Pushing the boundaries: reflections on collaborative research and course design in ITE

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In 2021, we initiated a music investigation research project to explore student teachers’ perceptions of informal learning pedagogy in the music classroom. Our findings suggested that accessibility, difference, anxiety, control, musical co-construction, agency and serendipity were key factors in students’ judgement (Mariguddi and Shirley, forthcoming). In this presentation, we will explore the findings of a subsequent research project in which students were given greater pedagogical guidance, including instruction on Kodaly’s ‘aural musicianship’, Orff’s Schulwerk and Green’s (2002, 2008) ‘informal learning pedagogy’. The purpose of this was to encourage them to make informed decisions in the design and implementation of a piece of direct teaching with Year 5 primary pupils. We explore the student teacher perceptions of these pedagogies, including the perceived benefits and potential pitfalls in this context. Furthermore, we will explore the implications for us as music Initial Teacher Education (ITE) lecturers. Drawing on collaborative research ideas from Woolhouse et al. (2020), we examine the consequences, the implications and the unexpected through our reflections on this collaborative research project. Our emergent findings offer insights into both collaborative ITE research and course design for music education in ITE. Furthermore, we will attempt to clarify the kinds of tensions that do exist between current ITE policy and informal music learning pedagogy.

Green, L., 2002. How popular musicians learn: a way ahead for music education. Ashgate: Aldershot.
Green, L., 2008. Music, informal learning and the school: a new classroom pedagogy. Ashgate: Aldershot.
Mariguddi, A. and Shirley, I., forthcoming. Exploring the potential of informal music learning in a perceived age of pedagogical traditionalism for student teachers in primary music education. British Journal of Music Education, under review.
Woolhouse, C., Albin-Clark, J., Shirley, I. and Webster, M., 2020. Collaborative research as community learning in a Higher Education context, or “What would Rod Stewart do?” Studies in Higher Education, 45 (3), 477-491.
Period6 Jul 2023
Event titleAnnual Conference for Research in Education ACRE : Seeking Equity
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational