUTURED research project provide the starting point for the article. The project explored various dimensions of change within the music education programs in Norwegian generalist teacher education. In this project, change was regarded as having a transformative capacity closely related to co-construction and complexity. Telling new stories about education, and thereby imagining different educational realities, may be seen as a possible trigger for change. In this article, therefore, the authors contrast the current situation against an imagined reality to create a heuristic framework for a critical discussion of change. Based on a meta-analysis of research findings, the authors propose a vision for a future music teacher education, which they then use to highlight and discuss several intersecting dimensions of educational change: values and traditions, demographics, educational practices, curricula, and society.

Reference: Christophersen, C., Aróstegui, J.-L., Holdhus, K., Kenny, A., Knudsen, J. S., Lindgren, M., Väkevä, L. & Viig, T.G. (2023). Music teacher education for the future: Reflections on change. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 22(3), 7-40.

Music teacher education for the future: A critical perspective (article)

This article reports from the final stages of the research project Music Teacher Education for the Future (FUTURED), a critical, action research-oriented, and normative project about Norwegian general teacher education (GTE). Research indicates that there exist tendencies or mechanisms in or around GTE that resist renewal. If this potential resistance towards renewal has the effect that GTE music programmes are not equipping their student teachers with the competences and skills that are needed in schools of today and the society we live in, then we have a problem. This article sets out to revisit these arguments and potential problems at the end of the FUTURED project, discuss what may be causing the potential problems, and look for solutions in institutions and national guidelines. The article argues that national policy agents actively work to encourage an epistemological shift towards research-based education. Further, we argue that the national guidelines for the subject of music in GTE are more reproductive, and may function to maintain traditional school music ideologies and practices. Many GTE music departments and staff are drawn towards the traditional logic of music education originating from music conservatoires, which functions to reproduce a traditional view on music education and music teacher competences. The majority of student teachers seem to maintain tradition, while a minority feel they have no place and voice in GTE music. The result, we argue, is a GTE subject and field that struggles with finding its ‘true self’, and which, as a result of being strongly politically steered, in many cases seems to operate and develop under the radar of national policy and guidelines.

Reference: Sætre, J. H., Fautley, M., Fredriksen, B., Onsrud, S. V. & Rinholm, H. (to be submitted): Music teacher education for the future: A critical perspective.

Navigating Between Traditional and Innovative Music Teaching: Analyzing Practicum Conversations Through Practice Architecture Theory (article)

This article reports from an instrumental case study aiming to investigate how four preservice music teachers (PMTs) and their mentors discuss and justify the selection of music activities during practicum placements in Norwegian primary and lower secondary schools. Empirical data was collected through video and audio recordings of mentoring sessions, focus group interviews, and classroom observations. The researcher analyzed practicum conversations through a practice architecture lens and categorized findings into three intersubjective spaces: 1) Characteristics in the semantic space: selection of music activities, 2) Characteristics in the physical space-time: doing activities through music, and 3) Characteristics in the social space: (dis)connected relatings. Findings revealed how PMTs were ʽstirred intoʼ a taken-for-granted-ness for choosing the school-based mentorsʼ preferred music activities due to limited spaces for implementing alternatives for music teaching practices. At the same time, the PMTs allowed themselves to be shaped by school-based mentors` discursive flow rather than taking responsibility for the content of music lessons. The researcher argues that greater attention is needed to discourses and actions employed in practicum conversations in order to foster PMT’s reflection and critical thinking toward music teaching.

Reference: Bjørnevoll, S. M. (in review). Navigating Between Traditional and Innovative Music Teaching: Analyzing Practicum Conversations Through Practice Architecture Theory.

Who takes part in participation? Challenges to empowering student voice in music teacher education (article)

In this study, we employ a participatory action research framework to investigate how preservice music teachers can take part in developing their own education. The main focus is on how two music teacher educators at two institutions in Norway work to create a space for student voice and participation. The study’s data are analysed and presented through a combination of self-study methodology and narrative analysis conducted by two of the authors, followed by reflections by the two other authors. In these analytical steps, we identify four teacher roles in the form of metaphors: ‘the impatient manager’, ‘the conflicted gatekeeper’, ‘the balancing artist’ and ‘the reluctant host’. These roles are further discussed in light of theoretical perspectives on student voice and participation. The results reveal challenges in the use of participatory action research and in making changes to music teacher education

Reference: Fredriksen, B., Onsrud, S.V., Rinholm, H. & Lewis, J (2023).  Who takes part in participation? Challenges to empowering student voice in music teacher education. Music Education Research.

Ideology, selective tradition, and naturalization in the music teacher education curriculum (article)

This article engages with critical discourse analysis to explore how ideological values are represented in the National guidelines for generalist music teacher education in Norway. These curriculum documents are understood as part of a selective tradition which serves to naturalize dominating values in teacher education institutions. The analysis engages with historical and current discourses of music preferences, values, and philosophies. The authors argue that the National guidelines largely contribute to upholding a certain school music ideology and a matching community of music educators. The theoretical thrust is based on writings on curriculum and ideology, hegemony, naturalization and selective tradition.

Reference: Knudsen, J.S. & Onsrud, S.V. (2023). Ideology, selective tradition, and naturalization in the music teacher education curriculum. Nordic Research in Music Education.

Ideological Processes and Discursive Tensions in Norwegian Music Teacher Education (article)

This article investigates local curricular plans and job advertisements of institutions offering music in generalist teacher education (GTE) in Norway. The aim is to identify the values and ideologies represented locally in the music subject in terms of how content, learning outcomes, activities and assessment forms are prioritised and how working staff are recruited. By using elements from critical discourse analysis, we find that several ideological processes in the new five-year GTE programme lead to tensions in the music subject. We discuss such discursive tensions in the following five categories: 1) musical skills versus pedagogical skills, 2) activity orientation versus reflection orientation, 3) academic orientation versus artistic orientation, 4) research focus versus teaching focus and 5) future orientation versus tradition orientation. Despite the tendency of preserving traditions and values in the field of music, we find that the national guidelines for music in GTE are quite open and flexible in terms of changing the traditions and adjusting for the needs of the present and future. However, in 2020 when local plans were collected, we found only limited use of the potential the national guidelines offer for local adjustment and innovation. Job advertisements, on the other hand, show a tendency towards ideological mismatch between the institutional level, which lean mostly towards innovation for the future, and music staff, who lean mostly towards traditions.

Silje Valde Onsrud & Øystein Kvinge (2023) Ideological processes and discursive tensions in Norwegian music teacher education, Cogent Education, 10:2, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2023.2259740

Third Space Moments: Exploring a University-School Partnership through Collaborative Action Research (article)

This article seeks to expand the ongoing conversations about university- school partnerships as third spaces. In situating the study within the field of music education in a Norwegian school placement context, we explore the concept of third space within the multi-stakeholder practices of negotiating and delivering a partnership model within a classroom setting. In this article we critically discuss how third spaces can be created jointly in teacher education partnerships including pre-service teachers. More specifically, we ask: What notions of expertise appeared during classroom collaboration, and how can partnerships potentially disrupt existing knowledge, understandings, and practices? As our study shows, the hybrid concept of third space could be difficult to establish and maintain as a continuous and lasting experience within fixed educational structures. Informed by Ellsworth’s (2005) ideas of place-based pedagogy and ‘hinging moments’, we suggest an expanded understanding of third space in teacher education, that of third space moments.

Reference: Christophersen, C., Holdhus, K. & Kenny, A. (in review). Third Space Moments: Exploring a University-School Partnership through Collaborative Action Research.

Towards agency in general music teacher education? A Norwegian approach (chapter)

The research project Music Teacher Education for the Future (FUTURED), researching the Norwegian general music teacher education went on during the years 2019-2022, applying a normative approach to general music teacher education (GMTE) in Norway. On the background of research mapping of GMTE structures and circumstances, researchers explicitly aimed at facilitating change by action research exploring and promoting agency in GMTE students. To provide background for the research, the chapter informs and discusses educational structures regarding music education and teacher education in Norway, and  applying a meta study of publications from FUTURED, the chapter points at development of agency in students and music teacher educators as a productive educational vehicle for change in Norwegian general music teacher education. 

Reference: Holdhus, K. (in review). Towards agency in general music teacher education? A Norwegian approach.  

Critical reflection in music teacher education: Contradictions and dilemmas in theory, policy, and practice (article)

In this article, three researchers and music teacher educators reflect upon the possibilities for and challenges of fostering preservice teachers’ critical and democratic capacities and agency in music teacher education in line with recent 21st-century skills-oriented policy reforms. Based on experiences from participatory action research with preservice music teachers in general teacher education at two Norwegian institutions, the authors problematise how critical reflection is defined in educational literature, in policy documents, and by students participating in the referred participatory action research. The authors further discuss the different understandings of critical reflection, considering concepts such as student-centredness, students as customers, student resistance, and student voice. Inspired by critical pedagogy, the authors suggest that the preservice teachers’ articulated reflections represent important steps in their progress toward becoming professional music teachers and that enduring the discomfort of loosening up the student-teacher dyad benefits the development of students’ agency and critical reflection.

Reference: Rinholm, H., Fredriksen, B. & Onsrud, S. V. (2023). Critical Reflection in Music Teacher Education: Contradictions and Dilemmas in Theory, Policy, and Practice. Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education 22(3), 41-72 .

Educating music teachers for the future: The crafts of change (book chapter)

In light of current global educational reforms and neoliberal discourses, it is timely to ask about the future direction of music education. This chapter discusses the concept of “crafts” in relation to music teacher education, more particularly from a perspective of change. A starting point for this chapter is that the crafts of music teacher education directly concern the facilitation of development and change, for example, by deliberating on what is important to keep and build on in the professional practice of music teacher education and what is better left out. When deliberating on questions of traditions and change, I suggest that one should take into consideration if and how the educational practices of music teacher education (a) actively reflect on and productively try to contribute to the big challenges of the world; (b) explicitly address systemic bias and inequalities; and (c) provide spaces for student participation and agency.

Reference: Christophersen, C. (2021). Educating music teachers for the future: The crafts of change. In Holdhus, Murphy & Espeland (eds). Music Education As Craft : Reframing Theories and Practices (63-74). Springer.

Who are the music student teachers in Norwegian generalist teacher education? A cross-sectional survey (article)

This study is based on data from a national survey of generalist student teachers specialising in music in the new five-year primary and lower secondary school teacher education programme in Norway. The study aims to map students’ backgrounds, experiences of the educational programme and visions for their future practice as generalist music teachers in schools. The theoretical perspective is cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT). The findings suggest that generalist teacher education music programmes reproduce patterns of inequality. These patterns should be addressed in the future development of the programmes; however, the current lack of diversity may inhibit conditions for transformation and change.

Reference: Nysæther, E.T., Christophersen,C. & Sætre. J. H. (2021). Who are the music student teachers in Norwegian generalist teacher education? A cross-sectional survey. Nordic Research in Music Education 2(2), 28-57.

The multiplicity of preservice music teachers’ positioning in a participatory action research project (article)

This article reports the results of a participatory action research study into Norwegian generalist music teacher education, that intended to develop spaces for preservice music teachers to foster agency and prepare for future teaching. We aimed to challenge the discursive practice of generalist music teacher education through participatory action research conducted from January to April 2020 at two central teacher education institutions in Norway. In this article, we present extracts from transcribed video recordings of the completed participatory action research that identify preservice music teachers’ positioning in interactions as a response to the challenges posed by action research events. Through our analysis, which draws on positioning theory from discourse psychology, we identify three primary positions taken up by preservice music teachers: (a) novices, (b) not yet independent, and (c) resource persons. The study identifies a need to interrupt traditional music teaching as a discursive practice that maintains power relations that obstruct preservice music teachers’ agency in their education. We conclude that more systematic long-term work is needed to change both educator and student habits and mind-sets.

Reference: Onsrud, S.V., Fredriksen, B. Rinholm, H. & Lindgren, M. (2022). The multiplicity of preservice music teachers’ positioning in a participatory action research project. Research Studies in Music Education.

Developing visions for the future. A reflection on utopias in music teacher education (article)

As society changes, new challenges arise for education. Major social upheavals have led to increasing awareness of social justice issues and critical reflection within the field of music education, as well as calls for social and educational change. In this article, five music teacher educators discuss how music teacher educators and pre-service music teachers can develop spaces for envisioning future music teacher education through utopian thinking. We consider utopias as social dreaming reflecting a desire for a better way of life, and utopian pedagogy as experimenting to envision new alternatives, tell new stories and construct new realities. The article starts with outlining theories of utopia and utopian pedagogy, before moving on to reflecting on challenges related to music teacher education. A situation where pre-service music teachers were invited to think utopian is then critically explored, as is our double position as researchers/educators. Finally, we address the envisioning of possible futures within the field of music teacher education.

Reference: Viig, T.G., Onsrud, S.V., Lewis, J., Kvinge, Ø. & Christophersen, C. (2023). Developing visions for the future. A reflection on utopias in music teacher education. Visions of Research in Music Education 41(1), 1-17.

Soundtrapped? Socio-material perspectives on collaborative teaching within the music classroom (article)

This article draws on a classroom project to explore the complexities of collaborative teaching within the music classroom, where a professional team collaborated to facilitate digital music-making at a lower secondary school in Norway during a student teacher practicum placement. The collaborative team, including in-service and pre-service teachers, researchers, and a professional musician, facilitated a composing project by means of the digital audio workstation (DAW) Soundtrap. The purpose was to shed light on the complexity and emergence of the collaborative music project; how material, structural, and educational conditions impacted the process; and the pre-service music teachers’ ways of handling a complex situation. The study was theoretically guided by a socio-material perspective, more specifically by complexity theory, and an abductive analysis was performed. In keeping with the nonlinearity and complex causality of socio-materialism and complexity theory, the researchers created three reflexive viewpoints: emergence, enabling constraints, and entanglements. The results show that technological and technical issues permeated the classroom work, making it difficult to separate social and material aspects of the project. Awareness of the entanglement of social, institutional, historical, and material dimensions of education thus can provide a useful framework for emerging music teachers’ professional development. In this way, our findings support the claim that music teacher education should aim at helping pre-service teachers prepare for encounters with complex and versatile educational situations.

Reference: Holdhus, K. Christophersen, C. & Partti, H. (2022). Soundtrapped? Socio-material perspectives on collaborative teaching within the music classroom. Research Studies in Music Education.

The music teachers of the future – Framtidens musikklærere (Podcast in Norwegian).

Music education is ripe with traditions, for example rooted in conservatory traditions and master-apprentice learning styles. What do we know about what the education of music teachers in Norway? Who are the future teachers of school music? What do they think about their education and what are thoughts on their professional practice? What frameworks and structures surround them in their educational program, and what spaces for critical thinking are available to them? Professor Catharina Christophersen from Western-Norway University of Applied Sciences reflects on these and similar questions based on the research project FUTURED – «Music teacher education for the future».

This public talk given at the Bergen Library in February 2022 was recorded and published as a podcast episode:

“We never got to try that experience of total chaos”: Exploring preservice music teachers’ agency in teaching practicum (article)

The purpose of this instrumental case study was to investigate one single case of four preservice music teachers’ (PMTs) in their teaching practicums, carried out as a part of a Norwegian general teacher education program. The main data sources were based on material from three focus group interviews and observations from the PMT’s teaching practicums implemented at two practice schools for a total of 5 weeks. Emirbayer and Mische’s (1998) triadic conception of agency provided the theoretical framework for the analysis, highlighting temporal orientations (past, present, future) of the actions. The findings revealed how the temporal dimensions of agency gave nuanced understandings of the PMT’s experiences of being supported (or limited) to make decisions and take actions in music teaching settings, either by the school-based mentors or themselves. The study underlines the importance of increased focus and inclusion of agency within teaching practicum contexts to prepare PMTs for future challenges.

Reference: Bjørnevoll, S. M. (2022). “We Never Got to Try That Experience of Total Chaos”: Exploring Preservice Music Teachers’ Agency in Teaching Practicum. Journal of Music Teacher Education, 0(0).