Confronting the challenge: The impact of whole school primary music on generalist teachers motivation and engagement


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The motivation of teachers represents an emergent area of research within psychology, where the complex and fluid nature of practitioner engagement is increasingly recognised. Underpinned by psycho-social theories, this article explores the potential of socially-situated structures and processes to develop and maintain generalist teachers’ personal involvement with music. Data is utilised from a broad, qualitative project, which involved seven case study schools in the UK, although the story of one institution is prioritised; this represents a positive example in which the school’s leadership models, support structures and socio-interactional environment contributed to increased motivation of generalist practitioners. In this school, the fact that individual teachers were able to subvert their previous negative perceptions to become fully involved with music indicates the potential for personal engagement to be enhanced through social means. This paper provides an in-depth, theoretical analysis of the processes which enabled this to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-235
Number of pages17
JournalResearch Studies in Music Education
Issue number2
Early online date27 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Collaboration, Leadership, Primary music education, Situated motivation, Social environment, Support, Teacher motivation
  • Leadership
  • Primary music education
  • Situated motivation
  • Social environment
  • Support
  • Teacher motivation
  • situated motivation
  • primary music education
  • collaboration
  • leadership
  • teacher motivation
  • social environment
  • support


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